Friday, February 18, 2005

Bill O'Reilly lies like a 4 year old

Taken from mediamatters.org

On the February 16 edition of FOX News' The O'Reilly Factor, in a discussion with Kathleen Barr, policy advocate for the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness, O'Reilly cited the bogus stats to defend Bush from the charge that he is not doing enough to address hunger and homelessness. Barr expressed doubt about O'Reilly's figures, but he insisted they were accurate:

O'REILLY: Do you know that housing assistance is up 1,400 percent from Clinton to Bush in 2006? 1,400 percent! I don't think that the folks in America, with all due respect, Ms. Barr, can give any more money. I think this is about it. This is tapped out.

BARR: That's an interesting point, Bill. I'm not quite sure where those numbers are from, but --

O'REILLY: Well, here's -- the numbers are from the government's proposed budget welfare -- this is from the government's own budget right here. These are hard numbers.

According to the White House's own Office of Management and Budget (OMB), federal outlays for housing assistance were $30.1 billion (Excel document) in fiscal year 2001, the last budget enacted under Clinton. Bush's proposed FY 2006 budget proposes to spend $38.4 billion, a 22 percent increase in nominal dollars.

Barr answered O'Reilly's "hard numbers" by citing a roughly accurate statistic on the 30-year decline in the budget for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. O'Reilly insisted, "it's not true." He was wrong:

BARR: Well, I do know -- what I do know is that the budget authority for the Department of Housing and Urban Development is 60 percent less than it was 30 years ago, showing a clear disinvestment in affordable housing.

O'REILLY: No, it -- on raw dollars, that's not true. Maybe it's part of the gross national product you're quoting. It's not raw dollars. These are record raw dollars, Ms. Barr, in every category through the roof under President Bush. And that's just a fact.

In fact, HUD's budget in 1976 (Excel document), the earliest year available from OMB, was $29.2 billion. In current dollars, that equals $66.9 billion. But Bush's 2006 budget proposes to spend only $30.4 billion. That's a 55 percent decline in real value. O'Reilly's reference to "raw dollars" is meaningless, since inflation has eroded the purchasing power that HUD's budget wielded in 1976.

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