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HORIST: Who is checking the fact-checkers like Steve Rattner?

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.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Iris

    Thanks for stating the “True “ facts!!

  2. Peter

    It’s truly sad that anyone considers PMSNBC to be a source of the truth. Those who do are victims of the biggest propaganda push in our history.

  3. Mike

    Although the premise of this article was basically to fact check the fact checkers, we really need to fact check Larry Horist. The Obama stimulus did not add 18 trillion to the national debt as you claimed, rather 827 billion. A slim majority of the population has stock investments-much of the population does not have the 401 K’s you touted (estimate 54% own stocks in some way), so rising stock market does not help a large percentage of the population at all. GNP which was forecast by candidate Trump to be in excess of 3% has never hit that number on an annualized basis, and has also dropped significantly this past year. And, you forgot to point out the significant stimulus that is involved with that 1 trillion dollar per year deficit. Compared to what Obama had to work with, Trump inherited a great economy, but you folks on the right always fail to mention that. So there it is, with facts this time, not your hyperbole…


      nice write-up Mike, I just don’t believe you.

      What the left has done since before the inauguration, was hope that Trump fails. What that says is like getting on an airplane and hoping the pilot fails somewhere during take-off, flight, and landing. Kind of stupid of the haters to be like this. I don’t care if the numbers are skewed or not, I like the fact that he’s exposing the politicians and the corruption, just like he promised us – and also why he won!

    • Joe Gilbertson

      Mike, you are just very confused…

    • Larry Horist

      You got me.
      1. The National Debt ROSE TO approximately $18 trillion during the Obama budget years.– from approximately $9 trillions. That is a bit over $1 trillion per year added to the ND by Obama. It is now around $24 trillion — meaning it has been going up under Trump at about the same rate. (In both cases, the deficit spending is abominable.)
      2. You seem to have confused the “Annual Deficit” with the National Debt.
      3. 54 percent of Americans have stock investment — direct or indirect — is huge since the benefit extends to spouses and children who are not technically the owners.
      4. You need to recall that when he fought for the stimulous package, Obama predicted that the economy would grow by more than 6 percent by the following September. Wasn’t even close. Obama had the slowest economic recovery in American history. And you need to also recall that the economy was slowing down in the last year of the Obama administration. It was the election of Trump that reversed the course … and de-regulation and tax cuts set the economy on the rise to record levels.
      5. Keep in mind that it is much easier to produce jobs and increase growth when you have a recession and high unemployment — not so easy when very few are out of work.
      6. Obama did okay, but to say that the past three years of record breaking numbers are just a continuation of B Obama policies is utter economic nonesens.