Another Word You Can’t Say on TV

Forgive me if I’m going too far afield here, but watching the Sunday morning talk shows yesterday I was struck by the fact that nobody wants to talk about the “catastrophic” consequences that will befall us if we don’t go into hock for another $700 billion or so (about $2500 per U.S. man, woman and child).

On “This Week,” George Stephanopoulos asked Hank Paulson about what those dire consequences would be. Paulson gave the vaguest answer imaginable. When Stephanopoulos later pushed Chris Dodd and John Boehner about it, both demurred with enough significant looks back and forth that it almost seemed like a bad soap opera. Apparently, they can’t tell us what we should be afraid of because “the language has an impact.” Boehner actually said, “you can’t describe, on Sunday morning, how ugly this picture would look, if we don’t act.” Stephanopoulos’ reply, “why not?,” didn’t get much of an answer. (Video is here. The part I’m referring to is about five minutes in.)

I assume that the word they don’t want to utter is “depression.”

I’ve heard of the “F word,” the “B word” and the “N word.” But the “D word?” How delicate are we? If you want me to borrow that much money, you ought to be straight with me about what’s going to happen if I don’t do so.

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2 Comments on “Another Word You Can’t Say on TV”

  1. Allan W. Says:

    Great post. Apparently Congress *has* been told the real consequences, or else they wouldn’t be falling over each other to support it (at least, some of them).

    I would indeed like to hear a clear description of the risk involved. $700B (really over a trillion when it’s said & done) is going to keep my whole generation in debt.


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