Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:01 am on July 17, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

This OOTD comes to us from Jeryl Bier, and it’s a bit complicated — but only because President Obama and his campaign made it so. Obama has been claiming that he has cut taxes for the middle class “every year that I’ve been President.” But by how much? That’s where someone has some math problems. Here’s the original July 9th speech:

That’s why I’ve cut middle-class taxes every year that I’ve been President — by $3,600 for the typical middle-class family. Let me repeat: Since I’ve been in office, we’ve cut taxes for the typical middle-class family by $3,600.

The problem starts with Obama mixing an aggregate number with an emphasis on “every year.” As Jeryl discovers from the White House site, the claim of $3600 in savings is an aggregate of four years’ worth of two different tax credits — only one of which was his alone, the Making Work Pay credit that was part of the stimulus package.  A typical family of four at average earning saved $800 a year in 2009 and 2010 with that tax credit, which expired after the 2010 tax year.  The additional $2000 comes from the payroll-tax holiday in 2011 and 2012 that saves about $20 a week — even though that proposal came from both Republicans and Democrats.  However, the payroll tax holiday isn’t truly a tax cut; it reduces the contribution of each worker into their supposed Social Security retirement fund, which will either cause a shortfall later that will have to be covered by tax increases or result in lower benefits being paid out.  Those credits do add up to $3600 over four years, and have resulted in no discernable economic stimulus.

Apparently, Obama was so confusing that even his own campaign couldn’t figure out what he was trying to say.  They bowdlerized Obama’s quote — and made it sound as though Obama was claiming to have saved middle-class families $3600 each year:

Maybe Obama needs to repeat it one more time … and this time, get the math right.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at obamaisms@edmorrissey.com with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!

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The only math I’m interested in is 270.

NeighborhoodCatLady on July 17, 2012 at 8:04 AM

I’m reading Michael Myerson’s “Political Numeracy.” He points out that Thomas Jefferson was a math whiz; he knew all about Euclidean geometry and the then new math of calculus.

Why do I get the feeling our current President would have trouble solving “Where a + 4 = 10, what is a?

radjah shelduck on July 17, 2012 at 8:05 AM

Another way Obuzzoff cut taxes is by screwing the economy so badly that people lost their jobs. No income=no taxes paid.

Liam on July 17, 2012 at 8:06 AM

2 + 2 = 5 is Obama math.

gsherin on July 17, 2012 at 8:07 AM

Well Ed, most everyone with any sense at all has come to realize that every number teh Won uses is based on his misunderstanding of fractions and integers. If he quotes a number, you can accept that he doesn’t understand how that number was calculated or what it really means. Presidentin is hard after all. The only time he understands a figure is when it’s small and insignificant and he’s using it as part of a blatant lie, like not adding (just) one dime to the debt.

CitizenEgg on July 17, 2012 at 8:07 AM

Apparently, Obama was so confusing that even his own campaign couldn’t figure out what he was trying to say. They bowdlerized Obama’s quote — and made it sound as though Obama was claiming to have saved middle-class families $3600 each year []

Uh

Ah.

bowd·ler·ize [bohd-luh-rahyz, boud-]

verb (used with object), bowd·ler·ized, bowd·ler·iz·ing.
to expurgate (a written work) by removing or modifying passages considered vulgar or objectionable.
Also, especially British, bowd·ler·ise .

Origin:
1830–40; after Thomas Bowdler (1754–1825), English editor of an expurgated edition of Shakespeare

Related forms
bowd·ler·ism, noun
bowd·ler·i·za·tion, noun
bowd·ler·iz·er, noun
un·bowd·ler·ized, adjective

“bowdlerize.” Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 17 Jul. 2012. Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bowdlerize.

Axe on July 17, 2012 at 8:11 AM

He sure tells a good compression tax story. I’m not feeling the lowerness.

Kissmygrits on July 17, 2012 at 8:12 AM

Why do I get the feeling our current President would have trouble solving “Where a + 4 = 10, what is a?

radjah shelduck on July 17, 2012 at 8:05 AM

First, you have to realize that it’s unfair if a = 6 when the other number is 4. Therefore, we must redistribute some of the value to the other number, because, I think, at a certain point, you’re worth enough. Also, whatever you’re worth, you aren’t worth that on your own. a = 5.

trubble on July 17, 2012 at 8:14 AM

Those credits do add up to $3600 over four years, and have resulted in no discernable economic stimulus.

Nailing him on the facts is necessary, however, the most offensive part of this nonsense is that he thinks it’s good enough for us.

