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ECONOMY: Arguments use soggy tea leaves

Letter by Kathy Gilman, Steilacoom on Aug. 16, 2012 at 11:28 am with 15 Comments »
August 16, 2012 2:21 pm

Two recent letters parrot the same deceptive tea party statistics and talking points that are being spread around Facebook. But just because you read it on the Internet doesn’t make it so. Darrell Huff wrote “How to Lie with Statistics” in 1954, and things are much worse today.

One letter writer cites 100 million Americans on public assistance programs – one in three! Absurd nonsense. The number was reached by adding the total recipients of every separate program, without remarking that many individuals are on the rolls of several of them. Remove the duplicates, and the result will make sense.

And 47 percent of Americans don’t pay federal income tax? Take out all the seniors on Social Security and the children under 18, and this imposing and specious number shrinks rapidly.

Persistent high unemployment? The housing crash and crisis started under you know who. An article on the  business page (TNT, 8-16) presents an analysis of how strongly the housing situation has hindered the recovery.

Combine that with loss of tax revenue and the attendant layoffs of public sector employees and unemployment soars. And still the tea party wants to cut more – then moan about job losses.

If you listen to these letter writers, brainwashed by their own propaganda, the United States was the Garden of Eden until the devil came to the White House in January 2009.

Leave a comment Comments → 15
  1. LeePHill says:

    You expected honesty, Kath?

  2. menopaws says:

    I agree. Very selective memory….some of them are still looking for those WMD in Iraq. And, now the “swift-boating” of President Obama has begun over the Bin Laden raid……….There is NO limit to the lies and deception—-People of honor do not have to resort to this to make their points. but, this crowd seeks the mean and the ugly and worships the lie. Truth and dignity are something you make fun of. I keep hoping that voters will see the magnitude of their hatred and be as scared as I am of what these people are capable of…….Honesty, integrity are not part of their game. It is all about distortion and innuendo. Sometimes, I am ashamed of them, sometimes I am scared………..But, mostly, I recognize that their kind of politics are born from ignorance and desperation. We all need to hope that the voters are finally fed up with all this mean and ugly behavior……..Maybe, then, we could get back to talking about the REAL problems of this country. Tired of placating the whack job zealots to keep the peace.

  3. aislander says:

    Er…Social Security became taxable income due to the efforts of the Clinton admin…

  4. 47% of HOUSEHOLDS.


    Heck, 43% of the population doesn’t even work.

    By the way, the number is up from 47.

  5. averageJose says:

    Beat me to it Ai… (ss tax)…


    “The housing crash and crisis started under you know who”…
    Nancy, Harry, Barney Fwank, etc., etc.

    LOL, 2 letters.

  6. LeePHill says:

    “Neither one of those ideas is true. They rely on a cleverly selective reading of the facts. So does the 47 percent number.”

    CT needs a reading lesson to avoid making himself look foolish when posting links.

  7. alindasue says:


    I went to the article you linked to. Did you even read it beyond the headline? LeePHill already posted the quote I was going to from the article. The rest of the article after the quoted part goes on to explain why we have the 47% number was cited and then explain why taxes on the wealthy are needed… the exact opposite, I believe, of what you were trying to achieve with the link.

  8. Yes, I read it. I even picked a non-mobile site just for you. Your far left shift as a hardcore Obama lover has left you full of scorn. Nice.

    All I was establishing is the truth behind 47%. Successful. The rest of the crap in the article was typical leftist junk. Another example of why the NYT is dying.

    The ‘43% does not work’ reference pointed out that if we factored ALL citizens, the number would be way higher than 47%.

  9. writnstuff says:

    Gosh, CT, that’s not the way I read it. I think you might want to go back and take another look…with an open mind this time. Take off you polarized glasses. :-)

  10. Aislander ,
    ‘social security as taxable income’ – I smell a Newt in this one.

    I went through your article three times and did not find 43% or any mention of households that don’t work.

    The 47% refers to those who do not earn enough to have to pay federal income tax.

    And the 47% is for 2009, and is up from 38% in 2007.

    Once again, I thank you posting a web site that allows me to disprove everything you claim.

    The housing market crash began in August of 2008 while the Busy Weed occupied the White House.

  11. alindasue says:

    CT7 said, “Yes, I read it. I even picked a non-mobile site just for you.”

    Thank you for that. It made it much easier to read.

    You know darn well that I am not a “hard core Obama lover”, although he does seem to be the best out of the rather limited choices we have available this time. My question to you was more out of puzzlement, rather than “scorn”. I wondered why you would link to an article that was clearly “typical leftist junk”.

  12. To prove a single point from a source you and your ilk ‘approve’ of. To avoid Hill having a fit over a Heritage link.

    The rest of it was typical talking points. Nothing new, no hard data to swing someone’s opinion.

  13. aislander says:

    xring “smells a Newt” with respect to the taxation of Social Security benefits, huh?

    Well the measure was enacted in 1993, before the Republicans gained control of Congress, and signed by Clinton that same year….

  14. 98% of this is a complete waste of time.

  15. RegisteringFool says:

    bB – ROFL!

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