As a public service, here is today’s installment of Capitol Hill lexicology. Today’s subject: serious vs. unserious deficit proposals. As committed descriptivists here, we naturally define these words by their actual usage among contemporary users of the language:
Serious (ser’ ee uhs) adj. any of a group of proposals that immiserates large numbers of ordinary people, either immediately or in the future, via cuts to broad-based social welfare programs.
Unserious (un ser’ ee uhs) adj. any proposal that slightly inconveniences rich people via modest tax increases or annoys military contractors via small cuts to the Defense Department.
As near as I can tell, that’s about it. Have I missed any nuances?