The Moose thanks a conservative for speaking the truth.
So many of our political debates these days are purposefully obscured by the abuse of language. For instance, repeal of the progressive inheritance tax on mega-estates becomes the elimination of the "death tax". When the Moose was an elephant, he recalls when Newt charged other Republican members a dollar that was to be placed in a jar in his office if they used the words "inheritance tax" instead of the approved term.
The battle over social security, of course, is another critical example of the Republicans using semantics to hide their true agenda. An article in today's Washington Post points out -
"As the two parties brace for the coming debate over restructuring Social Security, polls and focus groups for both sides have shown that voters -- especially older ones, who vote in disproportionately heavy numbers -- distrust any change that has the word "private" attached to it.
"The White House has a logical idea: Don't use the word. This is difficult because, after all, they would be "private" accounts, and Bush's plan would "partially privatize" Social Security.
"So Bush and his supporters have started using "personal accounts" instead of "private accounts" to refer to his plan to let younger workers invest part of their payroll taxes in stocks and bonds. Republican officials have begun calling journalists to complain about references to "private accounts," even though Bush called them that three times in a speech last fall."
Unfortunately for the Bushies, one prominent conservative spilled the beans in the New York Times today about the real Republican objective on Social Security. Fortunately for us, Steve Moore offered some bracing candor. The quote deserves to be highlighted in bold because it is - so refreshingly honest -
"Social Security is the soft underbelly of the welfare state," said Stephen Moore, the former president of Club for Growth, an antitax group. "If you can jab your spear through that, you can undermine the whole welfare state."
The purpose of the President's reference to an "Ownership Society" is to mask the genuine objective which was offered by Mr. Moore - the withering away of the welfare state. Indeed, it is a very bold agenda.
And that is why stealth terminology is so critically important.