Monday, May 17, 2010

Stark, overwhelming, undeniable evidence of PolitFactTexas' bias...

Could they be much more blatant?

The Austin American Statesman's Politifarce Texas strikes again...

In Rick's web ad with the bad 1980s music and the Yao Ming picture, Rick and his peeps made the following completely true claim (link)...

"The city of Houston now has more debt per capita than California."

Is it true, or is it not true? It is 100% factually true as Politicrap even admits. Excerpts follow...

Does Houston have more debt per resident than the Golden State?

Believe it. Perry's campaign pointed to fiscal 2009 financial reports for Houston and California. Houston's outstanding debt that year was $5,720 per person. California's debt per person was $2,808 — less than half of Houston's.


Perry accurately says Houston's debt per capita is more than California's debt per capita, a charge that seemingly packs a punch.

And yet... they awarded this completely true any way you look at it statement a "half true" mark...

Let's get this straight... the city of Houston under Bill White saw its debt skyrocket and now has $5,720 debt per capita. California's debt is $2,808 per person...

Is 5,720 divided by 2 greater than 2,808?


Case closed.

The claim should have been called "true" and there is nothing else to say about it.

For more context, think about it this way...

Another large city in Texas, San Antonio... the 7th largest city in America... has debt per capita of $1,808. Rick's peeps could start saying that Bill White's Houston has 3 times the per person debt than a comparable large Texas city San Antonio. That statement would be 100% true based on the facts.

Rick's peeps could also say that Houston's city debt per capita is higher than all the other major Texas cities including Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, plus Waco, Tyler, Lubbock, Abilene, Amarillo, El Paso, Beaumont, Corpus Christi, Laredo, Midland, Odessa, San Angelo, Texarkana, Temple, and just about every other city big or small... Houston is an outlier because of Bill White.

The state of Texas has $1,368 state debt per capita... the second lowest state debt in the nation... Rick's peeps could say with 100% truth that Bill White's city of Houston has 4 times more debt per capita than Rick's state of Texas.

Rick's peeps could also claim that of America's large cities, Houston has the second highest debt per capita after only New York City... NEW YORK CITY??!! Get a rope.

So Houston has the second highest large city debt per capita in the nation because of Bill White... and Texas has the second lowest state debt per capita in the nation because of Rick...

Talk about a contrast. If this comes up in a debate... assuming Bill White releases his taxes and there is a debate... Rick will absolutely de-pants Bill White on it...

Yet just a few weeks ago when Bill White misleadingly bashed Rick for doubling debt in Texas... chortle... which again is the second lowest in the country, Politibias said Bill White's comment was simply True.

First of all, the claim that state debt doubled under Rick may be true, but what about the mitigating factors that Politfarce used in the "half true" measurement of Houston's debt? Why didn't they use those kinds of factors in their examination of Bill White's laughable claim (link)?

Texas has the second lowest debt per capita in America. Did that not matter? Somehow because Houston did not have the highest debt per capita of large cities... it was only the second highest... that was a mitigating factor. Shouldn't Texas having the second lowest debt have mattered? Not to the biased Politifraud.

Inflation, population growth, economic growth, and all the rest? The population has practically exploded in Texas... it is misleading to look at the raw number and not the per capita number or the number in relation to the size of the economy and inflation rate... Politifarce did not really examine those factors.

Or how about Fitch's bond ratings?

Somehow because Houston had a rating of AA from Fitch, that contributed to Rick's claim being half true. Did PolitiFactTexas apply that to Bill White's claim about Texas? No of course not. They are hacks who didn't care that Texas was recently upgraded to its highest ever level of AAA... something that simply wouldn't have happened if debt were really a problem in the state...

Or what about the type of debt? According to the Texas Bond Review Affordability Study cited by PolitiFact (link), 90.9% of Texas state debt is classified as self-supporting and 9.1% is classified as not self-supporting... and even PolitiFact explains that there is a big difference there. Excerpt follows...
But there's a subset of state debt that hasn't surged, Perry's campaign pointed out — currently $3.07 billion to support parks and for construction of state facilities, among other activities. That debt has decreased by about 6 percent since 2001.

Then there's debt to be repaid with program revenue. For example, interest on student loans is used to repay the bond that funded it without the state having to commit general revenue. That "self-supporting" debt has increased by 173 percent since 2001.

Regardless, Dale Craymer, president of the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association, noted that lots of things have probably doubled since Perry became governor. After all, he's held the office for nearly a decade.

Eva DeLuna Castro, a senior budget analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities, also said it'd be a stretch to say Perry was solely responsible for all those debt decisions.

"Voters do that, and the Legislature," she said. "So we're all responsible."
Amazing... so 90.9% of Texas debt is funded by program revenue... student loans and the like that will be paid back and not be passed down to future generations of taxpayers. Of that 9.1% that the state actually has to pay, it has decreased by 6% under Rick's administration.

Next, even the liberal CPPP analyst says it is a stretch to say that Rick was responsible for new debt in Texas, since voters were actually the ones to approve it at the polls.

Here is the deal...

PolitiFarceTexas can't get away with calling Bill White's highly misleading and out of context comment about state debt "true" while Rick's 100% in context and absolutely true comment about Houston city debt as "half true." How do they justify that? I really want to know. They must explain themselves. Other journalists must call them out rather than accepting their conclusions with such a clear pattern of bias. Everyone with a voice must hold them accountable.

PolitiFact Texas is a fraud, and there is no way they can explain this double standard away.... and this is just the latest example of blatant bias. I have pointed out blatant bias before on Rick's health care waiver request before the feds (link), Kay's statement on public opposition to Obama Care (link), Rick's national guard border request (link), and other blogs about the terrible record of Politopinion (link).

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