Monday, January 24, 2005

From the folks who brought us the terms "death tax" (vs. estate tax) and "compassionate conservatism," among many others, apparently they're now having great difficulty in finding the right phrase to tag on the Social Security "crisis."

If there's one thing the GOP does exceptionally well it's framing a given issue so that John Q. Public can quickly be swayed by it. Much like they've been doing on Madison Ave. for decades. If you for one second believe it when they say they never use focus groups or the like than you are 100% naive.

The Boston Globe article I'm referring to paints an interesting picture of the Republicans having difficulty with the word "private" when it comes to SS. Apparently,
Michael Tanner, director of the Social Security project at the libertarian Cato Institute, said ''the term 'privatization' always polls about 20 points lower than a description of it."
So, therein lies the headache: to come up with a term that's both clever and memorable -- and yet most important, deceives and achieves the end via whatever means.

Give it another week, maybe two, but you'll eventually hear the new buzz phrase regarding this "crisis" -- something will eventually come from the exhaustive focus group testing that undoubtedly is occurring round the clock.

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