What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
-William Shakespeare from "Romeo & Juliet"
Of course, Juliet of the House of Capulet pondered this question as she waxed poetic about her doomed love for her beloved Romeo, the son of her family's sworn enemy from the House of Montague. She pondered that if only his name were not Montague, then they would be free to love each other. No, this isn't going to be a dissertation on R & J. Just bear with me...
The next lines are the gist of the quote:
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title.
Well, fast forward to 2009 and our word odyssey began courtesy of the Obama Administration. In the last five years Obama and his crew of supernumeraries have set about to change the names of stuff. They have raise changing the the names of stuff to an art form worthy of Shakespeare, or maybe George Carlin. Though I am leaning heavily toward George Orwell. Let's review.
How to get passed the studies that found the Earth hasn't been warming for about 12 years? How was Al Gore going to sell us on carbon credits and solar/wind energy if their doctrine of Global Warming wasn't living up to its end of the bargain? When the science did not comport to the name or to their agenda, they put on their re-thinking caps. Yes, "The White House Committee Who Sits At A Big Table and Re-Names Stuff" (oh yeah, there really IS a committee) came up the term "Climate Change" to replace "Global Warming". And with the help of the mass media, "Global Warming" was struck from the lexicon.
Next up was an effort to soften all those those harsh, direct, and mean-sounding Bushisms. So, "Global Terrorism" and "War on Terror" changed to 'Overseas Contingency Operation" or, in the case of Libya, to "kinetic military operation". Acts of terrorism became "man-made disasters" and those who perpetrated such "disasters" were called...well...nothing. The word "terrorist" was just too harsh and "man-made disaster-ist" just sounded stupid.
So last week, in the run-up to Obamacare, our intrepid Committee rolled out their new "rose" from the Obama-nary. "Taxes" will henceforth be referred to as...drum roll please..."shared responsibility payments". Yes. "The White House Committee Who Sits At A Big Table and Re-Names Stuff" have now decided the word "tax" needed an upgrade to a softer, more communal sounding name to make the impending Obamacare tax more palatable. Doesn't the term "shared responsibility payments" make you feel ashamed that you don't want to be responsible for your fair share?
Another way of interpreting what Shakespeare wrote so many generations ago could also be that changing the name does not change what it is. As perfect as Romeo was in the eyes of the 14-year-old Juliet, he still carried the blood of the House of Montague. And only the adolescent mind could think that merely changing the name would changes the definition. Romeo would still have the thorns of the House of Montague even if he were to deny his father and refuse his name. And so it is with changing the name of anything. The rose may still smell as sweet, but the thorns still draw blood. And a tax by any other name is still taking money out of our paychecks for the government to waste.
So, what do we think the next upgrade will be? Will the much loathed Internal Revenue Service change its name to The Office of Shared Responsibility Payments? And when the SRP coordinators (f/k/a IRS agents) come knocking at your door because you have failed to be responsible enough, will you then be reassigned to the Shared Communal Housing for the Unwilling to Share And Irresponsible for 3 to 5 years? I mean that does sound so much better than Federal Prison, doesn't it?