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June 03, 2011

PolitiFact: What Mitt Romney Said Yesterday Was True But We'll Call Him A Liar Anyway

You may remember Poltifact from such great moments as "Obama Didn't Say What He Said When He Said It" and "Politifact Is Not So Much Arbiter of Truth But A Bunch Of Liberal Hacks And Apologists". Clearly, this isn't our first rodeo with these guys here at the HQ.

Well, they are back at their old tricks again.

Yesterday Mitt Romney said this as part of his announcement speech.

Government under President Obama has grown to consume almost 40 percent of our economy," he said. "We are only inches away from ceasing to be a free market economy.

Politifact says this is a "Pants of Fire" falsehood.

On the suggestion of several economists, we took the figures for government expenditures (which includes all levels of government) and divided them by the national gross domestic product for the years 1996 through 2010. For more than a decade, government spending as a percentage of GDP was quite stable, bouncing between 30.4 percent and 32.9 percent.

For the last few years, that percentage has indeed gone up -- to roughly 38 percent in both 2009 and 2010, which is within striking distance of the 40 percent Romney cited. (His staff did not respond to an inquiry for this story.)

So that pretty much seems, I don't know...accurate. They go onto spin about temporary spending and all sorts of other stuff but it seems Romney's well with in the margin of error.

The bigger question is the business about the US economy being, "inches away from ceasing to be a free market economy".

Dear Politifact...this is called a rhetorical device. It's not a literal statement that can or can not be proven. Economies do not exist in space and time so their the distance from economic constructs can't be measured. Romney is simply summarizing his impressions of things and conveying that to his audience.

Funny but Politifact never seems to have gotten around to "fact checking" Obama's oft used idea of Republicans driving the economy into a ditch and then drinking a Slurpee while Democrats tried to pull it out.

Imagine what it would sound like...

After consulting several economists we can find no evidence that the US economy has a steering device with which the Republicans could direct the economy, nor are we sure how a concept like a national economy could find itself in a literal place such as a roadside ditch. Most damning, despite the fact that 7-11s are found through out George Bush's home state of Texas, we have no evidence of him ever purchasing a Slurpee.

Politifact goes on to say they aren't sure what standard Romney was using so they helpful invented some that unfortunately for Mitt didn't pan out in Politifact's view. They certainly didn't consider Obama's NLRB decision involving Boeing or 1,000s of ObamaCare waivers that distort competition.

Bust still, I'm sure Politifact is even handed in inventing standards by which they judge political figure.

Er, nope.

So has Obama kept 70 percent of his promises [as he claimed]? Not by our reckoning. We believe he's kept 24 percent of his promises. But we recognize there is some subjectivity in deciding whether a promise is kept or not, and we don't know what's on his list. So we won't be rating his statement on the Truth-O-Meter.

Oh, so Obama gets the benefit of the doubt when you're not sure what he's talking about but with Mitt you invent your own?

The only thing on fire here is Politifact's Strawmen. We rate this...hacktastick liberal spin.


Thanks to Slublog

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posted by DrewM. at 05:20 PM

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