Tag Archives: propagandic


Many words are chosen and brought into common use to further an agenda.  Our favorite example is “Capitalism”, a term that implies a system based on money, a system based on wealth.  Thus a system which is based on the freedom of everyman to exchange goods and services with his neighbor has become known by a name that implies something quite different.  The word “Capitalism” comes with an agenda.  Words that come with an agenda are propagandic.  Most people would look unfavorably on a system built around wealth but who could be against a system built on ‘pleasant companionship with friends or associates’?  There was a reason Karl Marx chose to identify the two systems as Capitalism and Socialism rather than as Free Markets and Government Controlled.

Now we look at “austerity.”  Say what you will about European Socialism, it does provide a comfortable life style.  Savor six week vacations, short working hours, retirement at age 55 on a government guaranteed income sufficient to live in modest comfort.  Some would argue that you give up many individual freedoms in exchange for that.  However, I ask how can you give up something you never had?

Merriam-Webster defines austerity as “stern and cold in appearance or manner, giving little or no scope for pleasure.”  That is not at all what advocates of “austerity” in Europe are calling for.  What they want is a responsible government that does not spend what it doesn’t have.  Yet they allow themselves to be known by a word that would identify them as seeking an uncaring government that leaves little or no scope for pleasure.  Thus applied, the word austerity is propagandic.

The irony of propagandic is the acceptance and use of words by the targets against whom the term was coined.  Even Milton Friedman called the Free Market system Capitalism.



It is interesting to observe how an entire political faction will change the words it uses to further its agenda. Advocates move in unison as though some central agreement had been published forbidding the use of the prior term. For example, using consistent sources for measurement our planet’s warmest year in recent history was in 1998. That’s fourteen years ago and long enough to weaken the political case for global warming. So the “global warming” mantra is dropped in favor of the term “climate change”. It’s a safe bet that the warmers cause will never be threatened by climate stability in the future. Climates simply aren’t stable.

On another point, have you noticed the Democrats are no longer in favor of raising taxes? The public doesn’t take kindly to having taxes increased. Raising taxes on the other fellow is ok of course, but not on me. Democrats now talk about revenue increases.
And the Dems aren’t spenders anymore either. They have given that up. Now they invest. They invest it in things like food stamp programs, stimulus plans and corporate bailouts. It takes a willful suspension of disbelief to call spending “investment” but willful suspension is what they do.

There is however, one thing Democrats do call spending. And that is saving. When the government allows you to save more of your own money than they allowed in the past, it’s called a “tax expenditure”. Confused? Let me explain; your mortgage deduction is called a government expense, the Bush tax relief was called a government expense. Anything that allows you to keep more of your earnings than the government would like you to keep is called a government expense (actually the preferred word is “expenditure”). If you listen carefully you will hear it.

The mindset that views your mortgage deduction as a government expense is a mindset that believes your money belongs first to the government. How else could you explain that a reduction in what the government takes away from you could considered to be a government expense?
You can not stop the world from choosing words inappropriately to distort your thinking, but you can learn to recognize and guard against it when it happens.


Only a President can demand and get an hour or so of prime time on television to tell his side of the story without rebuttal. Only this president picks reporters from a pre-pared list. Not one reporter asked a grilling question. Need I explain why?

This morning and ABC News reporter did an excellent job covering Obama’s speech. Her article was an accurate and objective account of what the President said. But the Presidents words were in Washington Speak; here are some translations.

Finally disclosing the details of the plan, the president said the White House offered more than $1 trillion in cuts to discretionary spending, $650 billion in cuts to  entitlement  redistribution programs and, in return,  asked Republicans for $1.2 trillion in additional  revenues  taxes by  eliminating loopholes  changing the tax code and  engaging in tax reforms  increasing taxes.

While the president admitted Democrats wanted  more revenue  higher taxes than they had initially  offered  wanted, he said that spending cuts were at least as significant as those put forward in the bipartisan proposals.

Students of Orwell’s “1984” and Random Thots “Propagandic” will instantly recognize that the word taxes has been thrown down the Memory Hole. People no longer pay taxes, the government earns revenue.

The president declared that Boehner walked away from the deal

Yes, that’s what the President said from his bully pulpit. Boehner said it was the President who walked out. But that didn’t get much coverage.

“If you don’t have revenues, the entire thing ends up being tilted on the backs of the poor [who pay no taxes] and middle-class families.  And the majority of Americans don’t agree on that approach,” he added.

Actually, it is the GOP position that is the most favored according to this Rasmussen poll of likely voters.

They are going to have to explain to me how it is that we are going to avoid default,” Obama said. “And they can come up with any plans  that they want  except for the ones they want and bring them up here and we will work on them.

 Of course Obama threw in a few lines about corporate jets, a threat to seniors Social Security, how the rich have more money than they need and all that usual stuff. With this show to watch, who needs Barnum & Bailey?


Given the current debt ceiling debate I thought it timely to bring this post forward. You should know that “reducing tax expenditures” is DC Speak for raising taxes. This post was originally published in April 2011.

From the New York Times

Mr. Obama described what he called a “debt fail-safe”: “If, by 2014, our debt is not projected to fall as a share of the economy — if we haven’t hit our targets, if Congress has failed to act — then my plan will require us to come together and make up the additional savings with more spending cuts and more spending reductions in the tax code.”

“Spending reductions in the tax code” to bring down the deficit sounds appealing… unless you understand it. Exactly what are “spending reductions in the tax code”? The Browns explain it in their post at Townhall.com.

If you assume that all money belongs to the government [ ] then all money doled out to the pockets of Americans must be expenditures.

It works like this. You buy a home and pay lots of interest to the bank in the form of a mortgage. When at the end of the year we add up your income, you are allowed to deduct the interest you paid to the bank from that income. This lowers your overall income tax bill.

Republicans believe that the lower tax bill is your total tax bill. Obama believes that your tax bill was actually higher, and the government was giving you money to help pay the mortgage. Hence, when he takes away your mortgage deduction, he is actually cutting a government “tax expenditure.”

In the mindset  of Barack Obama the portion of your income that you’re allowed to keep is a government expense. Any change in the tax code that increases the amount you can keep (reduces your taxes) is a government expense. By this convoluted reasoning, taking away a traditional deduction is a reduction in “tax expenditures”.

Read that clip from the New York Times again. You will see that Obama’s “debt fail-safe” plan calls for automatic tax increases if the government overspends. Calling a tax increase a “reduction in expenditures” is not only the ultimate propagandic, it is intensely dishonest. And Obama and the Democrats are not the only ones that do it.

UPDATED 7/17/2011


The United Nations arm for overseeing women’s rights is the Commission on the Status of Women. Right off the bat, if you permit me the vernacular, there is a problem with the title. It is not propagandic. It is straight forward and honest. The commission is not about promoting equality for women, it is about the status of women, that’s all.

For a look beyond the title we go to the Commission’s own website where we find their mission statement which says,

[The Commission is] dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women. It is the principal global policy-making body. Every year, representatives of Member States gather at United Nations Headquarters in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and advancement of women worldwide.

Well, that’s better; “policies to promote gender equality”, good. At least the ethics missing from the title are present in the mission statement. Perhaps I should soften my view of the U.N., but wait. I see a recently appointed member of the very same Commission was preparing to stone a woman to death for an alleged indiscretion. Sharia (Islamic law) calls for the young mother to be buried to her shoulders then stoned to death. It has been deferred, deferred mind you, not canceled.

Should the Commission call for an equal number of men to be stoned? That is a very sick joke. So is the United Nations.

Bob B