Video: Unmasking a gimmick: Manipulating data to spur higher spending

posted at 4:05 pm on September 21, 2011 by Tina Korbe

In the vein of Keith Hennessey’s “The Other Side of the White House White Board,” the Senate Budget GOP today releases this video to unmask a budget gimmick popularly employed by Democrats as they call for more spending on investment in “education, innovation, clean energy and infrastructure.”

A quick refresher: Non-defense discretionary spending has surged 24 percent in just the first two years of the Obama Administration. Federal spending per household is skyrocketing:

Meanwhile, the president runs unprecedented deficits and the debt continues to grow, slowing economic growth and costing jobs, precisely the outcome Democrats say they don’t want. Fine if they want to argue for cutting defense spending, fine if they want to mitigate the appearance of the problem by looking at spending as a percentage of GDP (that is, after all, the traditional way to look at it), but to back up calls for more spending with the claim that we’re just not spending enough? To borrow a word from CEO Chairman Eric Schmidt, “ludicrous.”


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Numbers never lie. Or do they?

Depends on who controls the numbers.

portlandon on September 21, 2011 at 4:13 PM

“Hi…”

Seven Percent Solution on September 21, 2011 at 4:15 PM

nice video…

those weasely ol’democrats…..

cmsinaz on September 21, 2011 at 4:16 PM

Seven Percent Solution on September 21, 2011 at 4:15 PM

it never gets old…

:)

cmsinaz on September 21, 2011 at 4:17 PM

“Countless (anonymous) economists have proven this is a lie!”

/bayam

Del Dolemonte on September 21, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Sickening….

golfmann on September 21, 2011 at 4:18 PM

“Yes, we’re gonna have to go right to ludicrous speed.”

Lily on September 21, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Wow.

lorien1973 on September 21, 2011 at 4:23 PM

As my Uncle Joe said: “Figures don’t lie, but liars sure can figure.”

ajacksonian on September 21, 2011 at 4:23 PM

For a time there, I really felt Dems weren’t as insidious as Obama, were going to distance themselves and put their country first, and help get us out of this mess.

Looks like, hook, line and sinker, they’re totally 100% committed, and complicit with Obama’s desire to destroy this country, and rebuild it, commie style!

capejasmine on September 21, 2011 at 4:24 PM

If we shut down the Department of Education, would that help..?

d1carter on September 21, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Numbers never lie. Or do they?

Obviously, you aren’t an accountant…

ladyingray on September 21, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Same method used to count unemployment, keep shuffling things around until you get the answer you need.

Bishop on September 21, 2011 at 4:33 PM

“Hi…”

Seven Percent Solution on September 21, 2011 at 4:15 PM

ROFLMAO

fossten on September 21, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Something has to be mentioned here is that in the ’60′s a very large part of the infrastructure money went to the brand new interstate hi-way system construction. I’ll bet if you were to back that out the chart will really change.

oldernwiser on September 21, 2011 at 4:36 PM

Not surprising.

The larger question is how in the hell do we get enough of the voting public interested in seeing these types of Democrat talking points debunked? The Boehners and McConnells are incapable of grabbing anyone’s attention. In fact, I’d argue they’re turning many Americans off, especially McConnell.

We need someone outside of Paul Ryan that’s in a real leadership position that’s got the charisma and the smarts to deliver this type of message consistently to an undereducated electorate. Without it, next November could very well wind up as another opportunity lost – with even more dire consequences as a result.

jondun5 on September 21, 2011 at 4:38 PM

it never gets old…

:)

cmsinaz on September 21, 2011 at 4:17 PM

No, my friend…

… it does not!

:)

Seven Percent Solution on September 21, 2011 at 4:44 PM

“Yes, we’re gonna have to go right to ludicrous speed.”

Lily on September 21, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Looks to me like that Schmidt dude has gone strait to PLAID!

Freddy on September 21, 2011 at 4:48 PM

Lily on September 21, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Ahh, thank you, Dark Helmet!

oldleprechaun on September 21, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Numbers don’t lie to people, people lie to people… with numbers.

Merovign on September 21, 2011 at 5:10 PM

I have to admit that this president continues to amaze and confound me. I might have told you on inauguration day that I thought his administration would be most resemble life in a cheesy movie. But I would never had predicted it would be Spaceballs.

Lily on September 21, 2011 at 5:19 PM

What’s with the guitar music? Too annoying. You actually can make an info video like this without music. Most videos use music badly like Perry’s did today. It gets in the way of the message. Amateur hour.

No Niks on September 21, 2011 at 5:22 PM

For reference and the record, Constant Dollars:

The term constant dollars refers to a metric for valuing the price of something over time, without that metric changing due to inflation or deflation. The term specifically refers to dollars whose present value is linked to a given year.

..this video is a sobering deconstruction of the lies.

The War Planner on September 21, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Something has to be mentioned here is that in the ’60′s a very large part of the infrastructure money went to the brand new interstate hi-way system construction. I’ll bet if you were to back that out the chart will really change.

oldernwiser on September 21, 2011 at 4:36 PM

Things changed a lot when they subtracted out infrastructure spending for military applications.

1962 was only two years after President (and General) Eisenhower decried the “militaro-industrial complex” in his farewell address, and defense spending as a percentage of GDP was much higher during the Vietnam War than even during the military buildup during the Reagan years.

Steve Z on September 21, 2011 at 5:29 PM

Numbers never lie. Or do they?

Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.

Mirimichi on September 21, 2011 at 5:29 PM

A very good presentation.

Democrats are almost always dishonest. Given that historical fact and the propensity for a democrat to be inherently dishonest by nature, I never trust anything they have to say.

