The Veiled Insult
Ever wondered where the writing style that uses enumerated lists comes from? I might consider presenting my ideas in bullet form, because it is easier to read. I might use small words. I might order the information so that it can be reduced to seven major points. I might do this if my intended audience had no interest in reading anything with substance. Maybe if the reader had only a basic vocabulary or a short attention span I would then attend to my considerations. Maybe if I thought people were lazy and stupid …
Anyone who has declared someone else to be an idiot, a bad apple, is annoyed when it turns out in the end that he isn’t. ~Friedrich Nietzsche
Upon receiving notification from the White House as to the seven things I need to know about the fiscal cliff, I thought I would write seven things about the letter which lists those seven things, obviously written by someone who has not read the Nietzsche quote above. Number one! When any government tells you “This is what you need to know”, it is time to start asking questions.
Telephone numbers are limited to seven digits because marketers determined that we weren’t smart enough to remember more digits than that. Ah ha! We proved them wrong. We can remember ten!
Number two! If you learn the seven things listed in the White House letter, you still wouldn’t know much about the ‘tax deal’. When are taxes ever a deal? Never!
Number three! The tax deal extends the Production Tax Credit and the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit. I can hear your sigh of relief over that one! Notice that it is styled to use exactly seven words. You would forget it otherwise. What is a ‘tax credit’ exactly? Ah! This is the beauty of government! It is a negated tax. A tax is charged, but it is rescinded through the use of a credit if you meet certain conditions. Would it not make more sense just to have no tax at all, but you could apply for a credit if you met the conditions? Number four! Government rescinds taxes by creating an opportunity for a credit against the tax. If you get rid of the tax entirely, then the accountants won’t have much to do.
Number five! Government always waits until the very last minute to make a decision when they must make a decision by a specified deadline. For the past several months, Americans have been inundated with every gloom and doom scenario as a prelude to the ‘tax deal’. We could have ignored all that malarkey and bravado. It’s like watching the Pittsburgh Steelers: nothing happens until the fourth quarter. Number six! The next time our government has to make a decision on deadline, just watch a football game instead of listening to all the ridiculous back-biting analysis. Alternatively, just watch the first three quarters of a Steelers game. Either way, nothing is going to happen.
Number seven! I have opted to eliminate number seven. I can sense your disappointment. Let me make something up real quick. Number seven! There is no such thing as a ‘tax deal’. We still have to pay taxes.