Tuesday, October 25, 2011

He CAN'T be this stupid, can he?

The inventor of the Austrian language and supporter of the intercontinental railroad is at it again.

We've catalogued a number of the President's ridiculous mistakes/falsehoods before (there's a nice summary here) and once again, it's math that he's struggling with.

Yesterday he told supporters at a Las Vegas fundraiser that:

"Last week, we had a separate vote on a part of the jobs bill that would put 400,000 teachers, firefighters and police officers back on the job, paid for by asking people who make more than $1 million to pay one-half of 1 percent in additional taxes. For somebody making $1.1 million a year, that’s an extra $500. Five hundred bucks. And with that, we could have saved 400,000 jobs. Most people making more than $1 million, if you talk to them, they’ll say, I’m willing to pay $500 extra to help the county. They’re patriots. They believe we’re all in this thing together. But all the Republicans in the Senate said no."

Of course, an elementary school student could tell you that one-half of one percent on a $1.1 million income is $5,500, not $500. And this wasn't a one-time slip of the tongue: He said it three times in a 15-second span.

The President has pretty much cemented his reputation as a dim bulb, but something like this goes right to the very competence of his staff. Understand that it's a very long road from a speechwriter's keyboard to the President's teleprompter. A speech is reviewed by a higher-up in the speechwriting shop. Then it goes to someone in the policy shop. Then it's normally reviewed by the Chief of Staff, and all along the way there are other folks sticking their noses in and making comments, edits and suggestions. (Peggy Noonan's book, What I Saw At The Revolution provides great insight into the White House speechwriting process.)

And yet, NOWHERE along the line did ANYONE say, "Hmm, that math doesn't seem right. I should check that. Does anyone have a calculator handy?"

Set ideology aside for a moment and realize that this kind of mistake - happening on a recurring basis - indicates a White House staff that just simply isn't very competent. When things like bad numbers and the intercontinental railroad repeatedly make it to the teleprompter, it's easy to see why this administration has made so many really, really dumb mistakes. The diversity hire at the top isn't very smart, and he doesn't care if the people he hires are either, as long as they share his left-wing, socialist view of the world.


  1. Tim: He can be, and is, that stupid, and so are the rest of the bobble heads who believe in him. I enjoy your insight. Thank you!

    Debbie R.

  2. Oh, Peggy. Everyone should read that book. I remember reading it in college and laughing out loud in bed! Ginger would make me read it out loud and then she never "got it" Maybe we should give it another try.

  3. The proposal, I think, adds a .5% tax increase on income in excess of $1 million, which yields the extra $500. Rather than indicating that he's a math dope (which he may be), I think this shows that he doesn't understand marginal tax rates, which is no small thing. The more cogent point is that he can say most anything and the establishment press doesn't hold him accountable. Why should he tell the truth or speak accurately if the smart set that controls main stream thought doesn't call him out.

    Abe Frommen,
    Sausage King of Chicago

  4. Abe - We always appreciate your comments, and we would never imply that you aren't who you say you are.

    A lefty made a similar point about the .5% increase on Facebook, and here was my response:

    That just makes the math (and his rhetoric) even worse. There were about 235,000 taxpayers last year making over $1 million. If - as Obama claims - he's only asking for $500 from each of them, that only raises about $117 million in revenue. You can't save 400,000 jobs (his number) with $117 million because that's less than $300 per job and there aren't too many people willing to work for $300 a year. And if you extend the extra tax to that group's TOTAL income over $1M (in which case "$500 per person" is false) you're only generating about $3.6B in additional taxes. Again, you can only save "400,000 jobs" if those people are willing to work for $9,000 a year. (And these aren't just any jobs. The Prez said it was 400,000 "teachers, firefighters and police officers." How many of those work for $9K a year?) And just focusing on the math ignores the entire question of whether the President of the United States should be singling out a tiny minority of people (many of whom are job providers) and implying that their selfishness is somehow responsible for budget deficits. Is that being a leader? Is that being a "uniter?"