Wednesday, March 22, 2006

More Numbers Games

...or Bo Bo's Bad Bad Boo Boos.

Last Friday, on The Newshour With Jim Lehrer, David Brooks made the statement:
"People choose the reality that -- that flatters their partisanship. For example, in the Reagan years, unemployment went from 13 percent to 5 percent. If you asked Democrats, at the end of that, did unemployment go up or down under Reagan, 60 percent said it went up. Republicans said down."

When I heard that, I was more than a little suspicious. But Media Matters has the goods. The 13% figure was totaly bogus, but more importantly, unemployment did go up in the Reagan Years. It went up the first year he was in office. On average it was higher for the first four years and the first eight years than for the previous four and/or eight.

So why do Republicans say down? Well, maybe Republicans do choose the reality that flatters their partisanship, even if Democrats don't. Or maybe it's because the media keep lying to them.


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