Tuesday, August 06, 2002


The GOP hates government spending, except when they don't. They especially don't hate it when it helps their own districts. An AP report shows that appropriations of federal spending have gone disproportionately to GOP districts. On average in 2001, GOP districts got $5.84 billion while Democratic districts got $5.23 billion.

Now let's look at the numbers, a GOP whopper, and a media whore moment. The numbers in 1994 were $3.86 billion for GOP districts and $3.89 billion for Democratic districts. On average, the deviation from the mean in 1994 was less than 0.5% in favor of the Democrats. That's hardly statisically significant. But by 2001, the deviation from the mean was over 5% in favor of the GOP. That, dare I say, is a lot of difference. Which brings us to the first whopper: "GOP leaders say the spending shift mostly was a byproduct of their efforts to change the direction of government and to ensure GOP areas received fairer treatment after four decades of being in the minority." Well it sure looks like they got fair treatment before. The numbers don't lie; spending by party affiliation was essentially equal before, while spending magically worked out in the GOP's favor without using any pork. The reality indicates that the GOP was trying to reward themselves and punish their enemies.

Another statement isn't a GOP whopper; it's more of an idiotic statement by the writer of the AP piece, David Pace.

The House, of course, is just one player in the complicated process that results in parceling out federal spending. The Senate and the administration also have a say in how federal dollars are spent.

During the six years after the GOP takeover, for example, two districts in then-President Clinton's home state of Arkansas had the biggest increases in federal spending among the 377 districts with constant boundaries.

Now anyone who's read the constitution knows that it's Congress, and not any administration, that controls appropriations. The second graf is a silly non sequitur; it doesn't say which districts got the increases or which party represented those districts. Asa Hutchinson and Jay Dickey were congressmen during the time in question and Tim Hutchinson was a Senator. That's half of the Arkansas delegation. Think they might have had something to do with that? Looks like it's another attempt to be 'fair' to the GOP by essentially saying, "It's Clinton's fault, too." As is usually the case when the press corps tries to pin blame on Debbil Clinton, reality is against them.

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