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Accentuating the positive about taxes

Date Published: 04/17/2008

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Over the last several decades, anti-tax terminology has moved from political play books and partisan rhetoric into everyday discourse. For example, "death tax" was introduced into official language in 1982 by President Reagan during a speech in Minnesota. Now, I routinely find it embedded in government web sites and budget line items.

Since death tax is a term championed by those who seek to abolish the estate tax, such use by revenue and treasury departments seems as counterproductive as fast food menus calling their burgers Gut Bombs.

Then there's "burden," a good and useful accounting term that carries excess baggage when the word "tax" is loaded aboard.

At Growth & Justice, we try to avoid such loaded language, although some claim "investment" just means a tax by another name. (Actually, it means "spending" with a "smart" in front of it and a payoff on the other end.) Making taxes a dirty word is a much easier job than accentuating the positive.

As Richard Coniff pointed out this week in the Posted in:
Taxes

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