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Suzu
09-03-2011, 04:02 PM
I'd like to see some proof that these charts (http://ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2011083428/three-charts-email-your-right-wing-brother-law) are erroneous. My gut tells me they are misleading.

hillertexas
09-03-2011, 04:10 PM
Suzu: check out ---> http://www.politicalmathblog.com/ From that link:

There is a piece called "The Three Charts to E-Mail Your Right Wing Brother-In-Law" that is making the rounds and impressing many people who don't know too much about the underlying data. Which is almost everyone.

So lets dig into these charts and how we can fix them.

CHART 1

The first one is about Federal Spending and claims that "Bush Spending" saw an 88% increase while Obama spending has seen only a 7.2% increase.
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6080/6088811201_96839c6977_b.jpg

The problems with this chart in no particular order:

These two charts assume that the entirety of the 2009 fiscal situation lies squarely on George W. Bush's shoulders. I would like to posit that this is unfair. There was a bill that got passed (you may have heard of it) that goes by the popular name "the stimulus". It started immediately spending vast sums of money starting in the fiscal year 2009. George W. Bush had nothing to do with this bill.

I did a little digging and found that the budget Bush proposed for 2009 was for $3.09 trillion while the amount spent during that fiscal year was $3.52 trillion. Now, this might not matter if these kinds of variations were common. But here is a graph of the difference between the proposed spending and the actual spending for the past 10 years. We're going to play a game called "one of these things is not like the others".
http://www.politicalmathblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/SpendingDiffs.jpg
We can see that 2009 is a huge outlier... the difference between what was proposed and what was spent is 5 times more than any other year ( $429.1 billion).

Yep... that's what happens when you propose vast amounts of immediate spending in the middle of a fiscal year. Given that Bush had to sign the budget he was given by a Democratic Congress, I think it's charitable to say that he is "responsible" for what he proposed: the original $3.09 trillion.

This is a minor quibble, but it matters because it's a sign that the person who created the chart doesn't care about accuracy. Ignoring inflation will always make spending increases look drastic because we're compounding real increases with inflation increases. It also matters because, if we adjust for inflation and use Bush's last spending proposal, he increased spending by 39% or about 5% a year.

President Obama's budget proposal basically has us maintaining a stable level of spending until 2014, when it starts increasing drastically. The author chose not to chart this data, even though it was right there in front of him. Why? I assume it's because he's a partisan hack, but I'm not altogether prepared to rule out that he is, in fact, just an idiot.

By including these spending targets, we get a much more "apples to apples" comparison where we're comparing 8 years of "Bush spending" to 7 years of "Obama spending".

If we take all these problems and put them together, we end up with another chart altogether.
http://www.politicalmathblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Chart1.jpg

Dreamofunity
09-03-2011, 04:15 PM
I'm not sure there is much to refute. Bush sucked as much as, if not more than, Obama in most spending areas.

A 7.2% increase, AFTER an 88% increase is still a huge increase. Both are to blame.

Suzu
09-03-2011, 04:17 PM
hillertexas, where did you find that quote?

hillertexas
09-03-2011, 04:18 PM
hillertexas, where did you find that quote?

the comment section from the link you posted...


