Politician-Speak Translated

Politician-Speak Translated
by Former Libertarian Party News editor Bill Winter

Libertarians have long pointed out that when politicians talk about
"cuts" in government spending, they usually don't mean an actual
decrease, as understood by (non-politician) human beings. Instead,
they mean that government spending won't increase quite as fast as
they hoped it would.

This creative use of English was brought into sharp focus in a March 1
article in USA Today. The article noted that last year, government
experts widely predicted that a downturn in tax revenues would force
states to cut 1 million people from Medicaid rolls. In fact, USA Today
reported, enrollment in the government-subsidized health insurance
program *rose* by 1.6 million in 2003.

So, how did a "cut" turn out to be a huge increase? Stephen Heffler,
an economist (and federal employee) at the Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services, took a stab at explaining it.

Said Heffler: "Sometimes people get confused when they hear the word
'cut,' and they think there is an actual reduction in spending or

Well, that explains things. Let's see if we've got this right: When a
politician promises an "increase" in government spending or a
government program, he really means an increase. When he says it will
remain "stable," he really means an increase. And when he threatens a
"cut," he really means an increase.

Thanks, Mr. Heffler! We're not confused anymore.

(Sources: USA TODAY:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-03-01-medicaid-rolls_x.htm ;
Commentary for Liberator Online by Bill Winter)

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Making Lies Sound Truthful...

"In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of
the indefensible... Thus, political language has to consist largely of
euphemism, question-begging, and sheer cloudy vagueness... Political
language [is] designed to make lies sound truthful and murder

-- George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language," 1945.