I've blogged numerous times about politicians claiming that government spending can "create" jobs. What they never mention is the jobs that will either be destroyed or never materialize because of the money and resources that are diverted away from the private sector to finance the government projects.
This is an intentional, clever tactic that effectively glosses over the hard to detect job losses (the unseen) and places the focus on the government-financed projects (the seen).
It is such intentionally misleading word choices that came to mind when I read this N&O article about how the federal stimulus bill will "cost" North Carolina $760 million.
the state for projects such as roads and schools. The federal tax breaks in the
plan, however, may force state officials to offer parallel state tax cuts that
would cost the state at least $760 million during the next two years.
Why is it never mentioned how much the stimulus plan spending will "cost" taxpayers? When it says that the plan "funnels $6.1 billion to the state" – from whom will the money be funneled from? Treating the stimulus money like it just grows on trees rather than coming from the paychecks of working North Carolinians misleads the public.
Moreover, true "tax cuts" don't "cost" anyone anything – they allow people to keep more of what they rightfully earned. It will merely decrease the amount of tax revenue going to the state government compared to what they otherwise would have collected. If a robber steals $50 from you, but then drops ten of it as he runs away (which you then pick up and keep), did the transaction "cost" the crook ten bucks?