Thursday, November 01, 2007

Say It Clearly, Uncle Sam

Sen. Claire McCaskill is co-sponsoring legislation that will require the federal government to speak clearly.

She has signed on to "Plain Language in Government" legislation, introduced today by U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI). The bill will require the federal government to write public documents in language that the reader can understand and use because it is clear, concise, well-organized, and follows other best practices of plain language writing.

Agencies would have to write forms for federal taxes, veterans' benefits, Medicare and Social Security, federal college aid, and other crucial federal government programs in language that is clear and understandable.

“It is ridiculous that average Americans are having trouble understanding their tax forms and other government documents because they are written in complex legal jargon. This government is here to serve the people, so we need to start putting things in plain-language around here," McCaskill said.

A House version has also been introduced. Missouri Republican Rep. Todd Akin is a co-sponsor of that version.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Senator Akaka one of the best names in politics. I love the way the Senate clerk calls the name "Mr. Akaka" in a low baritone voice.

Incidently, is the full title of this legislation the "Plain Language in Government Due to the Fact that Our Constituents are Stupid and We Know Better than They Act of 2007"?

Gee, thanks Claire! The government can't fix immigration, entitlements, energy, or health care but it will make sure when it screws up that it will do it in plain english!