$3600 wouldn’t pay his wife’s food bill for a week.

Another example of the contempt BO holds for the American people.

Cody1991 on July 17, 2012 at 8:14 AM

Why do I get the feeling our current President would have trouble solving “Where a + 4 = 10, what is a?

radjah shelduck on July 17, 2012 at 8:05 AM

… George Bush? :)

Man, this Obamateurism is like being back in class.

Axe on July 17, 2012 at 8:14 AM

Is this opposite day again? I think it has been opposite term frankly.

Fuquay Steve on July 17, 2012 at 8:14 AM

right up there with he created 4 million jobs

PUHLEEZE

cmsinaz on July 17, 2012 at 8:15 AM

And the cost of ObamaCare is under a trillion! Pay no attention to the latest CBO estimate that puts it at 2.6 trillion.

Spend first, then demand a tax increase—on the middle class. Progressive liberalism at its finest.

Rovin on July 17, 2012 at 8:17 AM

What he said:

That’s why I’ve cut middle-class taxes every year that I’ve been President — by $3,600 for the typical middle-class family. Let me repeat: Since I’ve been in office, we’ve cut taxes for the typical middle-class family by $3,600.

What he wanted you to hear:

That’s why I’ve cut middle-class taxes every year…by $3,600.

Without an honest or competent media, this crap actually works.

Extrafishy on July 17, 2012 at 8:17 AM

Remember imaginary numbers in math class.

Obama excels with the imaginary..

Electrongod on July 17, 2012 at 8:17 AM

Great. Now let us talk about how much you have raised taxes on the middle class, Scooter.

stvnscott on July 17, 2012 at 8:19 AM

right up there with he created 4 million jobs

PUHLEEZE

cmsinaz on July 17, 2012 at 8:15 AM

The boy king didn’t create anything. If there were 4 million jobs created, “somebody else made that happen.”

Flora Duh on July 17, 2012 at 8:21 AM

“bowdlerize.” Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 17 Jul. 2012. Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bowdlerize.

Axe on July 17, 2012 at 8:11 AM

thanks … saved me some typing and clicking.

Lost in Jersey on July 17, 2012 at 8:23 AM

trubble on July 17, 2012 at 8:14 AM

Really. :) You know, that equation is evenist anyway, evenonormative. Where are the odds? I hate mouth-breathing oddophobes with their backwater, anachronistic equations. They just assume every number is even.

It’s also racist. Even is obvious code for “Anglo.”

And just keep hating the environment, radjah shelduck, noted hater of environments.

Axe on July 17, 2012 at 8:23 AM

Liar.

The Rogue Tomato on July 17, 2012 at 8:23 AM

Lost in Jersey on July 17, 2012 at 8:23 AM

I admit my ignorance so other people don’t have to. :) lol

It’s my part.

Axe on July 17, 2012 at 8:24 AM

Disclaimer: I despise the man.

This is a bit of a stretch. I believe a lot of people hear that and understand they are seeing that money in their check, which otherwise would have been taken out. Would we have liked to see it as Federal Withholding rather than creating the longer term shortage its creating in Social Security? You betcha, but the paychecks have been bigger and that’s all the average person cares about.

I’ll agree he’s taken license with the allusion that this is a per year number.

Maybe I’ve just become callous to Obama-speak… and understand he thinks he can hoodwink the masses with his double-speak.

VietVet_Dave on July 17, 2012 at 8:25 AM

Most street corner pimps add pretty well.What happened with this one?

docflash on July 17, 2012 at 8:25 AM

But he never mentions the extra thousands of dollars he has cost the average family from soaring energy prices, every year.

JimK on July 17, 2012 at 8:28 AM

This isn’t a math problem – it is the same old truth problem.

CorporatePiggy on July 17, 2012 at 8:28 AM

Isn’t it obvious? The $3600 figure is a composite character.

He needs to explain it another 243 times and maybe we’ll get it.

crazy_legs on July 17, 2012 at 8:29 AM

They bowdlerized Obama’s quote….

When they read what you wrote, Ed, they will feel quite liverish!
(okay, Axe, have at it!) : ))))))

The only reason I know what bowdlerize means is that it was in my Word of the Day calendar a few years ago–I thought it was the neatest word!

herm2416 on July 17, 2012 at 8:31 AM

I’ve got 3 numbers for ya, Scooter – 11…6…12.

kingsjester on July 17, 2012 at 8:32 AM

I admit my ignorance so other people don’t have to. :) lol

It’s my part.

