John Kerry’s Number Problems

by on May 14th, 2004

John Kerry has a significant problem with numbers. Not just his poll numbers. Not just the number of SUV’s he or his family does or doesn’t own. Not just the number of different versions of the medal tossing story he has told.

John Kerry has a serious problem with basic math.

In a free Kerry for President advertisement in the Washington Section of the New York Times Kerry offered the following critique of current government spending.

“I’m committed to what we need to do to make America safer,” Mr. Kerry said. “And this is not the moment to have firehouses, two-thirds of which are under-staffed; not the moment to have police departments, where they’re losing officers because the federal government is cutting half a billion dollars — about one-eighth of what we spend in Iraq every month is being cut per year.

“And yet, the one thing this administration fights for is a great big whopping tax cut for the people who earn more than $200,000 a year — over a trillion dollars — at the expense of our police officers.”

I used a calculator just to make sure I got it right. At a a rate of half a billion dollars a year, current federal spending would have to have been in place for 2,000 years to have cost police officers one trillion dollars.

I suppose I shouldn’t blame Kerry. He’s been in congress for a long time and that is not an institution know to be good with numbers – particularly ones that have dollar signs next to them. But I’m not very comfortable with the idea of four years of economic policy based on math this bad.

Stephen Macklin