From a story that ran a few days ago, discussing the Mittster’s stance towards “entitlements”:
The 2-to-1 level of support found for spending on the poor for health care and other social services disappears when voters are asked specifically about welfare, according to the General Social Survey; when that word is used, voters by a better than 2-to-1 margin, 49.3 percent to 21 percent, say that “too much” is spent. In other words, a politician can either use the phrase “spending to help the poor” or the words “welfare” and “entitlement” to describe the government programs to alleviate hardship and therefore produce antithetical reactions in the public.
Emphasis all mine. This is interesting, though, innit? Exact same issue, differing responses based just on language. Could be an area for the NYT to look into, what with the idea of Social Security
privatization individual accounts still floating around and the rest of the Luntz-approved tropes for ye Grand Ole Party. But such an expose might suggest (perish the thought!) that most Americans don’t know jackshit about politics and are easily manipulated, so I’m not gonna hold my breath.