This Would Make Me Laugh…

If it didn’t make me feel like crying instead. From an AP article on the agreement reached on the stimulus bill between the House and the Senate:

It also preserves Obama’s signature tax cut — a break for millions of lower and middle income taxpayers, including those who don’t earn enough to pay income taxes.

One of the reasons I chose It’s Only Words as the name of my blog was because I intended to highlight instances where language is misused, either purposefully – to guide opinion or to mislead – or through ignorance.

Why do I believe it’s important? Take a look at the Tower of Babel. Whether or not you believe the story to be historically accurate, it serves to illustrate the point that great things cannot be achieved without great communications. If words and phrases don’t have meanings that we all acknowledge and understand, how can we possibly hope to communicate complex ideas?

So here’s my issue: people who don’t pay taxes can’t receive tax cuts. This would seem to be self-evident but apparently the good folks at the AP are confused. I’m not writing today to argue the merits of making cash payments to low income workers, I’m just saying we shouldn’t call the payments tax cuts. For me, at least, that keeps the debate honest.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “This Would Make Me Laugh…

  1. Sooooooooooooooooooo right.

  2. Honest debate. Would that we could see some of that in the halls of power rather than the posturing that so often substitutes for it.

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