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Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Farah Misleads on New Deal
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah's March 2 column attempts to make the case that the Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal "failed miserably to pull the country out of the country's one and only Depression." Unsurprisingly, Farah deceives in doing so.

Farah writes:

After two complete terms in office in 1939, Roosevelt saw higher unemployment in 1939 than what the nation experienced when he took office – up from 16.3 percent in 1931 to 17.2 percent in 1939. No depression or recession in American history, before or since, ever lasted even half as long.

However, statistics can never tell the whole story.

No, "statistics can never tell the whole story" -- especially when you're cherry-picking them and placing them around erroneous information like Farah does.

Roosevelt, in fact, had not gone through "two complete terms in office in 1939"; he was elected in 1933, and his second term ended in 1941.

Moving the Roosevelt administration up two years allowed Farah to cherry-pick unemployment rates from 1931 (when Roosevelt wasn't in office, despite what Farah thinks) and 1939. Farah fails to mention that unemployment peaked in 1933 at 24.9 percent and had dropped to 14.3 percent in 1937 -- de facto evidence that the New Deal worked. Further, because federal labor statistics at the time did not count those in government work programs as "employed," the actual unemployment rate was even lower.

Since Farah is cherry-picking statistics to fit his preconceived notions, he fails to ask the question of why unemployment went up from 1937 to 1939. Many experts believe that it was because  Roosevelt cut spending and raised taxes in an effort to reduce the deficit.

But remember: Farah is a hack, and he doesn't believe in reporting facts when they conflilct with his right-wing agenda.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:13 AM EST

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