Henry Hofmann Sherman Oaks, California
@ Damon Hill and Charlie Martin: Some gaping holes in the argument presented at http://www.politicalmathblog.com/ that I see include the following:
- Fiscal Year 2009 started on Oct. 1, 2008 – during the last months of GWB’s term. On Oct. 3, in the beginning of FY 2009, GWB signed the TARP program into law. The TARP was estimated to be as much as $300 billion (I think it has clocked in at 245 billion), and GWB and Hank Paulson essentially wrote this as a blank check to the banks and they immediately began to sit on the cash.
The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA), what is commonly referred to as “the Stimulus”, was signed into law by Pres. Obama on Feb. 17, 2009 (also in FY 2009) and was estimated to cost $787 billion over 10 years.
Another major factor in that huge spike in 2009 is the fact that Obama finally put the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on the budget – GWB kept them OFF of the books, which is why the “spending above budget proposal” chart looks so sweet for the 7 years before that ugly red spike: http://www.politicalmathblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/SpendingDiffs.jpg.
- As for the argument about Chart 3, the chart used by the blogger to support their argument is highly inaccurate: http://www.politicalmathblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Chart3.jpg.
• The vertical bar (total job changes month to month) reads, from bottom to top in equally spaced increments, -120000, -90000, -60000, -30000, -10000….THEN, the next increment UP reads -20000….it went back DOWN. And, the increments, though equally spaced, represent different amounts of change. This distorts the way the bars are representing the argument. That makes no sense.
• The total amount of red and blue vertical bars is 42 (21 bars each). But, if you line them up visually with the 43 monthly increments across the bottom, it seems like Bush’s term went to somewhere between Oct and Nov 2009 – a good 8 or 9 months into OBAMA’S term. Why the heck is that?
• The bars in the graph are about the amount of change in the number of jobs, yet the statement supporting this graph reads “JULY MARKS THE 27TH CONSECUTIVE MONTH WE’VE HAD FEWER JOBS THAN WHEN THE STIMULUS PASSED”, which refers to TOTAL jobs and not the change in total jobs. Essentially, the bar graph concerns ‘apples’ but the supporting statement talks about ‘oranges’.
All in all, quite misleading!

hillertexas
09-03-2011, 04:26 PM
CHART 2

The second chart says that Bush increased the deficit and Obama is decreasing it.
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6199/6089355018_3eea3fa4be_b.jpg

First of all, the same "Bush is responsible for everything in FY2009" thing above applies here too. In addition to that:

I know that right wingers will maintain till their dying breath that tax cuts don't reduce revenue, they increase revenue. I'm not really in that camp and this is my blog, so I get to do things my way. So there.

According to CNN at the time, the stimulus was going to save the average household $1,179. Using the 2009 Census estimate of 112.6 million households, that comes out to $132.7 billion. If we add that to the $429 billion difference between Bush's spending proposal and the spending reality and then subtract that from the final deficit, we get a deficit of $894.4 billion.

$132.7 billion in stimulus tax cuts
+ $429.1 billion in un-planned spending
- $1,415.7 billion actual deficit
======================
$836.2 billion of the 2009 deficit that is "Bush's fault"

Notice how the chart goes down in 2012 and 2013? Notice how neither of those years have happened? This is because President Obama's 2012 budget has made some pretty incredible claims.

To look at these claims with our feet on the ground, let's first look at a revenue chart.
http://www.politicalmathblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/RealRevenue.jpg
This is a chart that shows the increase and decrease of federal revenue changes over a 12 month collection period. We can see that recessions mean revenues decrease by as much as 15% year-to-year and that in boom times they can increase by a little over 10% year-to-year. The biggest increase we've ever seen was 12% year-to-year increase (from the 2004 fiscal year to the 2005 fiscal year).

Now this is the same chart including the revenue increases that the Obama budget proposal assumes will happen.
http://www.politicalmathblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/FantasyRevenue.jpg
Now that is some f***ing audacious hope right there.

The Obama budget assumes for the sake of future budget planning that we will blow 30 years of revenue data out of the water by clocking in a 21% revenue increase in 2012 and a 14% revenue increase in 2013. Then they assume things will "calm down" to a stable 7-8% annual increase, which is merely massive (as opposed to completely insane).

This is a particularly important point because the estimates that the Obama team made were not just optimistic. They assume we are on some kind of federal revenue breakthrough unheard in this generation.

The revenue assumptions in this budget proposal have sped right past optimism and into delusion.

For the sake of fixing this second chart, I am going to be incredibly generous and assume that we see 9% revenue growth over the next 4 years. This would be very good news for our deficit situation and is extremely unlikely. It is not, however, technically impossible, so we'll give some benefit of the doubt there.

Accounting for these issues, assuming that we hit the spending targets we're aiming for (a big if but one I'm willing to let it slide) here is the second chart updated.
http://www.politicalmathblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Chart2.jpg

hillertexas
09-03-2011, 04:28 PM
CHART 3

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6071/6088811219_7177d24faa_b.jpg

Permutations of this chart have been around for some time. President Obama's team first started using it in mid 2009 to promote the idea that the stimulus was working. It's actually the most honest of the charts here, but there are still some problems with it.

