How the GOP will stick you with the biggest economic debacle in history and make you think Obama did it.
This example uses $100 bills
It’s time once again for people like you and me to have their heads spun by the incomprehensible numbers that are the US Budget. Personally, ever since I learned about fictitious capital, I’ve had a hard time understanding why the government expects us to pay OUR bills, when THEY operate at a deficit almost all the time. Short of a revolution though, not much can be done about that, so let’s just try to understand the numbers. There are two ways to look at numbers like this. One is to just look at them, and say “Wow. Those are some really big numbers.” The New York Times has a great interactive for doing just that. You can also try to visualize the numbers, as in the graphic at left, which was assembled from the larger images here. We explored this in more detail last year. You can also do what politicians do, and talk about the numbers in ways that sound good but make no sense in reality. That’s what the GOP has been doing for a while, largely with the help of Frank Luntz. Frank Luntz is the guy that was largely instrumental in the success of the GOP over the past decade, through their implementation of his GOP Playbook. If you’ve never given it a look, you should, because it was his language – refined through dial groups and other marketing-style research – that allowed the previous administration to rack up the hugest deficits in history, while making you think they were frugal conservatives. Now that the previous administration has trashed the economy, saying goodbye on the way out with Bush nationalizing the banks and essentially destroying American capitalism as we knew it, it’s time to make it look like it’s all Obama’s fault. And Frank is back, with the words to do it. He’s penned the new talking points in a memo called Language of Financial Reform. That’s a link to the full document, which is also embedded and excerpted below.
Here are the GOP keywords. Note that they could just as easily be used by Democrats, with a reverse effect:
Here’s the full document: