Written by: Alexis Poole
Recently, President Obama appeared on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer and responded to scrutiny by Newt Gingrich, calling him “the most effective [food stamp] president.” Rather than debase himself to name-calling and slander, Obama chose to focus on the issues at hand, saying that he’s leaving it up to Americans to decide “who reflects the sort of core values that helped create this country–the values of hard work, responsibility, but also looking out for one another–and who is tapping into some of our worst instincts.”
With such diplomatic answers, Sawyer leans and implies, “Watching the debates?”
Obama shook his head saying, “You know, I don’t watch the debates, I gotta say. Now I read the reports, and what I get a sense of is that whoever wins the Republican primaries is going to be a standard bearer for the vision of the country that I don’t think reflects who we are.”
By not watching the debate, Obama focuses on the facts that have culminated to our country’s current state, rather than view sensationalized debates that have been watered down to slanderous disrespect and a riddling off of certain keywords and phrases used to illicit a positive response from would-be constituents. Hopefully, his charts and graphs are better than what we’ve been subjected to.
the Jelly Beans Fact From Fiction
As we move from reading our news in papers onto reading primarily on the Internet, we must take into consideration the time lost in heavy research and who stands to gain from our inability or sheer lack of inclination to fact check all we come across through fast channels like Twitter and Facebook. Election time always brings out the emotional side in us all, tugging at purse strings and heart strings like a puppeteer. However, as American citizens, it is our duty to choose a worthy candidate through means of logic. And that’s where this chart falls flat, at the peril of MrConservative.com.
Since when does 8.5 percent minus 7.8 percent equal a difference of 9 percent?
When graphs like this one are presented, it’s our duty to use all the skills that our educated selves can conjure up and look at everything from an OBJECTIVE perspective. It also helps if we can add and subtract, unlike the odd math in row 2: Unemployment Rate.
First of all, subtracting percentages is simple enough. In the case of row 2, where the difference between 8.5 and 7.8 is somehow bigger than either initial number, the chart creator’s credibility comes into play. One could suggest that the percentages in row 2 should have been number of people in the millions, where a difference between them could very well be 9%–but since Mr. Conservative can’t edit his own work, his credibility is shot, as should anyone’s trust in him.
Secondly, in order for a chart to be accurate, it must compare separate and equal entities. If the chart presented the responses of a number of people who favored one jellybean flavor over another, we should all be able to agree that no matter how many different flavors presented, we’d still be talking about jellybeans.
According to the above chart, the ‘Inauguration Day’ column stands for, and could have been more accurately titled, ‘Pre-Obama’. Two presidential terms’ worth of George Bush, Jr equals the figures in the first column, whereas the middle column ‘Today’ combines the figures of both Bush terms and Obama’s singular term. To be completely fair, a graph would have to compare presidents’ contributions singularly and side-by-side; For example…We would ONLY have 14 million people on SNAP benefits (food stamps) if it wasn’t for Bush’s initial “contribution” of 32 million. While the numbers have indeed risen in almost every category, Obama’s “contributions” to these issues are far less than what he was presented with when he took office. Our deficit would only be $4.6 trillion if it wasn’t for Bush’s “contribution” of $10.6 trillion.
Instead of focusing on the differences however, we should be wondering how we incurred a deficit (of any size) to begin with. We all pay our taxes every year, we all get taxes taken out of our checks, some more than others. What is any elected official doing with our tax dollars? We need to be objective and prioritize our expectations. We know we elect human beings for president. Can we expect one human being (a president) or one group of human beings (an Administration) to clean up two terms’ worth of declining numbers AND make every American prosperous and happy? AND IN ONE TERM, no less?! We know the presidents we elect are human. We hope whoever holds the next term is HUMANE as well. Compared to Bush Jr. and the wildcard Mitt Romney, Obama might be the most humane of all…that is, unless we turn a little more attention to Ron Paul.