The Wall Street Journal has fun today with the new acronyms spawned by various aspects of the government’s fiscal stimulus program.  Prominently featured are the RAT Board (Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board) and FCCER (Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research).  Parita Shah, a spokesperson for the Commerce Department is quoted as saying: “We are already providing the public with an unprecedented level of information about their tax dollars at work…[we] are continuously working to strengthen that direct communication with the American people.”

This comment is not only PC-speak from the people handling the dispersion of American taxpayers’ money but also suggests that the government is going to create a whole new cadre of public affairs specialists whose job will be to persuade the American people that its money is being spent wisely.  From time to time, we assume, the efforts of this new “apparat” will require “name and shame” lists of US corporations and consultants who received stimulus money and who represent,  in the minds of the bureaucrats, examples of good money gone bad. We think it’s not too early to get to know some of  these apparatchiks, to establish relationships and understand their mindset before they get to their first “show and tell.”  Oh, and do keep a running tab at Google Trends for increasing citations for “snout” and “trough.”


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