Funny Little Facts

By Brian Beutler

I’ll probably have more on this Washington Post article later, but one early sentence jumped out at me:

The stimulus package has now tripled from its post-election estimate of about $300 billion, and in recent days lawmakers in both parties have grown wary of the swelling cost.

Which is funny, because as I recall from reading the very same newspaper back in November, early estimates of the size of the stimulus package put it at about $700 billion–$350 billion a year, for two years. In other words, it hasn’t so much grown by 300 percent as by about 28 percent. Maybe less. That’s not nothing, of course. But it’s quite a bit less than 300 percent (as anybody whose been given the raise on the order of 28 percent, as opposed to 300 percent, should be well aware.

Before the election, people tossed around the $300 billion figure. But, of course, before the election, there was still some chance that John McCain would become president. This, once again, according to The Post. What’s the problem here? Innumeracy? Deception? Too many proposals flying around? Anyone?