The three R’s are all necessary for getting through school, but getting through this presidential campaign takes more ‘rithmetic than readin’ or ritin’. We’re getting hit with so many numbers you’ve got to be a mathematician to keep from getting buried up to your neck, and maybe deeper.
In the first debate, Mr. Romney said he will lower tax rates on our wealthiest taxpayers, but they will still pay as much as they do now, and the deficit will not go up. Mr. Obama said he has studied the Republican plan and concluded the debt would go up by $5 Trillion under Romney. So in this simple addition and subtraction problem the Democrats and Republicans are only $5 Trillion apart in their answer. No one knows who’s right. But Romney is a businessman so he should know his numbers. On the other hand, who knows more about adding $5 Trillion to the debt than Obama.
Then President Obama says he has a plan to raise taxes on the wealthy which will reduce the debt by $4 Trillion. So does this mean the difference between the two candidates is $9 Trillion in debt? Maybe. Oh, I forgot to tell you these economic projections are for ten years, not four. Neither one will be around in ten years to accept the credit, even if they’re right.
It’s ludicrous to think anyone can accurately predict that one tax plan will increase debt by $5 Trillion by 2022, while another plan will reduce it by $4 Trillion. I bet if you asked ‘em, these economists would admit they can’t even predict next month, let alone ten years.
Then along came the jobs report that said unemployment dropped from 8.1% to 7.8% in one month. That’s good news; sure beats going up. Well, exactly how many new jobs were created to give a rosy picture? One report said 115,000. Another from the same department said 873,000. Let’s see… that’s a difference of only 758,000 jobs.
Next up is the Vice-Presidential debate. You’ll hear a lot of numbers from Paul Ryan. Lord knows what you’ll hear from Biden. No, really, Joe Biden has been around Washington a long time and he’ll use that experience to mount a good defense of the last four years and raise questions about Gov. Romney.
The Biden-Ryan debate will be at Centre College, in Danville, Kentucky. You never know what to expect when you get to Danville. Will Rogers wrote, in 1926, that he saw a sign painted in huge white letters on a brick warehouse near the depot, “Centre College 6, Harvard 0, 1921.” He added, “what a kick I got out of that!.. the wonderful football team called the Praying Colonels. When the football team left for Harvard to play they didn’t have any substitutes. They couldn’t have any. They didn’t have any more students. The team WAS the student body… eleven players and a coach (went) up there and beat a wonderful institution like Harvard who brought a football off the Mayflower with them!”
[Note: In 2006, ESPN named it the third-biggest upset in the 138-year history of college football.]