August 12, 2012

A Tale of Two Republicans

One set of facts, and two Republican politicians need them to prove different points.

Romney, who is the presumptive Republican candidate for President of the United States, needs to show that Florida's economy is a mess that needs cleaning up. Scott, the Republican governor of Florida with the lowest approval ratings in history, needs to show that Florida's economy is making a strong comeback.

A Romney campaign missive, for example, lists the statistics that make up “Obama’s Florida Record.” The list includes: “795,432 Unemployed Floridians Seeking Work; 676,535 Floridians Who Have Fallen Into Poverty; 105,000 Florida Jobs Lost; $3,369 Decline In Florida’s Median Income; and 45 Percent of All Mortgaged Florida Homes Underwater.”
-- The Miami Herald, August 12, 2012

The governor... tells audiences that “the number of unemployed has gone from 568,000 to 320,000,” “median home prices are up,” and Florida’s job growth rate “has been positive for 23 consecutive months.”
-- The Miami Herald, August 12, 2012

But we're doubtful about the ability to pull one set of facts into two directions.  In the end, what Romney and Scott are creating is the legendary Pushmi-Pulyu. 
And while they are struggling to distort the facts, it will force us to take a closer look at them, to discern the truth that exists beyond partisan politics:
When Obama took office in January 2009, Florida’s unemployment was at 8.7 percent, nearly identical to where it is today. It rose to 11.4 percent in January 2010, had dropped to 10.9 percent by the time Rick Scott took office in January 2011 and has been dropping somewhat steadily since.
-- The Miami Herald, August 12, 2012
So Romney is wrong, and Scott is right; things are getting better in Florida.  But it seems they've been improving in spite of Scott, not because of him.

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