Friday, September 26, 2008

Math Meets Politics—Obama Gets Failing Grade

During this evening's debate, Sen. Obama made the following observation [I am attempting to quote accurately here]: "We've spent $600 billion in Iraq, soon a trillion...." A moment later, he added that we are spending $10 billion a month in Iraq.

A quick bit of math demonstrates that at this $10 billion/month rate, it will take another forty months (that's 3 1/3 years) to reach the $1 trillion dollar spending threshold. I don't call that "soon." Furthermore, if spending in Iraq decreases in the months and years ahead, as it should, the man elected president this year may not even be in office when that $1 trillion threshold is reached—if it is reached at all.

So he failed on that question.

Earlier in the debate, when asked how his "list of want-to-do's" would change or be impacted by the $700 billion proposal to bailout Wall Street [the "list of want-to-do's" is my phrase], his response (I can't call it an answer) was essentially a laundry list of expensive social programs, energy proposals, etc., that would involve the spending of more money—not, unfortunately, anything that could qualify as a serious reduction.

So he failed on this question, too: The correct answer was to subtract spending from the budget, not to add it.

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