When someone tells me they are a democrat, they automatically tell me the following:

1) They are lazy

2) They are dishonest

3) They have no morals or values

4) They have no integrity

5) They have no ambition in life

6) They are content with living at or below mediocrity

BruthaMan on September 21, 2011 at 6:07 PM

OBAMA’S POLL NUMBERS PROVE THAT MORE AND MORE PEOPLE REALIZE THAT SENDING MORE MONEY TO DC TO BE SPENT BY CAREER POLITICIANS AND LOBBYISTS ISN’T THE SOLUTION; IT’S THE PROBLEM.

I THINK IT’S TIME TO BE BOLD:

A SIMPLE YET MAJOR TAX REFORM PROPOSAL – LIKE THE FLAT TAX, OR EVEN SOMETHING CLOSER TO BOWLES/SIMPSON – COUPLED WITH HUGE SPENDING CUTS WOULD APPEAL TO THE FOLKS WHO ARE CURRENTLY BEING SEDUCED BY OBAMA’S CLASS WARFAE/SOAK THE RICH RHETORIC.

reliapundit on September 21, 2011 at 7:11 PM

Hummmmmmmmmmm……… investment in “education, innovation, clean energy and infrastructure.”…… sure looks like them investments are just digging holes….fill’n them up and digging them again ……. seems 2 me …..that ya only have to build a bridge or a school…or a road…. once ….. then allocate a little to maintain the upkeep…… who keeps tear’n these things down…

roflmao

donabernathy on September 21, 2011 at 11:39 PM

Thank you for further proof that Politicians and Bureaucrats(especially Democrats)cannot be trusted. We are no longer a rich nation and we have no business spending borrowed money until our deficit and our unfunded obligations are taken into consideration and are provided for. The Federal Government needs to start closing down Agencies and let local governments provide whatever government involvement they want and choose to fund.
We need to get our financial house in order because if we don’t our economy will collapse and there will be no government services( none– nada) for anyone unless you want to count martial law as a service. Sooner rather than later the piper will have to be paid.

bindare on September 22, 2011 at 1:02 AM

There are Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics!!!

landlines on September 22, 2011 at 2:18 AM

blockquote>If we shut down the Department of Education, would that help..?

d1carter on September 21, 2011 at 4:30 PM

It not only would save up billions of federal and state dollars, and millions of local dollars, it would increase the level of education across every state and school district.

I have a bit of an inside look at this and uniquely so since I am certified from first grade to twelfth in elementary education, corrective reading, social studies, and all levels of special education. I began teaching in 1976 so I have a broad history of what has happened in the last forty years.

The federal government mandates testing of all students to demonstrate proficiency in academic areas. Sounds good but it has destroyed much more than it built. The tests scores count and have consequences if they are too low, not just for the state, but for the administrator and to an even dire degree, the teachers. The test themselves require millions to be spent to print them, keep them secure, have specialized administrators to oversee the testing, train the teachers who will be giving it and administer the test. The test currently take at least a week out of the school year to prepare the students with reviews and a week to give all the various test. That is two weeks of instruction that has to be made up with extra school days, which are not free.

The teachers often find themselves evaluated by the students’ scores of the federally mandated exams. That forces the teachers who have no idea what will be on the next mandated test to teach to the test. Teaching to the test means focusing lesson to what is most likely to be on the test as determined from past test. It also means that the students who get it the first time have to endure it being repeated over and over as the teacher tries to insure that the least among their classmates might remember enough to pass the test. All those interesting lessons and exploratory learning sessions are gone since passing the test is all that matters to the adults.

As bad as it is for the general education kids enduring the narrowed curriculums, it is worse for special education students and teachers. Teaching those students is now a secondary priority to the required paper work.

My first year teaching in special education needed just thirty minutes for me to fill out the required paper work for the annual goals of one of my second grade students. The goals were set in stages with the last being one that they might or might not reach.

The following year introduced the beginning of what would be a teaching career of dealing with administrators, state and federal officials changing their minds about what they think a new mandate is saying.

By the early 90’s the federally mandated paper work was up to about two hours. I still could write realistic and productive goals for my students. They could still take the same graduation exams that the general students did. Many were able to pass the exams or parts of them. That was a huge plus in their self esteem. Many were still able to get into college or gain specialized skills after graduation.

By the late 90’s the mandated paper work was up to about six hours. My students were no longer allowed to the general exams because they could lower the average and make the principles look bad, and the federal regulations made it difficult if they tried and failed to pass them. Annual goals moved to computer programs curriculum list. The annual meeting process itself was more geared to the paperwork and procedures than the actual education of the students.

By 2005, the last year I taught special education, the mandated paper work was up to twenty hours. It had to be on the correct form, which could change while your filling it out. Redoing the annual goals was almost assured for least once if not twice as reinterpretations of the federal mandates were issued. The paperwork and procedures were now the lead concern in the child education.

2011. Many of my friends still teaching in special education have told me that the forms are no longer acceptable if even one checkmark is missed or in the wrong place or the form, which may look the same has a different revision date. The forms have to be in weeks before the meeting, which means changes may occur before the meeting. The time required to fill out the paperwork is immeasurable now. Even with the help of a full time aide they tell me they have to spend entire days or blocks of days filling out the forms while their students just sit and wait.

Franklyn on September 22, 2011 at 4:30 AM

You need to re-look at the inflation adjusted numbers. In the initial graphs ‘investment’ spending is shown as a percentage of GDP. To correct for inflation, both the investment spending and the GDP need to be adjusted by the same GDP deflator. Doing so will not change the percentages so this misrepresents what has happened.

At the risk of seeming to be an Obama supporter (I’m just the opposite), you exaggerated your point with an incorrect analysis.

OldBob on September 22, 2011 at 3:46 PM