Axe on July 17, 2012 at 8:24 AM

Oh, in that case, next time I’ll just read it and pretend I knew what it meant all along.

Those credits do add up to $3600 over four years, and have resulted in no discernable economic stimulus.

No discernable economic stimulus? What about all those pizza and movie nights that extra 20 bucks a week every two weeks was supposed to get us? Isn’t Ray’s Pizza doing great now thanks to king puttz.

Lost in Jersey on July 17, 2012 at 8:32 AM

OT – Rob Portman is on Fox / Friends now.

Hmmmm………………….

FlaMurph on July 17, 2012 at 8:36 AM

I’ve got 3 numbers for ya, Scooter – 11…6…12.

kingsjester on July 17, 2012 at 8:32 AM

I wish I had your confidence, KJ, but my faith in my fellow citizen is pretty shaky right now. Still so many people who live in the same world but don’t see what we see.

Extrafishy on July 17, 2012 at 8:36 AM

I think this new ad by the NRCC will fit well in this thread.

He Doesn’t Get It

Flora Duh on July 17, 2012 at 8:37 AM

Figures lying and a liar figuring.

MikeinPRCA on July 17, 2012 at 8:39 AM

+1 flora
I hope mitt. Uses that the next time dws or obama says that

cmsinaz on July 17, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Math may be hard for Obummer, but lying is very easy, apparently.

KS Rex on July 17, 2012 at 8:40 AM

The only reason I know what bowdlerize means is that it was in my Word of the Day calendar a few years ago–I thought it was the neatest word!

herm2416 on July 17, 2012 at 8:31 AM

Dang! I thought it was some kind of hat.

Oldnuke on July 17, 2012 at 8:42 AM

Flora Duh on July 17, 2012 at 8:37 AM

Me likey, thanks.

pambi on July 17, 2012 at 8:42 AM

They are overdoing it again. People know doggone well they do not have $3600 more in their pockets each year.

It’s bolstering the Republican strategy to go ahead and call Obama a liar.

forest on July 17, 2012 at 8:42 AM

They don’t teach math in Poli Sci. Then again, I don’t think they teach that Truman said, “The buck stops with you” either.

Which has to be tomorrow’s OOTD.

MNHawk on July 17, 2012 at 8:43 AM

Flora Duh on July 17, 2012 at 8:37 AM

Me likey, thanks.

pambi on July 17, 2012 at 8:42 AM

Dittos.

Extrafishy on July 17, 2012 at 8:48 AM

It’s bolstering the Republican strategy to go ahead and call Obama a liar.

forest on July 17, 2012 at 8:42 AM

No, that’s racist or something. Better stick to calling Romney a felon with zero evidence.

Extrafishy on July 17, 2012 at 8:49 AM

YOU LIE!

Truest thing ever said to this bum.

wildcat72 on July 17, 2012 at 8:49 AM

I’ve got 3 numbers for ya, Scooter – 11…6…12.

kingsjester on July 17, 2012 at 8:32 AM

I’ll raise ya a 1…20…13

hillsoftx on July 17, 2012 at 8:57 AM

What bowls me over is that there are still people out there who are so beyond-belief naive to keep thinking this assclown is the smartest man in the planet, when in actuality, he most likely needs to read the instructions several times on how to open a bottle of aspirin.

pilamaye on July 17, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Flora Duh on July 17, 2012 at 8:37 AM

Needs to be TV ad asap, at 60 secs, I am presuming it is web. Regardless, we need to “go Breitbart” and share it on our social media sites. The quote biz owners did not build it themselves is as damaging as “the private sector is doing just fine”…

hillsoftx on July 17, 2012 at 9:01 AM

What? Great big whoppers coming from the WH! Surprised? NOT.

BetseyRoss on July 17, 2012 at 9:10 AM

It’s not a math problem – it is a meth problem. I demand blood tests on this man. (I’ll pay too).

Fuquay Steve on July 17, 2012 at 9:23 AM

…math is hard!

KOOLAID2 on July 17, 2012 at 9:28 AM

math is hard for liberals, it has right and wrong answers. LOL@ Koolaid2

Mini-14 on July 17, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Barry and TRUTH have never met.

GarandFan on July 17, 2012 at 9:38 AM

That’s why I’ve cut middle-class taxes every year that I’ve been President — by $3,600 for the typical middle-class family.

The way I read this, it means he’s claiming he cut total taxes by $36,000. If you cut 3600 each year, then each year should be 3600 less in taxes than the previous year. This means he should have saved us 3600 the first year, 7200 in 2010, 10,800 in 2011, and 14, 400 in 2012. The great communicator strikes again.

jpferman on July 17, 2012 at 9:51 AM

I’m retired, and draw Social Security. I no longer contribute to the SS fund.

