Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Columns

July 29, 2011

Political speak on debt crisis requires translation

The problem is that when politicians say them, they don’t mean what you always thought they meant.

(Continued)

The word implies that you have received something from some benevolent source through no effort of your own, and therefore you don’t really deserve it. See also “tax cuts for the rich” that “cost” the government billions – the clear implication is that government creates all the wealth in the country, and then hands out more of it to the rich than the poor.

“Share in the sacrifice” implies that the rich haven’t been paying the vast majority of income taxes all along, without saying it directly.

The same goes for saying that without tax hikes on the rich, the middle class will have to“pick up the whole tab” to address the deficit. The middle class has never picked up the whole tab, and it wouldn’t under any plan on the table, including those from Republicans. What the president is really saying is, “You should be envious and resentful of those who are more financially successful than you are. And I’m here to help you stick it to them.”

“It would reduce the deficit by around $4 trillion.”

In politicalese, “reduce the deficit” means to keep increasing the deficit, but just a bit more slowly than current projections. It is like you carrying debt of $1 million and claiming that over 10 years you will reduce that debt by $500,000 by making sure it rises only to $1.5 million instead of $2 million.

“… the 98 percent of Americans who make under $250,000 would see no tax increases at all. None. What we’re talking about … is asking … millionaires and billionaires to share in the sacrifice everyone else has to make.”

I have to give the president some credit here. He did some translating of his own. Just moments before “asking” millionaires and billionaires to pay higher taxes, he said that taxes would increase only on those making more than $250,000. (actually, it’s $200,000 for individuals). So, “millionaires” refers to people who are one-quarter or one-fifth millionaires.

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