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View Diary: PolitiFACT openly admits FACTS are not its focus (119 comments)

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  •  Well actually under Bush more people were (2+ / 0-)
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    caul, justmy2

    put on food stamps.

    Moreover, Obama even attributed the job creation to private businesses.  And even if he did attribute it to himself that is not necessarily incorrect as the CBO said the stimulus created millions of jobs.  

    Politifact is operating under the premise that the government can't create jobs in the private sector, which is a view that is not as widely shared by economists as Politifact suggests.  In fact Neo-Keynesians - which include the likes of Stieglitz, Roubini, and Krugman - would vehemently disagree with that premise.

    Which brings me back to my original point Politifact is operating as a pundit with a Classical economic viewpoint, rather than just checking the facts.

    •  Inherent risks (1+ / 0-)
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      This is why fact checking has inherent risks.  A slight change in wording makes a statement "true" or "false" even without causal analysis.

      From the USA Today fact check:

      Gingrich would have been correct to say the number now on food aid is historically high. The number stood at 46,224,722 persons as of October, the most recent month on record. And it's also true that the number has risen sharply since Obama took office.

      But Gingrich goes too far to say Obama has put more on the rolls than other presidents. We asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition service for month-by-month figures going back to January 2001. And they show that under President George W. Bush the number of recipients rose by nearly 14.7 million. Nothing before comes close to that.

      And under Obama, the increase so far has been 14.2 million. To be exact, the program has so far grown by 444,574 fewer recipients during Obama's time in office than during Bush's.

      It's possible that when the figures for January 2012 are available they will show that the gain under Obama has matched or exceeded the gain under Bush. But not if the short-term trend continues. The number getting food stamps declined by 43,528 in October. And the economy has improved since then.

      Thus, if Gingrich says "Under Obama, there are more people on food stamps than ever before" that is a true statement.  But if he says "Obama has put more people on food stamps than ever before," it is false, because (as of now), Bush did put more than 400,000 people on food stamps.

      This is before you even get into the gloss Politico is now putting on this (i.e., checking causation "implied" in a factual statement) and their bias against Keynsian economics in analyzing "truth."

      I still think fact checking is a swamp unless it is limited to statements that are unquestionably true or false.

      Once you try to say something is "half-true" you have to introduce subjective criteria (e.g., which school of economics you apply)

      The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

      by Upper West on Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 12:45:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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