Skip to main content

That debate and the numbers

There has already been enough commentary on the Obama-Romney debate but this New York Times piece, written before the debate, looks at the numbers which are likely to figure in the discussion.

A sample:

"But their main points through their month of debates will be delivered through a blizzard of numbers, and here is a roundup of the most frequently cited figures that have been at the core of the arguments between the two campaigns.

8.1 PERCENT The unemployment rate, probably the most frequently cited number in the 2012 presidential campaign. Mr. Romney cites it as evidence of the president’s persistent failure to confront a sluggish economy. Mr. Obama counters by citing more than two years of positive job growth.

30 The number of months in which the country added private-sector jobs. Mr. Obama frequently uses it to push back against Mr. Romney’s attacks that he has failed at job creation.

47 PERCENT The now-famous proportion of the public that Mr. Romney said were “dependent” on the government and viewed themselves as “victims.” The president’s campaign has seized on the comments from secretly recorded remarks as evidence of Mr. Romney’s true feelings toward the less well off.

100 PERCENT The proportion of the American public that Mr. Romney says he will represent as president. During the debates, Mr. Romney is likely to emphasize this number frequently as he tries to counter the perception that he cares only about the wealthy.

$5,000,000,000,000 This $5 trillion figure is the cost of Mr. Romney’s proposals to cut taxes for the wealthy, according to Mr. Obama’s campaign. The president’s claim that Mr. Romney would raise taxes on the middle class is driven by this estimate of the Republican tax cuts.

$16,000,000,000,000 The amount of United States debt. Mr. Romney has tried repeatedly to get people focused on the country’s $16 trillion debt after four years of an Obama presidency. (His convention even featured a large debt clock.) For Republicans, it is a good way to motivate swing voters in places like Colorado.

$2,000 The amount that Mr. Obama says middle-class taxes will go up if Mr. Romney is elected. The president bases this on a study by a bipartisan research institute, and uses it frequently on the stump. .

5 The number of days that Mr. Romney says the United States government knew about the terrorist connections to the attack in Benghazi, Libya, before acknowledging them. Four people were killed, including the ambassador. Wednesday night’s debate was focused on domestic policy, but Mr. Romney seems eager to push the idea that Mr. Obama was covering up the true nature of the attack.

$3.80 The average price of a gallon of gas. Energy has faded a bit as an issue since the summer. But if he gets a chance, Mr. Romney will use the debates to note that gas was $1.84 a gallon when Mr. Obama took office."

Continue reading here.


Popular posts from this blog

Whatever democracy the Palestinians had is dying

Almost a desperate cry from a well-known, respected and sober moderate Palestinian.

Mustafa Barghouthi is secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. He was a candidate for the Palestinian presidency in 2005.

He writes in a piece "The Slow Death of Palestinian Democracy" on FP:

"Palestinian municipal elections were supposed to be held last week. Instead, they were canceled. A statement released by the Palestinian Authority claimed the cancellation was "in order to pave the way for a successful end to the siege on Gaza and for continued efforts at unity" between Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, and the government in the West Bank.

The cancellation of this election was an unjustified, unlawful, and unacceptable act. It damages democratic rights and makes a mockery of the interests of the Palestinian people.

But this is far more than an internal Palestinian issue. The only lasting peace between Isr…

Big Brother alive and well in the USA in 2007

The so-called "war on terror" has shown itself up in a multitude of manifestations. The most dangerous thing has been governments using the "excuse" of the war to restrict certain civil liberties, allowing government agencies to pursue a variety of things that they would otherwise would not - and should not - be allowed to do and gathering, and retaining, a variety of information on its citizens.

The Washington Post reports on the latest incursions into civil liberties of all Americans:

"The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials.

The personal travel records are meant to be stored for as lo…