June 5, 2011

AP’s Romney ‘Fact Check,’ Part 2: GOP Candidate Prevails on Most Items

FactCheckFailIn one of five items they alleged were false statements made by Mitt Romney in his presidential candidacy announcement speech, Associated Press “fact-checkers” Calvin Woodward and Jim Kuhnhenn claimed that the economy has not gotten worse since Barack Obama became president. Part 1 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) clearly showed that the facts are on Romney’s side. The current score is Romney 1, AP 0.

The AP pair’s four other allegedly false Romney statements have to do with foreclosures, whether President Obama has “apologized to the world,” Obama’s economic policies, and whether the candidate raised taxes while he was Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007.

Here is Romney’s foreclosures statement: “Three years later, foreclosures are still at record levels. Three years later the prices of homes continue to fall.”

Here’s the pathetic response from Woodward and Kuhnhenn:

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AP’s Romney ‘Fact Check,’ Part 1: Candidate’s ‘Economy Is Worse’ Claim Is Supported by Mountain of Facts

FactCheckFailFirst let’s get the obvious out of the way. It’s not a secret to many readers here that yours truly’s opinion (and not that of NewsBusters or MRC) is that GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney would be a completely unacceptable candidate. For those who didn’t know that, now you do.

Nonetheless, when Romney says things which are either definitely or arguably true and Associated Press “fact checkers” Calvin Woodward and Jim Kuhnhenn make a point of asserting otherwise as if they get the final word, a defense is necessary.

In their “fact check” piece, the AP pair, with the help of two other contributors, disputed five statements Romney made in his campaign kickoff speech. By my count, Romney is definitely right on three, one items is a split decision, and the wire service should be considered fully correct in just one instance.

The most important of AP’s “fact check” errors is its headlined determination (“Romney miscasts economy in GOP debut”) that Romney was wrong when he said the following: “When he (Barack Obama) took office, the economy was in recession. He made it worse. And he made it last longer.” The AP pair’s counterargument is truly pathetic:

The gross domestic product, the prime measure of economic strength, shrank by a severe 6.8 percent annual rate before Obama became president. The declines eased after he took office and economic growth, however modest, resumed.

… A case can be made for and against the idea that Obama’s policies made the economy worse than it needed to be and that the recession lasted longer than it might have under another president. Such arguments are at the core of political debate. But Obama did not, as Romney alleged, make the economy worse than it was when he took office.

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WSJ: ‘The choice is more jobs reports like Friday’s or a growth agenda’ (Updating the Reagan Vs. Obama Jobs Comparison)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:54 am

economy1In the last few paragraphs of the Wall Street Journal’s Saturday editorial, its editorialists also trace the malaise back to the Pelosi-Reid takeover of Congress in 2007:

The same economists and pundits who promoted the economic policies of the last four years are now lamenting the jobs bust and demanding that Washington double down: More stimulus spending, more Federal Reserve easing, more temporary tax rebates. They can’t explain why these policies have failed to date, but we are supposed to rinse and repeat.

The real “bumps on the road” to recovery are these policies and the larger climate of hostility toward job creators that still prevails in Washington. A National Labor Relations Board that wants to stop businesses from moving plants; a $20 billion political raid on banks over foreclosures; hundreds of major new regulations from ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank and the EPA’s war on carbon energy; federal deficits that Mr. Obama says require higher taxes; near-zero interest rates for 30 months that have sent commodity prices soaring, and so much more.

The economy doesn’t need more of this. It needs a return to the growth agenda that created the long post-1982 boom.

To demonstrate the “boom” to which the Journal referred, it’s time for another Reagan v. Obama scoreboard update. Read and weep for what this administration has done to millions of people with its misguided policies and political positions:

ReaganVsObamaJobsThruPostRecMonth23

As seen above, it wasn’t until the 20th month after the end of the recession that the economy under Barack Obama added ANY cumulative overall jobs (not pictured — the economy under Reagan got there in post-recession month 7). Through post-recession Month 23, the economy under Obama has added only 550,000 overall jobs. The economy under Ronald Reagan added 5.843 million jobs in the same time frame, leading to a Reagan Superiority Factor of 10.62 (5.843 million divided by 550,000).

In the private sector, it wasn’t until the 18th month after the end of the recession that the economy under Obama added ANY cumulative private-sector jobs (under Reagan, as with overall jobs, the economy got there in post-recession month 7). Through post-recession Month 23, the economy under Obama has added only 980,000 overall jobs. The economy under Reagan added 5.542 million private-sector jobs in the same time frame, leading to a Reagan Superiority Factor in the private sector of 5.66 (5.542 million divided by 980,000).

It cannot be emphasized enough: Millions of Americans continue to suffer needlessly not because of bad luck or fate, but because of horrendous economic and fiscal policy choices compounded — in a likely vain attempt to cover economic and fiscal policy sins — by dreadfully dangerous monetary policy.

Though the progressive agenda largely operated in prevent mode (i.e., preventing further economic progress) during roughly the first 17 months after Democrats took over Congress in January 2007), it went into destruct mode within a short time after Barack Obama secured the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in the spring of 2008. That’s when when the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy began.

What has resulted since then constitutes the worst economic performance since Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s application of similar policies during the 1930s created an economic malaise that might never have ended without our involvement in World War II. From here, it would appear that nothing short of complete political repudiation at the polls, a change in who controls Washington, and the adoption of a comprehensive growth agenda can end the current malaise. But do we even have that much time?

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UPDATE: Workforce-adjusted Reagan Superiority Factors are 16.18 overall and 8.61 for the private sector, based on the relative sizes of the “covered employment” workforce per the Department of Labor as of the last weeks of June 2009 and September 1982.

Positivity: Kathy Ireland — Taxpayers Shouldn’t Have to Fund Planned Parenthood

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 7:01 am

From MyFox Boston (HT Life News; bold is mine):

5/31/11 12:49 PM

Supermodel turned entrepreneur Kathy Ireland is one Hollywood star who isn’t afraid to voice her pro-life views, and when Pop Tarts caught up with her this week, she was an outspoken advocate for the government’s bid to cut costs by eliminating Planned Parenthood.

“I think Planned Parenthood needs to reassess and look at what their values are, what their mission is, what their goals are, and do they deserve government funding? For example, there are non-profits that I’m involved with, and we don’t get government funding,” Ireland told FOX411’s Pop Tarts this week. “We go out there, and if you really believe in this strongly enough to fight it for it, go get the funding.

“To force people who don’t agree with some of the practices, I don’t believe in that. I don’t think tax payers need to fund something as controversial as [Planned Parenthood].”

Ireland, who is the CEO of her organization Kathy Ireland Worldwide, was honored this week by the YWCA Greater Los Angeles with the 2011 Phenomenal Woman of the Year Award at the “Saluting Women Who Are Instruments of Change” ceremony.

But while she is very open about her views, Ireland said her anti-abortion stance has incensed many of her entertainment industry cohorts over the years.

“I’ve never set out to win a popularity contest. I came from [being previously pro-choice], but when I was confronted with the science – and I spoke to top scientists throughout our country asking, ‘Would you please just show me some shred of evidence that the unborn is not a human being?’ and no one has been able to show me any, and I will continue to fight for those human rights until someone can show me otherwise,” she continued. “So a lot of people get mad at me, but that’s okay. …

Go here for the rest of the story.