Come on Newshour – do the math

Journalism, in the form of newspapers are in state of crisis in the US.  Part of the problem with journalism in general, including at the supposedly liberal hour long Newshour on PBS, is that they aren’t calling people on their lies.

As I pointed out on this post, the Republicans are lying about the increase in the national debt.  Well tonight, I heard the same lies repeated by Rep. John Boehner of Ohio who said this,

And so you’ve got higher spending. You’ve got higher taxes. And then you get to the real whammy, and that’s the national debt.

President Obama’s budget will double the national debt in the next five years. It will triple the national debt in the next 10 years, given their projections.

This is unacceptable. I think it will imprison our kids and grandkids. It will slow our economy. It will slow job growth in America. It’s just not, in my opinion, not the way to proceed.

Remember that the debt is about $11.1 trillion, and if by “their projections” he means the updated CBO projections (pdf) which is $9.3 trillion.

The cumulative deficit from 2010 to 2019 under the President’s proposals would total $9.3 trillion, compared with a cumulative deficit of $4.4 trillion projected under the current-law assumptions embodied in CBO’s baseline.

Well the math again shows, that $11.1 trillion plus $9.3 trillion equals $20.4 trillion.  Dividing $20.4 trillion by $11.1 trillion is 184.5% or an increase of 84.5% not exactly doubling, in fact short of doubling.

So I showed I could do math, it would be nice if these journalist had prepped themselves with the likely talking points, after all Senator Judd Gregg’s radio address was 6 days ago using the same lies.  He should have expected it coming, and he should have called him on it.  But it instead we got this question next,

KWAME HOLMAN: The speaker, Speaker Pelosi, says your budget being offered by the Republicans in the House gives too many tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans and does not do those kinds of investments in renewable energy, in education, in health care.  

REP. JOHN BOEHNER: I think we have a responsible budget. It does curb spending. It does curb taxes to allow more investment in our economy.

We’re in the middle of a serious recession. The best way to help solve that recession is to allow American families and small businesses to keep more of what they earn. And, most importantly, we have much smaller deficits as we go forward.

And so I believe that we have a responsible approach to our budget, far more responsible than the budget plan that they’re bringing up.

The point is, we usually know what these members of Congress are going to say, and often it just isn’t true.  So research what you might hear them say in the interview, you know anticipate because it isn’t hard, and then fact check that, and call them on lies when they lie.




  1. October 3, 2010 at 9:34 am

    […] they consistently fail to question this lie (see my math here, and example of failure of the media here).  Yet we have Paulsen making the claim that he is good at math, but he didn’t do the math […]

  2. October 3, 2010 at 9:41 am

    […] consistently fail to question this lie (see my math here, and example of failure of the media here).  Yet we have Paulsen making the claim that he is good at math in the ad, but he didn’t do […]

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