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Yet More Baloney: PolitiFact’s False Stimulus Rating

22 Jun

As we mentioned in “PolitiFact Is Light on Logic” and “PolitiFact Earns “Pants On Fire” Rating,” the PolitiFact “fact checking” organization is simply not credible.  As yet another example of how they tailor their arguments to match their preconceptions, consider the 22 June 2011 article, “Bogus Stimulus Claim Recycled.”

This is at least the second time that they have assigned a “False” label to a claim that is not false, but in fact is completely reasonable. That claim is, “the [Obama] stimulus failed to increase jobs.”

In Engineering Thinking, an analysis is not worth anything unless the data being reviewed are considered in context. PolitiFact has a penchant (when it suits them) to evaluate statements completely literally, rather than in the common-sense meaning that the speaker intended.

So here we go again. PolitiFact looks up some data to show that the stimulus “saved” or “created” jobs.  Therefore they rate the claim as False.

But in its full context, the claim can be reworded as,  “the [Obama] stimulus failed to increase meaningful, permanent jobs that pay for themselves.”

Let’s do an analysis to see why this claim is true:

Analysis by Analogy:

1. I am laid off from work.

2. I go to the bank and get a loan so that I can hire myself to do that job I always wanted to do (watching and evaluating sports teams) that no one else would ever pay me to do.

3. I have just created a job! Wow!

4. At the end of the year, when the money runs dry, I am (a) back where I was a year earlier, without a job, (b) plus I now owe the bank my year’s salary plus interest. (The wife is not happy.)

In other words, the Obama “stimulus” provided salaries to folks who would have been laid off because of lack of funds, or provided salaries for temporary jobs (remember the army of census workers?). The stimulus funds were loaned to us by foreign countries. So, now that the money is gone and the economically-unjustified and short-term jobs have disappeared, we taxpayers owe a foreign country for the salaries the government spent on all of those “created” or “saved” jobs, plus interest.

-Ed Walker

 

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