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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Which Way Is Up? # 5467

Which Way Is Up? # 5467

Wednesday, 07 August 2013 04:25

Greg Sargent catches PolitiFact being out to lunch big time. On one of the Sunday talk shows House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the deficit is growing. Politifact examined the claim and rated it "half true." Its logic was that even though the deficit has been falling sharply over the last 4 years, and is projected to fall more over the next two years, it is projected to rise later in the decade.

This one is a real mind bender. After all, the rapid pace of deficit reduction has been a big factor in slowing GDP and job growth according to the Congressional Budget Office and other independent analysts. That is a very important fact in understanding the economy today. It is seriously misleading to turn this reality on its head because of projections that the deficit will start rising in 3 years.

This would be like saying that people coping with sub-zero temperatures in the middle of January, without heat in their homes, should be worried about dealing with high temperatures because forecasters project that April and May will be warmer. The immediate and near future problem is obviously the sub-zero temperatures, no sane person would worry about the comfortably cool temperatures three months in the future. 

Comments (7)Add Comment
Death, Taxes and Health Care Cost: Three PolitiFacts
written by Last Mover, August 07, 2013 5:32

If Eric Cantor said exploding health care costs in America compared to other countries are not a problem because people are eventually going to die anyway, that would be a true statement according to PolitiFact.
written by Tom, August 07, 2013 6:44
Politifact seems tobe playing foroneteam. They gaveobama a "mostly true" for saying that the minimum wage is lower than when reagen took office. Their reasonwas thaqt Obama's statement was "carefully worded" and that the min wage is not lower than when Reagan left office. Huh? So careful, accurate wording is not completely true?
written by Cranky, August 07, 2013 7:45
That's what happens when embedded rhetoricians masquerade as journalists.
written by Chris Engel, August 07, 2013 7:46
It's just Politifact making sure that they keep an even set of statistics when there's an analysis aggregating how well-balanced they rated Republican and Democratic claims.

They've been irrelevant for a while, but especially since the studies showing that basically Republicans lie more. Now there's pressure to FORCE balance where there is none.

In the right-wing bubble we're experiencing hyperinflation and exploding deficits and near bankruptcy.

And no dose of reality will change that belief.
Politifact has it correct.
written by jumpinjezebel, August 07, 2013 2:31
If you read carefully what they said = they got it right. Although I think what he said was intended as a lie - he has nothing left at this point as his austerity ploy has been blown to bits. (Does he use EXCEL anymore?? LOL) They must attempt to remaid objective as they are frequently the pointed rebuttal to RWNJ spewing and - hopefully - remain a non-tarnished site to which you can point the RWNJ's to with some credibility.
What Politifact actually posted
written by Tom in Wisconsin, August 08, 2013 10:31
After reading a few of the critiques of this Politifact post, I turned to their website to see what they actually said. If anything, it's worse.


Politifact cites data that says (a) the deficit has declined every year since 2009, (b) it’s expected to fall to 4.0% of GDP by September 2013, and (c) it will bottom out in the next couple years then rise to (drum roll) 3.5% by 2023. I thought “growth” means something is getting larger. By what arithmetic is a 3.5% deficit in 10 years larger than 4.0% today?

Why are Republican politicians innumerate?
written by Tom in Wisconsin, August 08, 2013 10:46
Why do Eric Cantor and friends think down is up and up is down? Why can't they do simple ratios and spreadsheets? I think it's because math is written in... ARABIC numbers! Can't trust the propaganda of those sheiks and terrorists. And the higher order stuff includes (get this!) Greek letters. We definitely don't want to become Greece.

(Sorry, couldn't resist)

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.