HORIST: Who is checking the fact-checkers like Steve Rattner?
There is an old saying that “figures do not lie, but liars can figure.” This is often seen in the Trump era practice of “media fact-checkers.” Historically, major media served as the objective platform upon which two sides of an issue could present their points-of-view. That journalistic standard as been ebbing for decades, with objectivity largely abandoned since President Trump took office.
Fact-checking has been institutionalized particularly by the anti-Trump media cabal. Both CNN and MSNBC have a formalized fact-checking feature that dwells almost exclusively to rebut any positive claim made by the President. The Washington Post maintains a lie-o-meter that focuses almost exclusively on Trump.
Occasionally, then the Post awards its “Pinocchio” to a Democrat, it is ignored by other members of the cabal. But when it deals with the President, it is spread across the rest of the left-wing media cabal like the coronavirus.
So-called fact-checking was in full force after Trump’s State of the Union Address. It was not carried out directly by the Democrats’ official rebuttal offered up by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. She basically gave a non-response to the Speech – instead reading a rather generic, mediocre, maudlin and mundane sales pitch for the Democratic Party. It was so unresponsive that it even drew criticism from MSNBC’s Chris Matthews for its irrelevancy to the Speech.
But Democrats did not have to worry. They knew that the real partisan rebuttal would come from their pals in the press. And so, it did. The main pushback was against Trump’s claim over the roaring economy. Democrat narratives dismiss – out of hand – the importance of the record-breaking stock market to the average American – refusing to note that a huge portion of the population benefits from rising stocks in their retirement funds.
MSNBC brought on former Obama economic advisor Steve Rattner, a regular panelist who spins the economic information for the left-wing network. It was a classic case of “figures to not lie, but liars can figure.”
Rattner’s role was to cherry-pick figures to “prove” that the economy is not as good as the President Obama economy – the one in which he had a stake. He would have the people forget that the Obama “recovery” was the slowest and weakest in history – and that in the latter days of the Obama presidency, the economy was slowing down.
Now, you have to admit, you need some very clever statistical manipulation to establish that whopper of a non-truth that the current economy is not doing amazingly well – and that it has a lot to do with the Trump presidency of reduced regulations and the stimulation of tax increases.
Rattner uses select and carefully crafted charts to proffer the argument that after almost four years Trump is merely floating atop the “Obama Recovery” – especially in economic growth and job creation.
Rattner’s analysis ignored critical information. Obama kicked off the economic recovery with a “stimulus package” that added $18 trillion to the National Debt over the course of his administration.
Obama came into office with a 10 percent unemployment rate due to the 2008 housing bubble crash and subsequent recession. To put it bluntly, it is a lot easier to create employment when you have 10 percent of the workers looking for jobs. Every new job can find a person. That is not as true when you have 3.5 percent unemployment – which economists consider to be virtually full employment. There are a lot fewer workers available to be hired.
One of the primary indicators of a strong economy is consumer confidence and consumer spending. Both are soaring under Trump. Wages, which is a lagging indicator, have begun to rise – with virtually all the increase at the lower end of the economic scale. Respectively, the middle and lower classes are doing better than the upper classes in terms of increases.
Trump is producing a middle-class recovery. If you accept that Trump merely inherited the Obama economy, it is ironic to note that he also inherited an economy that was disproportionately advantageous to the super rich. One only need recall how — over the objections of congressional Republicans — Obama refused to disallow stimulus money to be paid out in the form of executive bonuses. The Wall Street fat cats reaped hundreds of millions from stimulus money.
Democrats are relying on the reality of human nature to want more – therefore feeling deprived – to convince the public that things are really not as good as they seem. But most folks are not that gullible. They can see those jobs being created. They can see the additional money in their bank accounts. They can see that pay raise. They express that in surges of consumer confidence and consumer spending.
Rattner’s role is not to inform or educate the public any more than MSNBC is an objective and accurate news source. He is merely the man in charge of economic propaganda for the anti-Trump, anti-Republican and anti-conservative media.
So, there ‘tis.