The major media outlets are all a-twitter at our president’s new deficit reduction plan. Here’s the WaPo headline: “Obama’s debt-reduction plan: $3 trillion in savings, half from new tax revenue”
Note to the editors: If you take money from one person, or a group of people, and give it to another person or group of people – first having passed it through the sticky hands of the bureaucracy – that is no sense any kind of “savings”. Deficit reduction it may be (and only will be if not used in the traditional way, i.e. to bankroll ever new unfunded entitlements) but it’s certainly not savings. Saving is virtuous, and occurs when an entity economizes by not spending. In ordinary usage, taking someone’s property from them and coloring that as “savings” would land you in jail for theft.
(It’s not theft when governments do it because they have a monopoly on organized violence. This makes all the difference.)
I just thought we should be clear on that.