What’s In a Name?


If you don’t think the name of something matters then why do imitation products use the name of dairy and meat?  The makers of those products want to take advantage of the value and familiarity those names carry.  Why did those with environmental concerns stop using the name “global warming” and start saying “climate change”?  Obviously global warming had a hollow ring to it when it was extremely cold or snowy.  So if you are going to sell a product or a belief you need to have the right name.  Same holds true with government spending packages.  Each stimulus package that has passed has contained a lot of money for things non COVID related but to sell it to the public they have been called COVID aid packages.  The same approach is now being used on a $3 trillion “stimulus” package.  It certainly does contain money for some much needed infrastructure improvements such as roads, bridges and broadband.  However it also contains things such as free community college tuition, universal pre-kindergarten and paid family leave. Those items, while certainly important to some, stretch the definition of “infrastructure” improvements.  The practice of loading up bills is nothing new and both political parties do it. Usually I try to look at the greater good.  Even if a bill is loaded up with ‘extra” spending, I try to focus on the areas that the bill’s title says it’s intended for such as COVID relief or infrastructure.  However as the price tag for these bills goes up, as do our taxes to pay for them, it is getting harder and harder to ignore the misleading names politicians use to get them passed. The bill should match its name so we have a better idea what we are getting for our tax dollars. I guess getting an infrastructure bill that focuses entirely on infrastructure improvements is too much to ask for.   It’s always popular for politicians to call for transparency but when it comes to spending bills we all need to look beyond their names to see what is really in them.