The proper use of penalties, tax and otherwise
Does shaming taxpayers work?

Republican definition of 'temporary' tax breaks depends on your income bracket

Ah, politicians. Talking is one of the key parts of their jobs, both getting into office and staying there.

But sometimes a simple word can be so troubling.

Open dictionary3Too many of us greatly misunderestimated Dubya's ability with malapropisms.

Then there was the infamous attempt by Bill Clinton, usually a master of communication, to tell us what "is" is.

And Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney each took stabs at whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act insurance purchase mandate is a penalty, fee or tax.

Turns out it can be all three depending upon where a person is in the High Court hearing or along the campaign trail.

Now we have Senate Republicans parsing the word "temporary."

The minority party in the ostensibly more deliberate Congressional chamber is expected to try this week to eliminate various tax breaks for lower income taxpayers in order to pay for the continuation of Bush-era tax cuts for more wealthy Americans.

Republicans say the tax breaks for lower-income families, passed as part of Obama's 2009 economic stimulus measure, were always supposed to be temporary.

Um, excuse me, Senators, but aren't measures that have a sunset date like, uh, the Bush tax cuts also, by virtue of that ending time period, also temporary?

Be sure to not have not only the Internal Revenue Code but a dictionary handy when this debate goes down.

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