So where’s my $2000 “savings”?

new2wnc on July 17, 2012 at 10:05 AM

2 + 2 = 5 is Obama math.

gsherin on July 17, 2012 at 8:07 AM

The new math taught in the public schools during 1960′s – 1970′s…because the old Math was boring or something

Lean Forward

workingclass artist on July 17, 2012 at 10:06 AM

The way I read this, it means he’s claiming he cut total taxes by $36,000. If you cut 3600 each year, then each year should be 3600 less in taxes than the previous year. This means he should have saved us 3600 the first year, 7200 in 2010, 10,800 in 2011, and 14, 400 in 2012. The great communicator strikes again.

jpferman on July 17, 2012 at 9:51 AM

If that were true I would be getting cash from the stash every year.

cobrakai99 on July 17, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Most street corner pimps add pretty well.What happened with this one?

docflash on July 17, 2012 at 8:25 AM

What makes you think he’s the pimp?

CitizenEgg on July 17, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Lies and panders.

Neither item is a tax cut.

A tax credit can be claimed (and far more frequently is) by someone who didn’t pay any taxes. This is theft from taxpayers to provide a gift to non-taxpayers, as is every item identified as a tax credit. There is always a ceiling on the qualification, limiting who can claim it.

Reducing (or refraining from raising) an individual’s “contribution” to SS is NOT a tax cut. Amazing how the Socialists get to have it both ways on this one. When they want to pretend to be fiscally conservative, they say helping you to avoid paying your share of SS is a cut in “payroll taxes”. When they want to raise the payment it’s “increasing you retirement savings contribution”. Again, with the ceiling on SS “investment” and return payments, all benefits are toward those who don’t contribute to society.

Punish success, reward laziness/failure/cronyism. Yes, this is how to operate the greatest nation in history.

Freelancer on July 17, 2012 at 10:38 AM

this just in:

OBOWMA LIES.

thanks to Joe Wilson for pointing that out to Obowma.

dthorny on July 17, 2012 at 11:04 AM

FTA:

Notice the “every year” part has been quietly dropped. Is this a case of the president’s campaign fact-checking their own candidate? Or is it a case of a deliberately misleading statement that will reach the largest audience followed by “clarification” that can provide deniability later on. Call me a skeptic, but I tend to believe the latter.

(emphasis mine)

This tactic, the deliberately misleading statement followed by “clarification”, is pure Axelrod. He and Barry have used it time and time again. It is easy when the Flying Monkey Media shamelessly promote the original lie but somehow fail to notice the critical deconstruction and “clarification” that follows.

novaculus on July 17, 2012 at 11:12 AM

trubble on July 17, 2012 at 8:14 AM

the saddest thing is that after 3.5 years, I actually understood your explanation and agree that a=5.

The boy king didn’t create anything. If there were 4 million jobs created, “somebody else made that happen.”

Flora Duh on July 17, 2012 at 8:21 AM

Of course the operative word is “if”. But you are absolutely right.

katablog.com on July 17, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Punish success, reward laziness/failure/cronyism. Yes, this is how to operate the greatest nation in history.

well that’s because the successful didn’t really do it on their own so we have to reward those that are NOT successful because they must be the ones that made the successful succeed!

katablog.com on July 17, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Obama puts the lie out there, this thugs quietly walk it back without media coverage.

SORRIEST EXCUSE IN HUMAN SKIN EVER!

jqc1970 on July 17, 2012 at 11:25 AM

That’s why I’ve cut middle-class taxes every year that I’ve been President

Well, seeing as how:
- he flubbed the oath of office
- he may have committed a felony by forging his birth certificate
- he may have committed a felony by forging his Selective Service registration
- he may have committed a felony by using a fraudulent Social Security Number
- he may have committed a felony by lying about his citizenship on federal student aid forms

…I’d say he’s never been President.

Nutstuyu on July 17, 2012 at 2:23 PM

I’ve got 3 numbers for ya, Scooter – 11…6…12.

kingsjester on July 17, 2012 at 8:32 AM
I’ll raise ya a 1…20…13

hillsoftx on July 17, 2012 at 8:57 AM

And I’ll re-raise you – 1…21…13. (The day BHO is arrested by on various felony charges.)

Nutstuyu on July 17, 2012 at 2:27 PM

How’d that “by” get in there??

Nutstuyu on July 17, 2012 at 2:27 PM