Newt Gingrich’s Numeracy Problem

And Trump’s and the Dems’ arithmetic problem.

$2,000 * 200 million does not = $2,000.

$2,000 – $600 does not equal $2,000.

Newt Gingrich tweets:

If Senate Republicans fail to bring up the $2000 payment as a clean vote they run a real risk of losing the two seats in Georgia. This is an 80% issue. People get it. Billions for the banks, billions for big companies, but we can’t find $2000 for everyday Americans.

If the proposal before the Senate really were to give $2,000 to everyday Americans, no one would be raising an objection because $2,000 divided by, say, 200 million everyday eligible Americans is way, way below 1 penny each.

Everyone understands that it’s $2,000 per “everyday American.” With about 200 million Americans qualifying, that’s $400 billion.

So if we were to rewrite Newt’s tweet honestly and accurately, it would read something like:

If Senate Republicans fail to bring up the $2,000 payment as a clean vote they run a real risk of losing the two seats in Georgia. This is an 80% issue. People get it. Billions for the banks, billions for big companies, but we can’t find $400 billion for everyday Americans.

Sounds a little different, doesn’t it?

And remember how Trump objected that $600 was way too low an amount to have the government give eligible people and $2,000 was the right amount? Well, they got the $600. So if Trump really believed what he said, and if the Democrats believed what they said they believed, he and they should have pushed for an extra $1,400, not an extra $2,000.

Newt’s tweet also shows the difference between those of us who want to have gridlock and divided government in order to restrain government and people who want divided government simply because they want the Republicans to be the majority party in the Senate.

Many of us want gridlock because we fear what a Democratic House of Representatives, a Democratic Senate, and a Democratic president will do. One of the main things many of us fear is that they will spend hundreds of billions of dollars more than if the Republicans won the Senate and restrained the Democrats’ spending. But if Mitch McConnell caves so that the feds spend an extra $400 billion and the Republicans win in Georgia, they will have nullified a huge part of the reason for having the Republicans win in Georgia.

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Virginia fact of the day

Total vaccine doses distributed: 388,100 Total vaccine doses administered: 75,288 Here is the link (which at some point will update), that is below 20 percent. We need to do much better than this.  As a nation, Israel is doing about 10x better than the United States.  You might think for some intrinsic reasons Israel could […]

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Observations on “Censorship”

An Econbrowser reader, defending the use of the term “China virus” instead of the Covid-19 term, writes: That would seem accurate. A China virus is not racist, it’s placist. Other places with epidemics (arguably all racist): Spanish flu, German measles, Lassa fever, West Nile virus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme Disease (Connecticut), Ebola Fever, MERS […]

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Saturday assorted links

1. “West Coast wellness elites think kambo, an Amazonian frog poison drug, is helping them purge “toxins” from their lives.”  What kind of sentence is that? (NYT) 2. Congress will apply banking regulations to the antiquities market (NYT). 3. Scott Aronson on what we could have done and should have done. 4. Arnold Kling on […]

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