Email letters, October 25,  2013

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John Ross’s on-line letter – “Government is supposed to serve citizens, not the other way around” – proves the truth of Mark Twain’s famous observation that:  “There are three kinds of lies:  lies, damned lies, and statistics”.  Ross is a “damn liar”.

Average U.S. retail gasoline prices reached their historical peak of $4.11/gallon in July 2008, during the administration of Republican President George Bush – having more than tripled from a low of $1.31 in October 2002.

With the onset of the financial crisis and economic collapse in September 2008, retail gasoline prices plummeted to $1.61 – due to lack of demand – by early January 2009, before rising steadily and reaching $3.96 in May of 2011.  Since then, as the economy continues to recover while shifting to alternative energy sources, average national gas prices have actually fallen to $3.32 (not “$3.65”).

Similarly, the national debt inherited by President Obama was already $11.8 trillion (not “$7 trillion”) – including $2.7 trillion in accounting changes he imposed and Bush’s FY 2009 budget deficit of $1.4 trillion (the largest in U.S. history).  Moreover, as The New York Times reported, of the $6+ trillion in debt incurred under President Obama, only 10%-20% is atrributable to his policies, while the remainder is attributable to inherited Bush policies and the economic effects of near-Depression.

Finally, as anyone who has actually read our Constitution and its Preamble would know, our government is empowered to accomplish much more than just “provide for the common defense of our nation.  Period.”

In sum, Ross relies on contrived gasoline price statistics, misrepresentations of national debt figures, and a disingenuously selective rendition of our Constitution to assign equal blame to Republicans and Democrats “for the sad condition of our government”.

Had Ross not started from such woefully false premises, perhaps he might have reached more accurate conclusions.

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