Alice in Wonderland

Remember learning in elementary school that 5 > 3 means that 5 is bigger than 3? If you said 3 is bigger than 5, you'd have it backwards, right?

Alice in Wonderland refers to the technique of calling something bigger when it's smaller or smaller when it's bigger. Calling something greater than (>) when it's less than (<). Or calling it less than (<) when it's greater than (>).In other words, saying the exact opposite of what is true.

This is commonly used by Big Government advocates to describe government budgets. They like to pretend they're spending less when in fact they're spending more.

They may justify their claim that a government budget was "cut" by saying that particular budget line items were cut. But by refusing to point out that other spending line items when up even more and thus overall spending increased, i.e., Big Government got bigger, they leave the false impression that overall spending went down.

This kind of deception and assault on common sense is routine in American major media news stories. It is hard to spot without keeping close tabs on state politics to know when claims of budget decreases are false. It is even harder to spot when Alice in Wonderland is used in combination with off-the-books accounting (a type of budget shell game).