Latino voters shouldn’t be fooled by GOP leadership’s directive to change ‘language’ when talking about Ryan budget

LatinaLista — From the minute the Romney camp declared Paul Ryan the vice presidential nominee, a lot of words have been written about the man, his infamous budget plan and what his selection means to the GOP ticket and the Latino vote.

Ryan’s path to prosperity is mainly about privatizing government services. (Joshua Roberts/BLOOMBERG)

Some have gone so far as to say that choosing Ryan translated into Romney giving up on the Latino vote. Maybe Romney has but not the GOP party.

An article in Politico points out that within two hours of the Ryan announcement, the GOP leadership had issued new talking points, a.k.a. words, that mask and soften the reality of Ryan’s proposed budget that he’s been hawking since he wrote it.

According to the article:

It only took two hours after the Paul Ryan vice presidential announcement for Republican congressional candidates to get their talking points on how to spin the Ryan budget and Medicare attacks.

“Do not say: ‘entitlement reform,’ ‘privatization,’ ‘every option is on the table,’” the National Republican Congressional Committee said in an email memo. “Do say: ‘strengthen,’ ‘secure,’ ‘save,’ ‘preserve, ‘protect.’”

As anyone who speaks more than one language — or grew up hearing another language other than English — a change in word usage is significant and changes reaction, meaning and tone — and that’s exactly what Republicans want Latinos, the impoverished, independent voters and everyone else who doesn’t fall within the wealthy target demographic of who would benefit from the Ryan plan to think.

Using the descriptors of “secure,” “save” and “protect” connotes an all-inclusive approach to the budget when that’s not the case for people who need the programs Ryan would like to see cut.

Over the next decade, Ryan plans to spend about 16 percent less than the White House on “income security” programs for the poor — that’s everything from food stamps to housing assistance to the earned-income tax credit. (Ryan’s budget would authorize $4.8 trillion between 2013 and 2022; the White House’s would spend $5.7 trillion.) Compared with Obama, Ryan would spend 25 percent less on transportation. He’d spend 6 percent less on “General science, space, and basic technology.” And, compared with the White House’s proposal, he’d shell out 33 percent less for “Education, training, employment, and social services.”

We understand that this is an election year and tactics, from both parties, have devolved into saying what needs to be said to get elected. Unfortunately, by purposely using misleading words to make people think you have their best interests at heart is not only deceitful and dirty politics but abuses the basic trust between citizens and their leaders.

And a nation without basic trust ceases to be great.

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