New York Times Discusses 'Fair' Tax, Promotes Innumeracy

03/28/2008 02:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The New York Times' Tom Redburn asks, "Huckabee's Tax Plan Appeals, but Is It Fair?" A good question. A better question: "Tom Redburn can write an article, but can he do basic math?" Or maybe, "Has the need to be 'fair and balanced' made it impossible for a reporter to simply admit to knowing things that were once eminently knowable?"

The offending passage is this one:

It is not the same as a normal sales tax, however. Under the proposal, the tax is included first. That means a $100 item would cost $130, or 30 percent more. The plan's supporters say that works out as a 23 percent rate because $30 is 23 percent of $130.

What? Has the field of mathematics ceased to exist? Are numbers no longer the sum, total, count, or aggregate of a collection of units? Unless a new style of algorithm, founded on pixie dust and horse manure, has just been invented, there cannot be two answers to this calculation! Every calculator in the world shall resolutely insist that 130 is 30 percent more than 100. Why is the innumeracy of the "plan's supporters" given equal weight to an absolute irrefutable fact? The "plan's supporters" are either vastly, inplacably stupid or unrepetant liars! There is no other possible way to capture this.

Credit should be given to the bloggers at 1115.org, who at least have taken the mathematical illiteracy that seems to completely elude Redburn and turned it into some "news you can use." To wit:

Try this as an experiment. Say your salary is $60,000 a year. One day your boss, with a huge grin, hands you a memo saying that you're going to get a 10% raise. Much to your surprise, they try and stiff you by paying you only $66,000 next year.

Take the slimy bastards to court. Point out that the raise they gave you is only $6,000 out of $66,000, or 9.09%. Call Redburn as an expert witness. And the editors of the NYT.

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