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.
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.