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Facts: A Cure for Foxification?

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Back in December 1770, John Adams, noted in a legal brief ("Argument in Defense of the soldiers in the Massachusetts Massacre Trials") that "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." Whenever I come across this quote, I find myself wondering were Adams, the 'Colossus of Independence' alive today, would he disavow his insightful gem? Would he turn on the TV, watch an hour of Fox News and then amend his statement to read "Facts are stupid things" -- which in fact Ronald Reagan would say more than two centuries later?

Today, more than ever, facts have become subjective; more frequently than not they are what the speaker says they are. And here, I am not referring to the interpretation of facts, but rather the deliberate avoidance and ignorance of them. Take as but one example, all those who breathlessly inform their partisans -- despite a welter of statistical evidence to the contrary -- that "Obama's stimulus hasn't created a single job." Standing in opposition to this one subjective "fact" is a set of statistical ones -- provided in a Congressional Budget Office report which concludes that the stimulus "increased employment by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million people, compared with what employment would have been otherwise."

Ah facts . . . such stupid things.

As a partial antidote to what might be called the "Foxification of Facts," I hereby present the following series of stubborn statistics. (The facts presented herein are all gleaned from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Website):

Fox Fact #1: Unemployment is always higher under Democrats:

The reality : Going back to 1953, every time America had 8 or more consecutive years of Republican administrations in the White House, unemployment starts low with them but ends up ABOVE 6% at the end of those eight years. On the other hand, going back to 1953, every time we have had 8 or more consecutive years of Democratic administrations, unemployment starts high (handed to them by the GOP) but then ends BELOW 6%.

Don't believe me? Let's check the facts:

DEMOCRAT -- Harry Truman
January 1953: Democrat Harry Truman hands the White House over to Republican Dwight Eisenhower.
Unemployment Rate (January '53) = 2.9%

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REPUBLICAN -- Dwight Eisenhower
January 1953, Takes White House".. Unemployment Rate that month = 2.9%
January 1961, Leaves White House" Unemployment Rate that month = 6.6%
NOTE: After 8 years, a Republican hands the White House back over to a Democrat with unemployment ABOVE 6%.

DEMOCRATS -- John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson
January 1961, Kennedy Takes White House". Unemployment Rate that month = 6.6%
January 1969, Johnson Leaves White House" Unemployment Rate that month = 3.4%
NOTE: After 8 years, a Democrat hands the White House back over to a Republican with unemployment BELOW 5% .

Republicans -- Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford
January 1969, Nixon Takes White House". Unemployment Rate that month = 3.4%
January 1977, Ford Leaves White House" Unemployment Rate that month = 7.5%
NOTE: After 8 years, a Republican (again) hands the White House back over to a Democrat with unemployment ABOVE 6% .

DEMOCRAT -- Jimmy Carter
January 1977, Carter Takes White House". Unemployment Rate that month = 7.5%
January 1981, Carter Leaves White House" Unemployment Rate that month = 7.5%

REPUBLICANS -- Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush (Bush # 1)
January 1981, Reagan Takes White House". Unemployment Rate that month = 7.5%
January 1993, Bush # 1 Leaves White House" Unemployment Rate that month = 7.3%
NOTE: After 12 years, a Republican (again) hands the White House back over to a Democrat with unemployment ABOVE 6%.

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DEMOCRAT -- Bill Clinton
January 1993, Clinton Takes White House". Unemployment Rate that month = 7.3%
January 2001, Clinton Leaves White House" Unemployment Rate that month = 4.2%
NOTE: After 8 years, a Democrat (again) hands the White House back over to a Republican with unemployment BELOW 5%.

REPUBLICAN -- George W. Bush (Bush # 2)
January 2001, Bush # 2 Takes White House". Unemployment Rate that month = 4.2%
January 2009, Bush # 2 Leaves White House" Unemployment Rate that month = 7.8%
NOTE: After 8 years, a Republican (again) hands the White House back over to a Democrat with unemployment ABOVE 6%.

Fox Fact #2: "Made-in-America" job creation is always greatest under Republicans than Democrats.

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http://www.kurtfstone.typepad.com

Kurt Stone is a rabbi, writer, lecturer, political activist, professor, actor, and medical ethicist. A true "Hollywood brat" (born and raised in the film industry), Kurt was educated at the University of California, the Eagleton Institute of (more...)
 

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