Emmer math error compounded, expanded


A Hindsight post from June (“The Strange World of Emmer Math”) noted Rep. Tom Emmer’s erroneous claim that “Spending has almost doubled in the last decade in this state.” In fact, state spending has come no where near doubling. After adjusting for inflation and population growth, state spending is projected to grow at an average biennial rate of just 1 percent and an average annual rate of 0.5 percent from the biennium FY 2000-01 to FY 2010-11 biennium. Combined state and local real per capita spending has actually fallen since 2000 based on the most current data available from the U.S. Census Bureau.

So-confronted with this faux pas, what has been Rep. Emmer’s response? Retraction? Correction? Or at least caution so as not to repeat the error? Guess again.

A press release currently on Emmer’s campaign website contains the following quote from the GOP gubernatorial hopeful: “State spending has literally doubled in the last decade.”

Rather than correct or retract his error, Rep. Emmer instead chose to magnify it. While the claim that state spending had “almost doubled” could be perhaps be dismissed as an honest mistake or an exaggeration, the claim that it had “literally doubled” is an unambiguous falsehood that can only be regarded as a deliberate attempt to mislead, coming as it did after the fallacy of the claim had already been publicly revealed.

What does it say about the anti-tax, anti-government agenda that its chief proponents must fabricate statistics in order to advance it?