Better Hack White House Writers Needed

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THE PLANK JANUARY 3, 2007

Better Hack White House Writers Needed

President Bush's op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal is filled with unremarkable pabulum. But one passage jumped out at me:

"It is a fact that economies do best when you reward hard work by allowing people to keep more of what they have earned. ... It is also a fact that our tax cuts have fueled robust economic growth and record revenues."

These are not facts, they are opinions. Now, from Bush's perspective, they are well-justified opinions, but they are opinions just the same.

I'm not making a point about Bush's beliefs; I'm making a point about his speechwriters' command of the English language. There are many ways that sentiment could have been framed. Say, "the evidence of the last six years shows" or "It is now perfectly clear that" ... tax cuts have raised revenues, or up is down or night is day or what have you. But to describe what is obviously an opinion as a "fact" is just embarrassingly poor writing.

--Jonathan Chait

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