Site Meter

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Opposites day II

Omigod.  Steve Benen makes an arithmetic mistake.  Even more oppositely on point 12 of the chronicle of Mitt's mendacity XXXIII Mitt is right and Steve is wrong

12. Romney added, "Does the America we want borrow a trillion dollars from China? No."
This continues to be misleading. The implication here is that U.S. debt is financed by the Chinese, but this isn't true -- China only holds about 8% of the nation's debt. No one has borrowed a trillion dollars from China; no one intends to borrow a trillion dollars from China; no one has recommended borrowing a trillion dollars from China.

8% of the US Federal debt is uh hmmm around a trillion dollars (actually more).  This time Mitt rounded down.  His claim is accurate.  Of course Romney's tax cuts cure for the common cold and debt to China would make this number higher than it would otherwise be, but it is over a trillion already.


EH said...

There's a lot of sloppiness here by all parties. Steve Benen isn't saying Romney is wrong on the figure of a trillion dollars. Benen is saying that Romney uses the figure of a trillion dollars to mislead people into believing that China holds most of our debt. Benen says the actual percentage of our debt held by the public is 8% and the numbers you show from Wikipedia back out to around 10%. By the way, if you click through footnote 7 on that same Wikipedia page you'll find that Japan holds almost the same amount of our debt as does China. Does the America we want borrow a trillion dollars from Japan? Look at the next five names on that list. Does the America we want borrow a trillion dollars from oil exporters + Brazil + Carib Bnkng Ctrs + Taiwan + Switzerland?

Robert said...

Benen is fact checking. I'd say it isn't Romney's fault if people draw an incorrect inference from a correct statement of fact. To me it is obvious that a trillion dollars has nothing to do with most of US debt. Of course most people are less familiar with the numbers than I am, but no politician not Clinton not even Al Gore himself tried to teach the public everything (for one thing even Clinton doesn't know quite everything).

MrIlir said...

It's impossible to understand these issues without having a better understanding of economic growth. Alex Gheg has a new consumer theory that gives us a scale for growth that measures previously hidden thoughts. We can measure utility growth using the body clock. Quantity, quality, variety and convenience in one equation.