Do your homework before casting stones



Dear Editor:

Alexander David should have contacted me before he released his letter “Partisan analysis way off the mark” (The Ellsworth American, Aug. 4). I would have given him my sources of data to help him verify the validity of the numbers in my commentary (American, July 21).

With regard to the 109 million people on welfare, please consult: www.cnsnews.com/commentary/terrance-p-jeffrey/354-percent-109631000-welfare. Comment: If you add in those on health insurance subsidies, the welfare number goes even higher than the 109 million people.

With regard to the interest expense on the federal debt, please consult: www.gov/publication/21960, third paragraph. The 800 billion was computed as a simple 4 percent x $20 trillion, which is what the CBO projects the interest payments will be as soon as interest rates get back to normalcy. At this moment in time, interest rates are uncharacteristically low and, therefore, misleading as to the real (normal) drain on our economy.

With regard to bankruptcies, please consult: www.statisticbrain.com/new-business-statistics/. From the first table, I divided bankruptcies by new businesses and plotted a trend line from 2005 through 2014. Doing this you find a substantial rise in the ratio over the period. Comment: You can’t look at just the number of bankruptcies because there are new businesses coming on line each year. Looking at just the number of bankruptcies (not the ratio), you do find that bankruptcies have gone up since the beginning of this year (www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/bankruptcies).

The argument that, contrary to Obama’s rhetoric, there are “numerous economic indicators showing a deteriorating economy” is not a misrepresentation, as Mr. David says. There are other indicators besides those cited in the commentary that also show deterioration. Obama has not acknowledged this. Apparently, Mr. David is OK with GDP being in slow growth, taxes being up, medical costs being up, the per-person cost of running government being up, trade deficits being up, the labor force participation rate being down and discretionary income being down, so I assume he agrees that Obama has not told the truth and that there is an Obama-state of the economy disconnect.

I would recommend that Mr. David contact any authors he wishes to discredit before he publishes another letter such as “Partisan analysis way off the mark.” Mr. David should find out where an author’s data comes from, and check out that data himself before he says it is “way off the mark.”

Phil Grant

Gouldsboro

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