Heritage Foundation: severely truth-challenged
I usually shy away from mocking the right—it’s too easy, it’s overdone by liberals, and it’s often a gateway to apologetics for the Democrats. But this is a doozy.
In an effort to prove that Obamacare is responsible for the recent weakening in the economic recovery, James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation presents this graph:
Seems odd, doesn’t it, that the average of the first segment, January 2009–March 2010, is +67,600 a month when the graph is below 0 for almost the whole time? Well, yes it is. The actual average change in private sector employment for that period is a decline of 327,000 a month, almost 400,000 below what Heritage says is the average. The average gain for the second period, from April 2010–June 2011, is 136,000 a month, almost 130,000 above what Heritage says it is.
It looks like what Sherk did was to take the slopes of the two trendlines and compare them. But for the first period, there was only one month of actual job gain—the last month, March 2010. Sherk’s trendlines are telling you we went from deep job losses in early 2009 to modest job gains starting in early 2010, and have more or less stayed there since. Which, if you were a Dem propagandist, you could use to sell Obamacare, not damn it. Of course, Obamacare—a mostly terrible thing—has almost nothing to do with these employment trends, but then again, Heritage seems to have only an accidental relationship to truth.
It will be interesting to do a similar graph in a year or two with the passage of the debt deal as the dividing point. Fiscal tightening in an already slowing economy is not a good idea, but don’t expect the Heritage Foundation to say that.