As we await to see exactly what form of the finacial “bailout” legislation will be passed in congress, and what specific provisions it will include, there has already been a noticeable change in the terms being used to describe it.
The Hill‘s Bob Cusack writes:
That public relations strategy started hours before the final deal was in place when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) addressed the media. In her short remarks, Pelosi mentioned the word ‘taxpayer’ at least 13 times, saying the package must “protect the taxpayer” and “should not cost the taxpayer anything.”
Clearly a marked shift in language, in an attempt to quell the rage from many Americans reluctant to fund Wall Street’s mishaps while they are left to fend for themselves.
Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) went even further, asking on the House Floor, “Is the United States Congress, or the board of directors of Goldman Sachs?”
Meanwhile, someone who has a bit more of a financial background then ourselves, Henry Blodget over at Silicon Alley Insider read through the entire 110-page plan put before congress and came up with this “key points” document.
UPDATE: From Brian Stelter at the NYTimes: In a stark example of the way language is used as a public relations tactic, Mr. Bush and other government officials have characterized the measure in positive terms – “rescue plan” and “asset relief program” – thereby carefully avoiding more loaded words like “bailout.” The media, by and large, did not follow Mr. Bush’s lead. On Sunday, a Google News search conjured more than 157,000 results for “bailout,” and only 42,000 for “rescue plan.”