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Kudos to Assemblyman Jim Nielsen

In an interview aired June 14 on KCRA-TV, the Biggs Republican, vice chair of the Assembly Budget Committee,  displayed his mastery of the Lexicon of Common Budget Words and Phrases by describing the budget as not only “kicking the can down the road” and “business as usual” but adding that the process lacked sufficient “transperancy.”

Just one more and it would have been a homerun.



Lexicon of Common Budget Words And Phrases

Lexicon of Common Budget Words And Phrases


Assumptions. (See Overly Optimistic)

Balanced. Bipartisan. Best Practices.  Benchmark.

Business (Often preceded by Struggling and Small or both and followed by the phrase As Usual

Coalescing. Categorical. Compromise. Complicated. Concerns. 

Cuts. (Commonly used in conjunction with Spending but also Draconian and Difficult.)

Chronic (Used in conjunction with the phrase Budget Problems or Deficit.)

Credits (Used in conjunction with Tax)

Cynical (See Honest)

Draconian. Difficult. Deferral. Debt. Debate.

Expenditures. Economy. Elimination.

Fungible. Forecast.

Fiscal House. (A place that apparently forever requires being put in order)


Gimmicks (Defined differently by Republicans and Democrats)

Honest (Defined differently by Republicans and Democrats.)

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Should Include “Good Government” on the Don’t-Use List

Should Include “Good Government” on the Don’t-Use List

(Editor’s Note: On August 18, Assemblyman Sandre Swanson, an Oakland Democrat, described a piece of legislation as a “good government bill.” In theory, all measures being approved by the Legislature are “good” or, put more neutrally, beneficial to Californians of one stripe or another. Else why would legislative time and taxpayer dollars be spent on them? And, more conclusively, when was the last time a legislator described legislation, accurately or inaccurately, as a “bad government bill.”)



Break Out the Brooms and Dustpans…

Assembly Speaker Karen Bass and Assemblyman Mike Feuer announce sweeping legislation….



Toxic Assets

Other than a macabre sense of gallows humor, what would possibly cause the taxpayers of the United States to be eager about owning something so named? A better title might lead to a higher level of excitement about ownership.

For example, is there any doubt that more headcheese would be consumed were it instead called Cranialetti?

Its all about marketing.

(Editor’s Note: Mention of the word “headcheese” has been deemed by management to create a hostile workplace environment. Yet another letter of reprimand has been placed in the capacious HR folder of the chief correspondent.)




More Verbal Detritis

A concerned reader finds the following troubling beyond merely overuse:

Trial balloon. As opposed to the real balloon?

Best practices. As opposed to doing a lousy job?

Real time. As opposed to unreal time?

Blow-back. Sounds like something done at a hair salon or the result of severe food poisoning.




Get Some Hands Around the Throat of Anyone Who Says…


“Get our hands around this.”

And broaden the vocabulary of those who seek a “broader context.”



Young People

(Editor’s Note: We note, regrettably, some disturbing behavioral trends in our chief correspondent as he approaches the age of 50. We have received reports of obsessive garage cleaning, uncontrollable weeping during Hallmark Card commercials and, as evidenced here, a disturbing fixation on youth. A letter has been placed in his personnel file.)