Sunday, March 17, 2013

A confusion of sounds

At the Center for Individual Freedom, CBO Report Shows Excessive Spending, Not Insufficient Taxation, Explains Our Deficits by Timothy H. Lee:

In 2007, the federal government took in an all-time record $2.6 trillion in revenues.

That year’s deficit was merely $161 billion – quaint in retrospect.

This year, according to a report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), incoming federal revenues will break that 2007 record and reach a new all-time high of $2.7 trillion.

Yet this year’s deficit will be nearly $1 trillion.

So if revenues for 2007 and 2013 are the same, yet the 2013 deficit is nearly one trillion dollars, we can isolate the obvious culprit: excessive spending.

The "obvious" culprit.

For Tim Lee, then, deficit spending is by definition excessive spending.

An on-line definition of "excessive" is More than is necessary, normal, or desirable. So according to Mr. Lee, any and all spending in excess of revenue is unnecessary, abnormal, and undesirable. Lee's definition is a preemptive dismissal.

Mr. Lee, and millions of others, confuse the word "excessive" with the word "excess". If there is a Federal deficit, then Federal spending is in excess of Federal revenues. But "in excess of" is not the same as "excessive", despite the similarity of sound.

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