This makes things look a little better because we've been losing public sector jobs over the last year or two. I'm not saying "counting only private sector jobs is an invalid measurement". What I am saying is that it is a red flag that the person may be cherry-picking data to get the best result.

As for using establishment data instead of household survey data, there's nothing particularly wrong with that, but it is good to note that the household survey counts about 10 million more jobs and covers people who are employed but not on a payroll, so it will give a somewhat more complete picture of the employment situation. And, unsurprisingly, the data doesn't look quite as good for Obama. It's not particularly bad... it's just "meh".

But the funniest thing about this chart? The author has spent the last 2 charts convincing us that EVERYTHING that happened in the 2009 fiscal year was Bush's fault. In this chart, the tune has changed entirely because, if the author gave Bush credit to the end of the 2009 fiscal year, it would look like Bush saved the day. The most drastic reductions in job loss would then fall under the "Bush's fault" umbrella.

And we can't have that. When it comes to a choice between honest consistency and making George W. Bush look bad, the author didn't even blink. So, in a move that is so dishonest is is actually funny, the chart author basically says, "All jobs saved are due to President Obama and his courageous stimulus, but I blame George W. Bush for all the stimulus spending and stimulus tax cuts that created those jobs."

I created a alternate version of this chart that represents my complaints listed above, but I want to make note that, while I feel the previous "fixes" are a better representation of reality, this chart is not nearly as fair as those were. I personally prefer the BLS household data (which I used in this chart) over the payroll data (which the original chart author used), but I'm not comfortable giving Bush credit for stopping job losses 9 months after he left office. I'm representing it this way only because I want to give an indication of how the author would have done it if he or she maintained an internal consistency.
http://www.politicalmathblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Chart3.jpg

hillertexas
09-03-2011, 04:30 PM
http://www.politicalmathblog.com/
Alternate Introduction

This was my original intro to the "Three Charts" post that I've just put up. Normally my rational brain gets the better of me and I delete this kind of crap before I post it. It is neither charitable nor professional. You've been warned.


Once again, the truth rolls its eyes and starts tying it's laces while the lie is half-way around the world. There is a piece called "The Three Charts to E-Mail Your Right Wing Brother-In-Law" that is making the rounds and impressing many people who didn't score high on the "critical thinking" portion of the test.

Whoever made this chart is an asshole. Straight up asshole. "Your Right Wing Brother-In-Law"? Really? I mean... I get it because no one who is related to this person by blood could ever be so stupid. Nice little undercurrent enforcing the concept of hereditary intelligence. Yeah... I heard a lot of that kind of shit when I visited the deep South and ran into the local racist assholes. Just enough plausible deniability to claim innocence, but deep down you know that, due to your pedigree, you're just better than other people.

And someone who disagrees with you could never be your friend. I mean... you? Voluntarily associate with someone who doesn't agree with you? Actually have friends who might challenge you on something? Heaven forbid. Disagreeing with you is something only the lowly and inferior do and you would never be around them of your own volition, so it has to be someone who is "in the family, but not part of the family".

No, the right wing brother in law just mouths off without knowing the facts, so it is up to the great brainiac hope of the family to inject reality into the conversation. Is that a banana in your pocket or are you just fantasizing about winning an argument in real life without stuttering and turning red in the face?

And as salty icing on the moldy self-righteous cake why do YOU need to explain this to the "brother-in-law" specifically? It it because your wife or sister is too stupid or too meek to explain it to him herself? The weak-minded damsel will be saved by you, the powerful, witty, urbane, strong, righteous intellectual knight. And everyone will love you for being the big savior of the family conversation.

I find that creepy, dismissive and sexist. Everyone who giggles at it and re-shares it should be ashamed of themselves but won't be because they aren't introspective enough to stop stroking their own intellectual egos for the time it takes to feel shame.

See? This is why I usually delete that kind of stuff.

Suzu
09-04-2011, 09:24 AM
the comment section from the link you posted...

I can't even find a comment section there. :confused:

MJU1983
09-04-2011, 11:00 AM
They seem to be arguing just to appease some partisan viewpoint. They think Obama is great, and those charts are to show people who think Bush was great. In reality, they are both AWFUL.

