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Much is being made over Treasury's cribbing of Republican campaign rhetoric in their supposed-to-be-non-partisan analysis (though it could be that the folks are just following the administration example to be as lazy as possible, much like the CPA's cribbing of the Brooking's Institution website), but you wonder whom gave them the right to judge which of us out there is "hardworking". Well, they've come up with a formula to determine if you're hard working or not -- Taxable income exceeding $200,000 a year. Now we all know. If we're not making $200K, we're lazy bums undeserving of anything from the administration.

It looks like Dick Cheney isn't quite working hard enough in his capacity as VP. Good thing he has his stock holdings, and his wife to pick up the slack.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 21st, 2004 02:50 pm (UTC)
Don't be a "me-too" kind of guy, Sterling. It doesn't say or imply anywhere that people with taxable incomes under $200K are not hard-working, it just implies that those over it are.
Apr. 21st, 2004 02:59 pm (UTC)
I don't buy that proposition, either. My exhibit A. is our 60% Commander in Chief. Though I guess that is the benefit of being able to lobby a payhike for (if not yourself) your heir.
Apr. 21st, 2004 03:21 pm (UTC)
Than does that group also include Americans who happen to take the subway to work? Or "carpenters, joiners, bricklayers, plumbers, and electricians and laborers and other building professionals"? Or People who don't currently put money in retirement savings accounts?

For both parties (and probably for the little parties, too), "hardworking Americans" is just a code word for whoever you're talking about at the time.
Apr. 21st, 2004 04:59 pm (UTC)
Maybe, maybe not
"These Federal dollars are being leveraged by communities to stimulate local, state and private sector funding for critical public transportation projects. For hardworking Americans, the payoff is vibrant and thriving communities "

"... jobs to carpenters and joiners, bricklayers, plumbers and other hardworking Americans"

"These bold new accounts will give more hardworking Americans..."

(emphasis mine)


"Under these proposals, hardworking individuals and married couples could have their taxes raised by the following amounts"


Note that in your examples, the term "hardworking" is applied to an amorphous group that is either an extension or subset of the groups mentioned; however, in the treasury dept example, there is no such modification. Does this matter? It could be considered a semantic issue, but of such semantic issues are pit threads born. OK, that was a stupid way to say that, but a lot of trainwrecks start with "Christians are stupid" or "Why don't parents do this?". There is an implicit all in those statements that the original writer may not have intended. But in a way, I agree that we don't need to take this article this way, it's just politico-babble.

However, you said "hardworking" is just a code word for whoever the politico is talking about, and I disagree with that. On looking at this, I think they are using "hardworking American" as a propaganda word designed to make the listener believe that he or she falls into the group being discussed, even if that is just flat out not the case. With wiggle words like in the first three examples, at least the author is hinting that this might not apply to you.
Apr. 21st, 2004 08:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Maybe, maybe not
The central assertion Sterling made is that Treasury (and by extention the Administration) is asserting only that people who make over $200K/year are "hardworking Americans" -- that others are not hardworking. That assertion is demonstrably, provably false. Hell, there are even hardworking Cubans in Cuba!

If you want to see someone using the phrase as a wedge, Bush isn't the right place to look. It's class warrior Howard Dean, who averred that persons who agree with Bush's economic agenda are not "hardworking Americans."
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )