The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

You should only use the dictionary when you know I'm right

Politicians play fraudulent word-games to avoid responsibility for their actions. For example, check out this ABC interview from September 20 between George Stephanopoulos and President Obama (entire transcript here):

STEPHANOPOULOS: "I don't think I'm making it up (that you're going to raise taxes). Merriam Webster's Dictionary: 'Tax: a charge, usually of money, imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes.'"

OBAMA: "George, the fact that you looked up Merriam's Dictionary, the definition of tax increase, indicates to me that you're stretching a little bit right now. Otherwise, you wouldn't have gone to the dictionary to check on the definition."

Does the Prez believe that words should be defined to suit his personal needs, instead of by common usage as reflected in an authoritative dictionary?

Declan McCullagh, a CBS News blogger, says:

The Obama administration has privately concluded that a cap and trade law would cost American taxpayers up to $200 billion a year, the equivalent of hiking personal income taxes by about 15 percent.

A previously unreleased analysis prepared by the U.S. Department of Treasury says the total in new taxes would be between $100 billion to $200 billion a year. At the upper end of the administration's estimate, the cost per American household would be an extra $1,761 a year.

[My source for this is primarily, my favorite lobbying organization.]

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