Well, it's Friday, and since I'm a "numbers" guy I know this is The Elephant in the Room's lowest traffic/visitor day. It's not ideal, but what are you going to do? People have better things to do on their Fridays. :-)
I thought I'd have a little fun and see if people wanted to share their favorite talking points or "gotcha" phrases. Now truth be known, I'm personally not that big on talking points. They're pretty shallow (even if they're true), and rarely offer the backing needed to solidify one's position. I'd much rather delve deeply in to something, and create, back, and defend a position using sound (preferably economic) analysis. For example, when someone messages me on Twitter with "well, you know, Mitt Romney only paid 14% in taxes while the average American who makes $57k pays 28%," I'd prefer to say, "okay, well, let's take a look and see if you know what you're talking about or just blowing smoke." It turns out, with that exact example, the person who made that claim was just blowing smoke. Check it out: http://loudmouthelephant.blogspot.com/2012/02/exploring-tax-myth-what-tax-rates-do.html
So yes, talking points really aren't my thing. But, every once in a while, they can be fun to talk about. Just yesterday I saw a post on a friend's Facebook page. She was talking about how much she disliked Obama, to which she got a very standard, it's-getting-overplayed, liberal response like, "well, Obama is still cleaning up Bush's mess and Bush's debt."
My response went something like, "cleaning up Bush's debt? Seriously? Let's see. Bush added roughly $5 trillion in debt in 8 years; Obama added about $5 trillion in debt in 3 years. So, by using your logic, if I accidentally spilled some ketchup on my kitchen floor, the best way to ensure my floor gets 'cleaned' up is to dump some more ketchup on it." - Talking point, yes... not my thing, yes... but I dabbled in it, and a some people laughed.
Talking points tend to come up at random times. Usually, when I'm driving to or from work, I tend to think about politics, and this is when they usually pop up in my head. For example, I heard an Obama speech on the radio where he said, "the other side wants to go backwards. They want to bring back the policies of the last administration. They want to go back to four years ago." This got me thinking:
"Go back to four years ago?" Well, let's see. If we went back to the previous administration (over 8 years) we'd have:
- An average unemployment rate of about 5.3% compared to an average of about 9.2% (Source: Google Data)
- A national debt that averaged $7.5 trillion instead of $12.5 trillion
- More people working
- Less people receiving food stamps
- No Affordable Care Act
- A somewhat more unified country compared to the hyperpartisan divide existing today
- A higher national credit rating
The list goes on and on and on.
Again, these are talking points, but, they are facts. They are simply "quick and dirty" answers to the question, "what would it be like if we went back to the way it was?"
What do you think? Care to share some of your favorite talking points? Happy Friday!