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The language of deficit reduction

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By Hal Rhodes

A couple of weeks ago, after Wisconsin Republican Congressman Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, unveiled the GOP’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2012, New Mexico’s 3rd District Democratic Congressman Ben Ray Lujan took to the House floor with some thoughts on Ryan’s offering.
To characterize Ryan’s budget plan as controversial is to understate the case. Still, even some of the staunchest critics--in Congress, in the media and beyond—have deigned to tip their hats to the Budget Committee chairman for his ambitious, if unrelentingly doctrinaire, approach to whittling federal spending by $4 trillion over the next ten years.
Beyond the laissez faire economic faith upon which Ryan predicates his budget proposals, some critics fault the congressman for sugar coating the bill of goods he’s peddling with language that is at least disingenuous if not outright deceptive.
It was this latter characteristic of Ryan’s deficit reduction measures that occasioned Congressman Ben Ray Lujan’s April 5 remarks on the House floor, and he began with a tongue-in-cheek look at what he called “The Republican Dictionary.”


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