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The Biden Budget 2023 Is Orwell 1984

George Orwell, the author of the novel “1984”, famously warned that “political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

His quip came to mind when the Biden administration released its budget for 2023.

Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute decided to put the document’s 158-page summary document under a microscope to see what the political language in it meant.

It turns out that the Biden Budget is a perfect example of Orwellian language.

Here are word counts from the budget summary in brackets ( ), along with comments from Cato:

      • “Invest” (398), “Spend” (11). Invest sounds less wasteful than spend.
      • “Support” (430), “Subsidy” (0). Never admit to subsidizing.
      • “Strengthen” (139), “Build” (137), “Bolster” (43), “Robust” (27). More spending and subsidizing.
      • “Advance” (148), “Address” (126), “Initiative” (65), “Commitment” (46). Tackling problems boldly.
      • “Worker” (58), “Entrepreneur” (13). Workers favored over entrepreneurs.
      • “Equity” (75), “Equality” (11). Two words with the same root.
      • “Gender” (43), “Growth” (33). Two words that start with G.
      • “Jobs” (74), “Inflation” (6). Emphasize the good news.
      • “Communities” (162), “Federalism” (0). Top‐down “investment” is undermining community autonomy.
      • “Bipartisan” (54), “Progressive” (2), “Liberal” (0). A centrist image before the election.
      • “Reform” (43), “Challenge” (38). All politicians love these words.
      • “Historic” (60). The Biden administration in particular loves this word.
      • “Capacity” (96), “Resilience” (58), “Prioritize” (26). It likes these words too.
      • “Freedom” (3), “Liberty” (0), “Restraint” (0). Alas, this is the government we’re talking about.

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