While watching a cable news slugfest last week, I heard a pundit state with certainty that the 2017 tax cuts blew a hole in the deficit. It was stated as fact. The only problem is, it’s unquestionably, and verifiably, false. The deficit increased because of increased spending, but the treasury brought in record revenues.
Yet, average listeners have bought into this myth. And, why not, since the media perpetuate such misinformation regularly.
Here are just a few other examples:
Myth #1: Women earn just 80 percent of what men do for the same job.
Reality: In labeling this statement as “false,” Politifact stated:
“The statistics showing that women earn 80 percent of what men earn are overall comparisons and do not specifically compare men and women occupying the same jobs. The 80 percent figure does not adjust for such factors as the degrees and jobs women pursue, the time they take off to care for children, the number of hours they work, and the years of experience they’ve had.”
Officials touting these stats, including Hillary Clinton and President Obama, were embarrassed when it was discovered they paid their female staff much less than their male employees in the aggregate.
Time Magazine noted that those female workers who stay continuously on the job, by age thirty, not only out earn female workers who leave to raise children, but even out earn their male counterparts.
Forbes Magazine stated, “Women in their 20s without children out-earn men by as much as $1.08 to every dollar, according to some estimates.”
According to a Princeton University study, the wage gap is not primarily due to discrimination: “An important new study makes a compelling case for another explanation: The gender wage gap is mostly a penalty for bearing children.”
Obviously, the reality is more complex than the standard talking points promoted by the mainstream media.
Myth #2: Supreme Court eviscerated the Voting Rights Act
Reality: The media has created a false narrative that the Roberts Court invalidated protections passed in the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The Court merely held that specific jurisdictions, previously subject to federal oversight dating back to the 60s, had evolved to the point where they would no longer have to first get approval from the feds before implementing election law. This did not mean that they could implement unconstitutional measures. Any law enacted that was opposed by advocacy groups could still be challenged in court, as they could in any other locality.
Myth #3: Not enough money spent on our failing schools.
Reality: Many low income schools now spend more per pupil than wealthier schools. While the wealthy district of Garden City, in Nassau County, New York, garners less than $6 million in state aid, nearby lower-wealth Hempstead receives $119 million. Thus, the $27,000 average spending per-pupil in Hempstead is actually more than the $25,000 spent in Garden City.
From 2006 to 2015, education aid in New York increased by $6 billion to a total of $23 billion.
The average New York State spending per pupil in 2015 was $21,000, almost double the $11,000 national average, yet New York’s reading test scores for fourth-graders are below the national average, according to “The Nation’s Report Card,” proving that simply pushing more money toward the problem is not the solution.
Myth #4: Illegal aliens can’t get government assistance.
Taxpayers will give away to those here illegally over $4 billion next year via the earned income tax credit.
U.S. taxpayers will expend $120 million on Medicare for illegal aliens in prison.
According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, illegal immigrants and their children cost taxpayers $135 billion a year for free medical care, education, and law enforcement bills.
An estimated 49 percent of households headed by illegal immigrants used one or more welfare programs in 2012, compared to 30 percent of households headed by natives.
Myth #5: There is an epidemic of rapes on campus.
Reality: This myth was manufactured to enforce a new campus sex code that created a presumption of guilt for an accused. Actually, the rate of rape in the general public is 1.2 times higher than the rate on campus, according to the Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics.
One of the biggest dangers women face is campus administrators, who have incentive to keep bad news in-house and take control over investigating sexual assault charges, rather than trained professionals in law enforcement.
All allegations must be taken very seriously, yet we can’t rush to judgment, having seen numerous bogus claims.
Myth #6: The crack and crime laws of 80s and 90s targeted African Americans.
Reality: Tougher crack laws were actually promoted by the Congressional Black Caucus, which felt something had to be done to curtail the out-of-control violence that became epidemic in minority communities.
The fact is, the tougher laws worked. Murders in New York City dropped tenfold since their implementation, saving thousands of lives.
Steve Levy, former New York state assemblyman, Suffolk County executive, and candidate for governor, is now a distinguished political pundit. Levy’s commentary has been published in such media outlets as Washington Times, Washington Examiner, New York Post, Albany Times, Long Island Business News, and City & State Magazine. He hosted “The Steve Levy Radio Show” on Long Island News Radio, and is a frequent guest on high profile television and radio outlets. Few on the political scene possess Levy’s diverse background. He’s been both a legislator and executive, and served on both the state and local levels — as both a Democrat and Republican. Levy published Bias in the Media, an analysis of his own experience, after switching parties, with the media’s leftward slant. Levy is currently Executive Director of the Center for Cost Effective Government, a fiscally conservative think tank. He is also President of Common Sense Strategies, a political consulting firm. To learn more about his past work and upcoming appearances, visit www.stevelevy.info. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.