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When Budgets “Cuts” Aren’t Cuts

The editorial (may require registration) in today’s Newport News Daily Press provides a useful reminder about language when discussing budgets. According to the editors:

“Language matters. But in discussions over local budgets, language also can misrepresent.

“When someone says "budget cut," the implication is clear to the average person: Spending will be reduced. When someone says that a city council or board of supervisors will cut, for example, school funding, the implication to the average taxpayer is likely this: Schools will get less money.

“But when local budget talks become highly charged, a word's meaning can shift. The term "cut" may be used, but the actual translation isn't ‘less money’ but ‘more money, just not as much more as they asked for.’”

A useful reminder since the editorial closes by noting:

“The issues are tough enough, but they're even harder to sort through when clouded by language that miscasts reality”


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