Somebody Is Lying To Us

What I love the most about the internet is how much information is available out there. No politician can make a public comment that just disappears into the ether by escaping a reporter’s ear anymore. Someone is always there to capture it, and put it on permanent digital record that can be discovered by anyone at any time. And now that the economic stimulus is one-year old, we get all these contradictory and politically-charged statements about it that make a reasonably intelligent person wonder who is lying, and who is telling the truth?

The White House says the stimulus was $787 Billion.

The GOP says the stimulus was $862 Billion.

How can this be debatable? Didn’t anyone write the actual number down? $75 Billion is a lot of money. Even fast-food restaurants give you a receipt for a $3 meal. There must be a record of this somewhere.

Outgoing Democratic Senator Evan Bayh: “If I could create just one job in the private sector, that would be more than Congress has done in the last six months.”

Republican Congressman Eric Cantor on the stimulus money that was awarded to his district in Virginia to build a high-speed rail system: “…with this money we can create a lot of jobs.”

Now that’s a switch! A Democrat criticizing the stimulus and a Republican praising it. Well, not really. This next gem from Cantor restores normalcy in the universe.

Eric Cantor: “After all the rhetoric and an $800 billion economic stimulus plan, here are the results…4,022,000 total jobs lost with unemployment reaching its highest point in 25 years.”

And then there’s always the hocus-pocus of tax cuts…

House Republican Leader John Boehner: “Unfortunately, the trillion-dollar spending plan authored by congressional Democrats is chock full of government programs and projects, most of which won’t provide immediate relief.”

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “Hundreds of thousands of middle-class families are benefiting from the largest and fastest middle-class tax cut in history.”

And GDP voodoo…

House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence: “I think the Obama Administration to date has failed to address our economic crisis by applying the principles and ideals that have characterized our free market economy for generations.”

Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak: “In the last 6 months of the Bush administration we had a -6% growth in GDP. Last quarter it was positive 5.7%.”

But the heart of the economy will always be jobs. You’d think it would be simple enough to figure out how the US is doing on the jobs front. GOP Congressman Boehner even spent tax-payer money on a 35-page report called “Where Are The Jobs? A look Back At One Year Of So-Called Stimulus.” It’s a scathing critique of the economic stimulus plan. Just click the link and read it for yourself.

To which The US Department Of Labor’s Bureau Of Labor Statistics answered with this beautiful little chart that shows job loss and creation from the last year of W’s administration through the first year of the Obama administration:

So there it is–the great economic “debate”. You’d think that analyzing the economy would be pretty black-and-white because taxes, and jobs, and the GDP–they’re all just numbers right? Can’t we find the truth in the numbers?

Numbers don’t lie. But people do.

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One Response to “Somebody Is Lying To Us”

  1. votingmad Says:

    It is posting fine on my computer. Thanks for reading, or trying to read anyhow.

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