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Platform Blogging

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"Platform Blogging"

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I haven’t seen much coverage of the new Republican Party platform yet. I know platforms are of limited relevance, but still it ought to garner some attention. There’s some eye-opening stuff here. For example, they denounce the practice of adjusting for inflation when assessing the federal budget, complaining that in the federal government’s “deceptive and irresponsible accounting, an increase in a program’s funding is actually a decrease if it is less than the rate of inflation.”

This is just ignorant — you can’t do accurate accounting unless you incorporate inflation adjustments into your figures. Otherwise you wind up with nonsense. For example, here’s a chart of US defense spending at different points in time:

defensespending_1.jpg

As you can see, they’re using constant 2008 dollars as their metric here — the practice the platform denounces — because if you didn’t do that you’d wind up with bizarre and inaccurate results. The chart would say that the Reagan-era defense buildup was more expensive than the Vietnam War, which it wasn’t, or that the Iraq War is is expensive than World War II which, again, it isn’t.

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