How the Left can win with words alone

Politicians can solve all our problems.  At least, that's what they tell us when they are trolling for our votes.

To be sure, they could solve a lot of them.

Take poverty, for example.

Back in the 1960s, when the New Deal was about to morph into the Great Society and the left needed a lot of poor people to hand out cash to, it set the poverty level.

A bureaucrat named Mollie Orshansky decided what a typical family needed to eat, then decided what that amount of food cost and set a percentage of that amount as what the poor could afford.

 After all, poverty is not a state; it is just a term to be defined.

If the government wanted fewer poor people, all it would have to do is lower the amount that defines "poverty."

To most truly poor people in the world, America's poor are filthy rich.

As the Heritage Foundation has reported, more than 80 percent of the poor have air conditioning, three quarters have a car, nearly two thirds have cable or satellite TV, half have a computer, and 40 percent have a wide-screen HDTV.  The biggest health problem they face is obesity.

Ask a beggar on the streets of Calcutta if he thinks any Americans are "poor."

Another example, from Florida.  The state keeps data on school safety problems, including fights.

Turns out, a few years ago, there were thousands of fights in public schools.  It sounded unsafe.  Public school officials grumbled.

So the state changed the definition of "fighting."  As the Miami Herald found, the number of fights in Dade County schools dropped by about 90 percent.  There were not fewer fights; it is just that many of them no longer met the definition.

These examples show why language is important and why it is dangerous to let the Left tell us what language we may use or what it means.

Cutting babies to pieces is just "late-term abortions" ("health care") that "remove tissue from the patient."

Tax relief that allows people to keep more of what they earn is termed "tax expenditures" by the budget wizards in Washington who have driven the nation $22 trillion into debt.  Soon, no doubt, they will have a new term for "debt," which sounds so...costly.

Therefore, whenever a politician is using deceptive language — such as calling illegal aliens "undocumented immigrants" — there usually is a reason.

Although he is no longer deemed suitable in academia, the incomparable William Shakespeare had Juliet say, "What's in a name?  That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

The same is true of a skunk.  It won't smell any better if you call it a rose.

Politicians can solve all our problems.  At least, that's what they tell us when they are trolling for our votes.

To be sure, they could solve a lot of them.

Take poverty, for example.

Back in the 1960s, when the New Deal was about to morph into the Great Society and the left needed a lot of poor people to hand out cash to, it set the poverty level.

A bureaucrat named Mollie Orshansky decided what a typical family needed to eat, then decided what that amount of food cost and set a percentage of that amount as what the poor could afford.

 After all, poverty is not a state; it is just a term to be defined.

If the government wanted fewer poor people, all it would have to do is lower the amount that defines "poverty."

To most truly poor people in the world, America's poor are filthy rich.

As the Heritage Foundation has reported, more than 80 percent of the poor have air conditioning, three quarters have a car, nearly two thirds have cable or satellite TV, half have a computer, and 40 percent have a wide-screen HDTV.  The biggest health problem they face is obesity.

Ask a beggar on the streets of Calcutta if he thinks any Americans are "poor."

Another example, from Florida.  The state keeps data on school safety problems, including fights.

Turns out, a few years ago, there were thousands of fights in public schools.  It sounded unsafe.  Public school officials grumbled.

So the state changed the definition of "fighting."  As the Miami Herald found, the number of fights in Dade County schools dropped by about 90 percent.  There were not fewer fights; it is just that many of them no longer met the definition.

These examples show why language is important and why it is dangerous to let the Left tell us what language we may use or what it means.

Cutting babies to pieces is just "late-term abortions" ("health care") that "remove tissue from the patient."

Tax relief that allows people to keep more of what they earn is termed "tax expenditures" by the budget wizards in Washington who have driven the nation $22 trillion into debt.  Soon, no doubt, they will have a new term for "debt," which sounds so...costly.

Therefore, whenever a politician is using deceptive language — such as calling illegal aliens "undocumented immigrants" — there usually is a reason.

Although he is no longer deemed suitable in academia, the incomparable William Shakespeare had Juliet say, "What's in a name?  That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

The same is true of a skunk.  It won't smell any better if you call it a rose.