Meg Whitman: fun with numbers

George Skelton in the LA Times. I heard Whitman’s obviously bogus ad the other day and didn’t get around to doing the arithmetic. This is going to be a depressing campaign.

Meg Whitman’s radio whoppers

… Neither major party has a lock on truthfulness. I’ve written about false advertising by Republicans and Democrats alike for years.

Now, in the very first series of radio ads in the 2010 gubernatorial race, comes blatant baloney from billionaire political novice Meg Whitman, the former chief executive of EBay who is running for the Republican nomination.

“Did you know,” Whitman asks radio listeners, “that in the last 10 years, state spending has gone up 80%?”

Well, no, I did not know that. So I did some checking.

“They’re completely wrong when they say that,” replied state Finance Director Mike Genest, a conservative former budget consultant for Senate Republicans.

It doesn’t take much digging to learn that general fund spending “in the last 10 years” has risen just 27%, according to finance department data. Adjusted for inflation and population growth, spending actually has decreased by 16.6%. …

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