Lies, Damned Lies, and Democrat Tweets
Yesterday, Delegate Aruna Miller (D-15, Darnestown) tweeted a statistic that was a little hard to swallow. “Poverty Myth Buster: Handouts are bankrupting us. In 2012, total welfare funding was 0.47% of the federal budget.”
Poverty Myth Buster: Handouts are bankrupting us. In 2012, total welfare funding was 0.47% of the federal budget.
— Aruna Miller (@arunamiller) March 27, 2014
Miller gave no source or link to the analysis that led to here sketchy conclusion. However, a little time spent with Google reveals that the tweet is a regurgitation from a listicle in the left wing magazine Mother Jones. Said listicle includes a couple of hyperlinks but nothing that clearly indicates the methodology used to arrive at the 0.47% figure.
As the saying attributed to Mark Twain goes, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
To contrast, a recent report by the Congressional Research Service analyzed 80+ Federal welfare spending programs and concluded that welfare spending adds up to the largest item in the Federal budget. (This does not include entitlements such as Medicare or Social Security as welfare programs.)
The truth probably lies somewhere in between, but I suspect it’s far closer to the CRS report than it is to Miller’s tweet.