Fuzzy Math Infects the Governor’s Race: New at Reason

Virginia's governor's race is heating up, with some familiar political obfuscation popping up.

A. Barton Hinkle writes:

There are two kinds of math in the world: regular math and the political kind.

In regular math, addition involves the increase of something: Johnny has three apples in a basket. Billy adds three more. Now there are six apples in the basket. Six is more than three. The number of apples has increased.

Political math is different. In political math, addition is often called subtraction. When the Trump administration proposed increasing Medicaid spending from $378 billion to $524 billion a decade from now, critics screamed at the top of their lungs that he was planning to "slash" Medicaid.

This is because baseline spending for Medicaid was slated to reach $688 billion. So because Trump wanted to raise Medicaid spending, but by less than other people wanted to raise it, he was accused of trying to cut it.

Virginians saw political math in action last week, when the Virginia Education Association criticized Ed Gillespie's tax plan. The GOP candidate for governor has proposed cutting income tax rates by 10 percent. He also has made two stipulations.

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