Forget the charts, stick to the facts:
1- There was no Clinton "surplus" - the last time our national debt decreased was in 1955-1957 under President Eisenhower. Verify here: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt.htm
2- Bush watched over an increase in the national debt by $4.9 Trillion in 8 years (~$612,500,000,000/year), last two under the "leadership" of Nancy Pelosi.
3- Under the four year "leadership" by Speaker Pelosi (Jan 2007 - Jan 2011), our National Debt increased by $5,320,718,526,515.82.
4- Obama is watching over an increase in the national debt by $4+ Trillion in ~2.5 years (~$1,600,000,000,000+/year).
5- See below:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kuTG19Cu_Q
Obama says adding $4 trillion to debt is unpatriotic. - YouTube (http://youtu.be/1kuTG19Cu_Q)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jJvkkNmR_8
Obama Declares Plan to Cut Deficit in Half - YouTube (http://youtu.be/6jJvkkNmR_8)

New national debt data: It's growing about $3 million a minute, even during his vacation - latimes.com (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2011/08/obama-national-debt.html)


That means the debt that our federal government owes a whole lot of somebodies including China has increased $4,247,000,000,000 in just 945 days. That's the fastest increase under any president ever.

Everything "debt" can be verified here: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np

hillertexas
09-04-2011, 01:31 PM
I can't even find a comment section there. :confused:

http://ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2011083428/three-charts-email-your-right-wing-brother-law
scroll down to the bottom...there are 8 comments there

Here is all the text:

Terri Baker
I'm not happy with obama either. These graphsare very telling though.
2 Like Reply Subscribe Friday at 9:19am

Janice Bessinger
Interesting that graphs show this whole deficit thing is another sham to take out all the progress this country has made.
Like Reply Friday at 9:26am

Caleb L Henry
This is just beautiful information.
2 Like Reply Subscribe August 29 at 6:06pm

Scott MacQuarrie Oakville, Ontario
Interesting statistics
1 Like Reply Subscribe August 30 at 7:58pm

Henry Hofmann Sherman Oaks, California
@ Damon Hill and Charlie Martin: Some gaping holes in the argument presented at http://www.politicalmathblog.com/ that I see include the following:
- Fiscal Year 2009 started on Oct. 1, 2008 – during the last months of GWB’s term. On Oct. 3, in the beginning of FY 2009, GWB signed the TARP program into law. The TARP was estimated to be as much as $300 billion (I think it has clocked in at 245 billion), and GWB and Hank Paulson essentially wrote this as a blank check to the banks and they immediately began to sit on the cash.
The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA), what is commonly referred to as “the Stimulus”, was signed into law by Pres. Obama on Feb. 17, 2009 (also in FY 2009) and was estimated to cost $787 billion over 10 years.
Another major factor in that huge spike in 2009 is the fact that Obama finally put ...See More
Like Reply Subscribe Friday at 11:47pm

Dave Johnson
If the act $787B over ten years, how can that spilke the 2009 deficit? Also, FYI 1/3 of that stimulus was tax cuts, not spending.
Like Reply 15 hours ago

Damon Hill Woodstock, Illinois
MY, what convenient charting you have! If you tweak the lens enough the picture looks exactly how you want it to look. Go here, read, and then reconsider the legitimacy of this spin article.... http://www.politicalmathblog.com/
Like Reply Subscribe Friday at 11:43am

Charlie Martin Senior Software Engineer at Silicon Graphics, Inc.
Problem: Careful statistical choices cam make pretty charts say anything. Have a look at this critique: http://www.politicalmathblog.com/.
Like Reply Subscribe August 31 at 2:05pm

Marie Duggan Keene, New Hampshire
Looks like Obama has spent a lot less than Bush, compared to his tax revenues. To be honest, I am surprised, given the recession.
Like Reply Subscribe Thursday at 2:22pm

Richard Graham Owner/Operator at Richard Graham Productions
OK.....reality time.....get reading!
Like Reply Subscribe Thursday at 12:38pm

Suzu
09-04-2011, 07:20 PM
My fault, I forgot to turn off the browser's script blocker.