Words, Words, Words

As the finagling over Social Security privatization lingo continues, it would be worthwhile to ask President Bush why he himself has changed his song.

As Dan Froomkin recently pointed out:

“The past several weeks, Bush has been calling Social Security at various times a crisis (see my Jan. 10 column) or a problem (see my Dec. 10 column). And he’s been getting a lot of heat for calling it a crisis.

“Yesterday, I’m guessing everyone got together and agreed: No more crisis! Say problem instead! In his talk, Bush only used the word crisis once, when mocking his critics. Problem, he used 29 times.”

This from a president who last year claimed, “If I tried to fine-tune my messages based upon polls, I think I’d be pretty ineffective. I know I would be disappointed in myself. … And as to whether or not I make decisions based upon polls, I don’t. I just don’t make decisions that way.”

Someone might ask President Bush: Do you no longer believe that Social Security faces a funding crisis? And if not, why have you stopped using the word?