Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Rebuttal to Political Junkie

Political Junkie rocks. You never really quite know which side of the aisle he sits, but there is no denying his economics prowess. Would love to have a cold beer with this dude sometime. Anyway, Junkie commented in my post below. He links to one of his posts written back in August. Here is my response but first, let me just say that I know both of us would agree that our debt situation is dire, unsustainable and both political parties are part of the problem and not part of the solution.

There is no denying the cold hard numbers. Reagan was the worst in terms of percentage increase in debt. And Johnson was one of the best with Kennedy at the top. HOWEVER!! As others pointed out in your comments section, the analysis does not take into consideration cause & effect. For example, Johnson's Great Society programs were not felt fiscally (sounds perverted doesn't it?) until several years after the programs were implemented. Many years later, like today, we simply cannot afford them, obviously. So Johnson gets unfair positive treatment in your analysis. Same for Reagan but opposite. The American economy was in utter shambles following Carter. And the Cold War military build-up, which started years before Reagan, was completed during his administration. He receives unfair negative treatment.

Neither does your analysis take into consideration the actual number increases themselves. You are using percentages, which can be deceiving. For example, a 10% increase on $1.00 is $1.10. Big deal, right? But a 10% increase on $100,000 is an additional $10,000. Now we're talking real money here. Let's take another look at your table. In terms of actual debt increase, George W Bush and Obama are the most egregious. Bush ushered in an additional $4.9 trillion rounded and Obama so far is $4.4 rounded (assuming $15 trillion debt as your analysis is from August). Bush had 8 years in office so that is an average increase of $0.6 trillion per year. Obama is approaching 3 years and so that average works out to $1.5 trillion per year rounded. That is over two times as offensive as Bush. It gets worse. Now let's take your table and extend my analysis across all presidents using your as of August data.

The Cooncracker is this week's winner with a whopping $1.484 trillion dollars in debt increase per year. W Bush is a mere shadow of this guy. Both are douchenozzles. And we can put HW Bush into that category as well. Again, while Johnson is 2nd to best behind Kennedy, it is Johnson who is partly responsible for the entitlements mess we find ourselves in today.

Political Junkie, I have to respectfully disagree with your analysis. See, the problem with statistics is that you can use a wide variety of tools to paint the picture you want. I think you used percentages to give Democrats a pass. But the hard cold dollars & cents analysis just doesn't support your analysis. There is an old statistics joke, "95% of all statistics are wrong." Heh heh!

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