Monday, December 14, 2015

A lucky "Mostly True" for HRC?

We took note of a PolitiFact fact check fraught with problems earlier this year but did not write about it. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said Americans do better economically under Democrat presidents--with the implication Democratic polices ought to receive the credit.

Ira Stoll spans the gap in the New York Sun:
Politifact, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning operation of the Tampa Bay Times, did take a look at Mrs. Clinton’s claim that the stock market does better with Democrats in the White House and rated it “mostly true.” That analysis seems a bit charitable to me. While Mrs. Clinton’s claim may not be in the “five Pinocchio” or “liar, liar, pants on fire” categories that get the fact-checkers and their fans worked up in a lather, at best it’s highly misleading.

Two Princeton University economists, Alan Blinder and Mark Watson, examined the matter in a 2013 paper, “Presidents and the Economy: A Forensic Investigation.” They looked at the years 1947 though 2013 and did find that the economy grew faster with Democrats in the White House, though — and here’s the catch — they attributed much of the difference to “good luck” rather than “good policy.” They write, “Democrats would no doubt like to attribute the large D-R growth gap to better macroeconomic policies, but the data do not support such a claim....It seems we must look instead to several variables that are mostly ‘good luck.’”
Stoll covers other attempts to fact check this claim from Clinton, though his story is more about how the media overlook the claim.

Read it all, please.

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