‘Lies, damn lies, and statistics’

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Courtesy of Jim Hightower

An old saying asserts that falsehoods come in three escalating levels: “Lies, damn lies, and statistics.” Now, however, there’s an even-higher category of lies: A Donald Trump speech.

Take his recent address on specific economic policies he would push to benefit hard-hit working families, including an almost-hilarious discourse on the rank unfairness of the estate tax: “No family will have to pay the death tax,” he solemnly pledged, adding that “American workers have paid taxes their whole lives, and they should not be taxed again at death.”

But wait, “workers” are not taxed at death. The first $5.4 million of any deceased person’s estate is already exempt from this tax, meaning 99.8 percent of Americans pay absolutely zero. And the tiny percentage of families who do pay estate taxes are multimillionaires, not “workers.” Trump knows this, so he’s lying, shamefully trying to deceive real workers into thinking he’s standing for them, when in fact it’s his own wealth he’s protecting.

In the same speech, he offered a new childcare tax break to help working families “by allowing parents to fully deduct [childcare costs] from their taxes.” In a tender personal touch, Trump said his daughter Ivanka urged him to provide this helping hand to hard working parents because “she feels so strongly about this.”

But, wait again — 70 percent of American households don’t have enough yearly income to warrant itemizing deductions. So the big majority of the Americans most in need of childcare help get nothing from Trump’s melodramatic posturing. Once again, his generous tax benefits would flow uphill to wealthy families like his, giving the richest Americans a government subsidy for purchasing platinum-level care for their children.

As an early 20th century labor leader noted, “Figures don’t lie, but liars do figure.” That fits The Donald perfectly.

This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.

  • ernie_oertle

    Not a lie. Obamacare was meant to fail so that SinglePayer Socialized Medicine could be imposed on the rubes & NIV/LIVs who never wanted it but are left w/ all other choices destroyed by gubmit. Death panels won’t be called that, but the left will coin some other Orwellian acronym. Not a lie = health-care will be rationed according to your score on theHilligula obsequiousness scale. Vote for Trump & die, or get what treatment you can from sources outside of her control.
    If theIranians wanted Mosul they would have it by now. If they wanted ISIS obliterated they could have obliterated ISIS by now. There are Persian puzzles underfoot poorly understood by anybody in theWest, but pretty much guaranteed to be bad – following Barry’s atomic-weapons **treaty** w/ the mullahs.
    Somebody big has told BLM to stop ambushing American cops & told ISIS to quit mass-murdering Frenchmen, Belgians, & Germans. They had been dominating the weekend news cycles. Now they are not. Why is that?
    As usual, it’s calculation:
    How far can we gin-up & gin-up & gin-up Black Resentment without unleashing White Survival Instincts.
    They’re really pushing it to the brink this season. I suppose it’s a good sign that they feel they have to.