Did the Name Prompt the Blame?

Thanks to Zara Gibb for the idea.

The BBC’s Web site ran a fascinating article about the unintended implications of the word "bailout." As detailed in the text, the oft-maligned George W. Bush actually isn’t at fault for this particular, oral blunder.

As the fiscal crisis escalated, W called on Congress for a "recovery" or a "rescue."_45075194_bailout_416 Somehow, though, the word "bailout" became the popular substitute. And, all hell broke loose as Democrats blamed Bush and his Republican cronies for the mess on Wall Street while the GOP refused to endorse a $700 billion package that they say rewarded the evildoers.

More importantly, as the "B" word was bandied about and the original bill stalled, Americans panicked and European and Asian markets tanked.

A revised bill was finally passed on Friday, but pundits are already saying it may be too little, too late. One wonders if lawmakers and the media had followed W’s lead and used words like rescue or recovery, would the package have passed sooner and would today’s mess be a little less bleak? As W would say, "I’ll leave that for future historians to decide."

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