A way with words and charts, Ms. Pelosi might have as long as no one checks the facts. Thanks to PolitiFact.com we don’t have to do much of the checking ourselves. It was just a couple of months back (May to be specific) when she posted the following on her Flickr account:
The information posted there and here would be quite telling: if it wasn’t telling several bald-faced lies. PolitFact continues with their information which is, to say the least, quite a quagmire and a bucket of eels to boot:
A reader recently pointed us to a post on the website of MoveOn.org, a liberal group. The post features a bar graph titled, “Who Increased the Debt?” that offers figures for the past five presidents:
Ronald Reagan: Up 189 percent
George H.W. Bush: Up 55 percent
Bill Clinton: Up 37 percent
George W. Bush: Up 115 percent
Barack Obama: Up 16 percent
We can see why a liberal group would tout such numbers, since — if accurate — they offer powerful counterevidence to the claims by conservatives that President Barack Obama has been a spendthrift who’s set the nation on an unsustainable fiscal path.
But the reader who sent it to us was surprised to see the debt increase under Obama was so small. So we decided to check the numbers.
Check the numbers they did and you should check the numbers listed above with the numbers now appearing on Moveon.org. You’ll see they have been adjusted to reflect the new Pelosi numbers discussed below. What they found was sloppy fact gathering and questionable investigative techniques. PolitFact speaks to the data utilized by Pelosi and they point out that the information used does not track well with the actual time served by each president and for that reason is scattered all over the landscape like the product of a calf with the scours. Here is what they finally settled on after hitting stale information passed on as facts by Pelosi and her inefficient staff:
We quickly discovered the source of the discrepancy: Whoever put the chart together used the date for Jan. 20, 2010 — which is exactly one year to the day after Obama was sworn in — rather than his actual inauguration date. We know this because Treasury says the debt for Jan. 20, 2010, was $12.327 trillion, which is the exact number cited on the supporting document that Pelosi’s office gave us.
However this error happened, it effectively took one year of rapidly escalating debt out of Obama’s column and put it into Bush’s, significantly skewing 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 other problems with the chart and its methodology undercut even this conclusion.
• Time ranges: Bush served a full eight-year term, while Obama had served just 27 months by the time the chart was compiled. If the Obama figure were to be scaled out to a full eight-year period, he’d have a debt increase of 121 percent rather than 34 percent, making his increase greater than Bush’s. To be fair, that would be a simplistic exercise — but no less misleading than the chart.
• Public debt vs. gross debt: Not only did the chart say it was using one statistic and then use another, it also cherry-picked the one that showed the comparison in a more favorable light. According to OMB statistics, public debt rose by 70 percent under Bush, 16 percentage points more slowly than gross federal debt did. And according to the Treasury, the public debt rose by 53 percent under Obama, compared with the 34 percent rise in gross federal debt.
You get the idea and you can get a much clearer picture if you read the complete article. The bull butter churned up by Pelosi and company is par for the crowd around progressives … nothing new, but go here for the entire article. We will say that Obama turns out to be the undisputed red ink king.
Be sure to check for related articles below:
- Tea Party hands the reins to Nancy Pelosi (sfgate.com)
- NANCY PELOSI: THE WORLD ENDS ON AUG. 2nd (weeklyworldnews.com)
- Pelosi: McConnell plan has ‘merit’ (politico.com)
- How Reid, McConnell, Boehner, Pelosi and Obama could shove us into another recession (americablog.com)
- CBS’ Bob Schieffer Scolds Nancy Pelosi For Congress Doing ‘Basically Nothing’ On Economy (mediaite.com)
- Pelosi digs in to the left of Obama in debt battle (sfgate.com)
- The Intellectual Dishonesty of Nancy Pelosi (tipggita32.wordpress.com)
- Nancy Pelosi Makes Crazy Eyes (dreadmonger.com)
- Ding Dong the Witch is Nuts (shortlittlerebel.wordpress.com)