Euphemistic Lying

Or lying by euphemism. Stacy McCain calls out the President and his flacks in the press for the use of the term “new revenues.”

A business can generate “new revenues” by expanding sales. A government doesn’t have that opportunity, and it won’t find “new revenues” some magical, super-secret hiding place. They’re taxed out of our wallets.

In his essay, Politics and the English Language, George Orwell wrote that

one ought to recognise that the present political chaos is connected with the decay of language, and that one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end.

He wrote that in 1946, but it’s also true today. Indeed, the time has come when we need to stop allowing the use of nonsense terms in our government’s financial planning. Not collecting a tax is not an “expenditure.” Spending more this year than last is not a cut just because you were planning an even larger increase. Etc.

Actually, there is a way that government can get new revenues.  Over the long haul since WWII, the federal government has been able to take in about 19% of GDP as taxes. That’s been true regardless of how high or low the tax rates have been. When government gets out of the way of the economy so that it can grow, that 19% share grows with increasing GDP.

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