The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Today, Stuart Varney of Fox News tried to cook up a new conspiracy theory to discredit the 2 percent increase in the gross domestic product. Not only was his claim absurd and unfounded, but it also unwittingly endorsed the very policies he rails against.

In response to the report of a 2 percent rate of economic growth, which was stronger than expected, Varney found something to wag his finger at. “Dig deeper,” he said. “Look inside that report, and you see a big 9.6 percent jump in government spending. There is some suspicion that these numbers have been juiced by government spending deliberately in that quarter, in the report, right before the election.”

Varney also claimed that once the election was over, after they have presumably served their purpose, those numbers would be revised—and revised downwards.

But what Varney fails to note, in his kneejerk reaction to call foul, is that he essentially proved the argument that government spending can boost the GDP—which runs counter to everything Fox News, the GOP, and Varney himself have argued against since Obama took office. For the Republican Party, which has run on a platform of slashing government spending—excluding defense, where it hopes to add an additional $2 trillion—the economic reality appears inconvenient.

As Media Matters notes:

The increase in government spending during the third quarter marked the first quarter in two years when government spending increased. But the rate of increase was not unprecedented, undermining Varney’s effort to make this an election year conspiracy. Spending by the federal government jumped by 9.6 percent during the third quarter, driven primarily by increased defense spending. Federal spending increased at a similar rate during the final three months of 2008 and during the second quarter of 2010. Federal spending increased by 13.7 percent during the second quarter of 2009.

Increased defense spending is exactly what the Romney/Ryan ticket has prescribed—and what constitutes most of the boost in government spending in this third quarter—but to Varney, this is evidence that the Obama campaign has “juiced the numbers” right before the election.

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Americans are currently experiencing one of the most peculiar public episodes of my lifetime. Amid a deadly worldwide disease epidemic, many people are behaving like medieval peasants: alternately denying the existence of the plague, blaming an assortment of imaginary villains, or running around seeking chimerical miracle cures.

Feed store Ivermectin? I've administered it to horses, cows and dogs. But to my wife? No thank you. It says right on the label that it's not for human consumption. But at least you won't die of heartworm.

Keep reading... Show less

Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}