Monday, October 03, 2011

Get Me A One Handed Economist

I love Politifact. It's not because they make a valiant attempt to fact check the pretzel logic of politics. It's because they tend to piss everyone off. My motto is if everyone is mad, you must be doing something right.

Republicans are so convinced they are just another arm of the liberal media octopus, websites have already sprung up documenting their alleged complicity in the massive media conspiracy.

Fortunately for the purveyors of "everyone is out to git the Republicans", amnesia is a convenience.

Today, the AJC's Kyle Wingfield praises Politifact for rightfully calling "Pants on Fire" on Nancy Pelosi and her debt chart that is once again, circling the meme-circuit.

Politifact is absolutely correct. Pelosi's chart is a horror of incorrect data based on starting the Obama Presidency in 2010 instead of 2009. To my mind, this says more about Pelosi's utter incompetence than honesty.

Oh, if only Politifact had stopped there Kyle. Because, as is their way,  they proceed to throw a little fire your way as well.

Turn on WSB radio any time after 8:30am and there's a fair chance you'll hear some version of "Obama tripled the deficit How can he blame Bush!".

Well, according to Politifact, although Pelosi's numbers would make a third grader blush, the Republicans catchy numbers don't fare well either..

Most of your conservative brethren tend to ignore that it was Bush's final budget that pushed the deficit over $1 trillion. Not Obama's first.

Or as Politifact demonstrates once it ran the numbers:
Using the corrected figures does mean that, superficially at least, Democrats have a point. The debt did still increase more, on a percentage basis, under Bush than it did under Obama.
But don't fear, Kyle, they do go on to explain how when compared to percentages of GDP and time spent in office, the Democrats arguments gets weak again.

Or as Politifact so eloquently states:
Of course, all this goes to show that statistics can be used -- and misused -- to bolster almost any argument
But that last part is almost certainly due to their liberal bias.

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