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Art Hyland:
Words We Don't Recognize

"Budget:  a systematic plan for the expenditure of a usually fixed resource, such as money or time, during a given period."
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Talk this week is about the federal budget.  "Budget" is a complex word because, like so many in the English language, it has multiple meanings and uses.  It’s a noun, a verb, an adjective or an adverb.  I prefer thinking it a verb--an action word--as in allocating limited resources over a period of time.    Congress or the President treats words as they do so many subjects:  they publish “budget” on the cover of a 1000 page book, the inside of which has nothing to do with the cover.  They invented the phrase, “you can’t judge a book by its cover.”  
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Congress has not in my lifetime budgeted per any normally recognized definition because they don’t consider expected revenues as a limitation.  Like Bill Clinton’s sexual inclinations, Congress ignores the meaning of “budget” because they could.  “I did it because I could,” said Bill to Dan Rather about Monica-ing (a new word).  Even the semi-reasonable Republican Congress of '95-'97 didn't meet the definition because decades prior, a previous Congress decided to sweep into the "budget" all Social Security revenue.  They did that because Social Security was running a surplus, so by combining it with all the rest, it lowered the overall deficit, making Congress feel and look good (which result has gradually become their only target responsibility).
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A Trillion here and a trillion there ... 
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Most dramatically in recent years, Pelosi, Reid and Obama distorted the definition beginning with the passage of their "budget" in 2009, when with the speed of light, this dynamic trio produced one that was over 1 trillion dollars in DEFICIT, no less.  (my mind wanders by mimicking Carl Sagan when he used the now old-fashioned phrase, "billions and billions.")  So, now we have the combination of "budget," "trillion" and “deficit” as words to contemplate when we try to get a handle on the federal irresponsibility known as its "budget."     
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Obama just submitted his third "budget" with all sorts of "cuts," another well-worn government-altered word.  Well, having increased the spending level two years ago by over a trillion dollars, tell me, how difficult is it to "cut" a few billion here and there?  Not very.  It's outrageous how the media has sanctioned  federal spending at this super-inflated level, thereby allowing Obama to get away with using the word "cut.”
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So, just so you are clear:  Bush’s 2008-09 “budget” was $2.7 trillion, with about $480 Billion deficit.  Bad enough.  (Wish he had vetoed ‘til balanced.)
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But then:  Obama’s first “budget,”  $3.5 trillion (with $1.4 trillion deficit)
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Obama’s second “budget,”  $3.7 Trillion (1.8 of which is deficit, AND by the way Congress never passed it--an election year coincidentally)
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Obama’s proposed third “budget,”  $3.7 Trillion (even after all his publicized “cuts” and of course with another $1.5 Trillion deficit)
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This is why Tea Parties spontaneously formed, and why they are desperately needed to fight this nation-killing spending.  The fiscal playground that the President and Congress have been running needs to be plowed under.
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Some good news:  close to one trillion dollars in two years’ worth of so-called Stimulus funds passed in previous “budgets” sits unspent and unassigned in department accounts, and could be grabbed by Congress.  Just Do It, I say.  And I’m sure Nike wouldn’t mind loaning its motto for that purpose.    
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We truly do not have the luxury of ignoring poorly-run government (at any level) any longer.  We can become the people the Founders dreamed of, stewards of a nation with citizens endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, among them Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.  Feel free to use the standard definitions of each of those capitalized words.        
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© 2011 Art Hyland