Absurd: ABC ‘Fact Checks’ Ryan’s Comparing Obama to Carter

Posted by on Sep 03, 2012 at 8:35 pm
headupass

I facetiously joked earlier that the media would “fact check” Paul Ryan comparing today’s misery to the Jimmy Carter mess. And now they actually have.

Unreal.

Let’s start at the beginning. In comparing President Obama to Jimmy Carter, Ryan said in July 1980 the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent and “for the past 42 months it’s been above 8 percent under Barack Obama’s failed leadership.”

Both parts of this sentence are true according to the Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, but in July 1983, when Ronald Reagan was president, unemployment was at 9.4 percent. In July 1982 it was higher at 9.8 percent.

Um, what does Reagan have to do with any of this? He inherited the Carter disaster and cleaned it up. But I guess if we want to compare Carter and Obama, Carter did a better job. Thanks for clearing that up.

Is what Ryan said factually correct? Yes, but it leaves out some important data.

You can’t make this stuff up.

The next statement Ryan made was that in 1980 “330,000 businesses filed for bankruptcy. Last year, under President Obama’s failed leadership, 1.4 million businesses field for bankruptcy.”

This is not true. According to American Bankruptcy Institute, under Carter 331,264 businesses and non-businesses filed for bankruptcy. That number includes not just businesses, but personal bankruptcies as well. In 1980, there were 43,694 business bankruptcies and 287, 570 non-business bankruptcies.

Ryan also got it wrong with regard to the number of business bankruptcies last year. In 2011, there were 1, 410, 653 total bankruptcies. Of that number 47,806 were business bankruptcies and 1,362,847 were non-business bankruptcies.

Really parsing numbers, but the point is made, and largely correct. Again, they unwittingly reinforce we’re worse off now than under Carter.

Then they dissect Bush. Who has nothing to do with what Ryan was talking about.

The verdict: Another epic fact check failure.

11 Responses to “Absurd: ABC ‘Fact Checks’ Ryan’s Comparing Obama to Carter”

  1. Kirk Hansen on 4/04/12 at 8:16 am

    A fact-checker who sticks to fixing the numbers in a speech offers a valuable service.

    You cite the fact-checker’s statement that there were 43,694 business bankruptcies in 1980, and 47,806 in 2011. That undoes Ryan’s implication that they are much higher under Obama, and pointing that out is useful. (Personal bankruptcies are a whole different story, as also shown by the fact-checker’s numbers.)

    The problem is when fact-checkers become argument-checkers–for example, by bringing Reagan into this one. That’s when they turn into hacks.

  2. kevin on 4/04/12 at 8:43 am

    Unbelieveable. A reminder, most small business owners facing bankruptcy will just file a personal chapter 7 instead of a costly business filing, and just let the business die. So maybe ryans numbers take that into account.

  3. Dusty on 4/04/12 at 9:21 am

    “Both parts of this sentence are true according to the Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, but in July 1983, when Ronald Reagan was president, unemployment was at 9.4 percent. In July 1982 it was higher at 9.8 percent.”

    What is also true is that in that by the end of 1984, unemployment had dropped from the high of 9.8 percent, to 7.2 percent, a drop of 2.6 percent from the high during Reagan.

    And while we are at statistical-izing of Administrations in the manner of ABC, Carter, while handing Reagan a blossoming recession (as Bush did to Obama), did bring unemployment back down, and below, from what he was handed by Ford — 7.7% to 7.1%.

    Reagan, too, brought unemployment back to about what he was handed from Carter — 7.1% to 7.5%, after bouncing off a high of 9.7% . On the other hand, Obama was handed a 5.8% unemployment rate and has given us 8.2%, after bouncing off a high of 9.6%.

    Clearly, from an unemployment view, Obama is a disaster compared to Carter.

  4. Datou on 4/04/12 at 10:47 am

    Stan I’m pretty sure Ann already has a vet for her horse. I wonder if that gets covered in Obamacare hmm…

  5. rjwalker on 4/04/12 at 2:08 pm

    >> Again, they unwittingly reinforce we’re worse off now than under Carter.

    If our economy and population had changed, maybe.

    But lets see,
    Business bankruptcies in relation to GDP in 1980:
    0.000007

    Business bankruptcies in relation to GDP in 2011:
    0.000004 (about 1/2)

    = = = =

    Business bankruptcies in relation to population in 1980:
    0.00019

    Business bankruptcies in relation to population in 2011:
    0.00015 (Not 1/2, but still lower)

  6. richard40 on 4/04/12 at 6:06 pm

    Maybe we need a new video to go with the “I want to be a crony” video. How about “I want to be a fact checker”. I can get paid big bucks as a reporter, by passing on unchecked and unedited dem talking points, and presenting them as facts I worked hard to discover.

  7. Amos on 4/04/12 at 6:55 pm

    As a media fact checker, it’s my job to make sure that precise language is used at all times, and that people are not needlessly and unfairly compared to others.

    Also, Bush = Hitler.

    ~ Yours, Information Gatekeepers