Keyes on reparations

This columnist reminds us that it was onetime U.N. Ambassador Alan Keyes who said about reparations that "The price for the sin of slavery has already been paid, in blood."

Keyes is an interesting personality - quite close to Lincoln in his political principles. For instance, he is a Natural Rights philosopher and he views the Declaration of Independence as this country's foundation document to which the Constitution is clearly subordinate.

In fact, Keyes often revives Lincoln's old arguments about fixing the Constitution's imperfect applications of the Declaration's stated intentions.

All this is to say, merely, that if people are finding Keyes' reparations talk odd, they are looking at it from the wrong end of the telescope. For someone who has long opposed income taxes in general, it is a small step to propose that a large segment of the population be freed from income taxes on whatever grounds. And if that exemption is gained for blacks on grounds of reparations, it will not be very long before the non-black majority finds reason to reform away the income tax altogether, to make the system "more equitable" for all.

Tax reform through reparations credits. Too clever by half? So was Lincoln.