Thursday, March 17, 2005


What's in a name?

Actually there is a lot in a name when it comes to political issues. For progressives, the danger is falling into the trap of using their opponents languange to inflict self-damage. The classic example have been liberals who take up the use of the term "death tax" instead of "estate tax."

No matter what Blackwell calls his amendment - whether its the Taxpayer Bill of Rights or the Tax Expenditure Limitation, he will have chosen his name carefully. (Add your own cynical thoughts here.) Either way, acceptance of his title implicity supports his framing of the issue.

Therefore, we are amazed at how many groups who oppose Blackwell on this issue continue to call it TABOR or TEL. Is this a problem of lack of creativity, or are they just oblivious to the fact that Blackwell would probably love it if they continued to call it TABOR or TEL? We hope its the first problem and not the second.

That's why we were excited to hear that some groups were refering to it as the LIE Amendment (Last In Everything) that contains both a non-subtle reminder of what its done to Colorado and points out that the amendment is really about something else.

After hearing about people calling it the LIE amendment, we also heard that some are calling it the "Taxpayer Bill of Goods." Short, clever, pretty good overall.

But the list for Ohio - for now - ends there. While doing our research, a friend pointed us to a one of the funniest names we've heard. It was cooked up by Colorado State Senator Ken Gordon who has also sworn off any reference to TABOR.

Gordon's suggestion: The Revenue Neutral Restrictive Constitutional Knot.” This forms the acronym “TRNRCK,” or “TRAIN WRECK.”


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