5 Dirtiest Words in US Politics
I was just reading a blog posting about the White House Christmas tree having its own Twitter account to track its travels from Wyoming to DC and noticed one of the commenters going off on how the Facebook and Twitter account is a waste of Tax Payer dollars!
Boy! Really? A Free account that is probably manned by an unpaid intern or someone already paid to perform some other function? It got me thinking that things are so tense these days that people have little tolerance for any spending, perceived, imagined or otherwise. It led me to come up with this list of words that are also considered really poisonous terms in Washington Politics these days. The list includes:
1. Lobbyist – the word describes the people who visit lawmakers to explain or convince them to vote a certain way on a bill or introduce certain legislation that would benefit the industry of their clients who hire them. The word is named for the lobby, the place where these people would congregate as they wait for officials to take their meeting, or in hopes of catching them as they travel the halls on their way to and from other offices, or to the restroom even . Indeed, in Washington it is not a job that you openly admit to having as discretion is key. Especially among non Washington insiders and the uninitiated – read the General, outside-the-Beltway set -you’re better off keeping your cards about whom you work for to yourself. In fact, if you’re ever looking for a job on Monster.com, you would NEVER even find the word listed anywhere. Rather, you’ll see the term “government relations professional” or “government or public affairs” liaisons. It’s all on a need to know basis. Loose lips sink ships.
2. Earmark – the term describes those special projects that a congressional representative may attach to a popular bill that is on its way to passing. The term is named for the tiny identifying tag farmers place on the ear of a pig to identify its owner. So if the big project is the pig itself, the tiny tag or earmark is unrelated to the pig and should go unnoticed . They usually authorize an elected official’s pet projects that benefit his or her own district, state or constituents only, and are probably unrelated to the general bill. Lately, there has been a call to ban them altogether from being attached to legislation because they benefit the so-called “special interes” – another dangerous term used to describe groups, individuals, companies that are deemed to be buying influence and favor from elected decision makers. The interest of the “special interests” are automatically presumed to be selfish and not with the interest of taxpayers, consumers or the general public in mind. It’s not always so, but yet the perception persists.
3. Spending/Stimulus – The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 was a $787 billion dollar spending package that was enacted to infuse capital into the infrastructure and growth sectors in America and stimulate the economy. Unfortunately, while it has slowed down job losses, helped stabilize the economy, and funded projects nationwide, its effect has not been fast enough for the other sectors of the US economy that are still struggling with low jobs and slow recovery. These days, any bill that requires spending will likely be stopped dead in its tracks unless the funding for it comes from money already set aside for some other pre-existing source.In other words, legislators dare not come to the Congressional cash register without an already fully funded debit card in hand. When the Obama Administration was on the heels of proposing another round of funding for transportation infrastructure, the White House went out of its way to avoid calling it a stimulus package given how unfavorable the first stimulus is being perceived.
4. TaxCuts – If said “tax cuts” are being talked about in terms of ending them for the middle class, the majority of Americans that fall within that designation will be harmed. Any increase in taxes for this group will signal death bells for the party, politician, individual or group calling for it. On a similar token, talks of ending cuts for those earning above $250,000 will warrant a stern finger wagging about punishing small businesses and a lecture about how no one should have their taxes increased during theses tough economic times, even the so-called “rich”. It’s one of those “no-win-rock-and-a-hard-place-catch-22” types scenario. In other words, damned if you do, damned if you don’t. I’m full of cliches tonight.
5. Obamacare – It’s a derogatory term used to describe the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act of 2010, the overarching reform of the US Health Care system that has been largely unpopular among Republicans and those who believe the bill intrudes too much on people’s health care decisions and increase practitioners’ costs. Uber liberals and some progressives didn’t feel the measure went far enough because it lacks more public options that some say would have put the private health care industry out of business. Even though it includes several positive benefits that are already going into effect, the landmark legislation, which was a campaign goal of President Obama’s, remains largely unpopular. It’s the go-to term to pull out of your arsenal, if you are a person trying to reach the Tea Party movement crowd. Use the word to a group of supporters and you’re likely to get thrown out of the progressive sand box for sure!
I’ve been asked to consider one other new recent term “Pay Freeze” but since it came from a federal worker, I was quick to remind her that that term is but a dirty word in her federal worker world. On the contrary, according to recent studies, the majority of those surveyed felt that Federal workers and government workers, in general, were overpaid and worked less hard than their private industry counterparts and were major contributors to the deficit and the reason so many state and local government are in the red.
This brings me to another missed term, “DEFICIT” – how can I miss that one!? Because of the “D” word, the Dems and anyone whose got a nifty idea to propose are made to stand down so they don’t do anything to increase the deficit. Indeed because of the interest in decreasing the deficit, Miss Federal Worker is going to be worth more than her pay for the next two years – Her words. Not mine.