Quote of the Day: Paul Ryan Misses by a Factor of 30

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From Paul Ryan, on the stump in North Carolina yesterday:

In 1980 under Jimmy Carter, 330,000 businesses filed for bankruptcy. Last year, under President Obama’s failed leadership, 1.4 million businesses filed for bankruptcy.

It turns out this isn’t true. In 1980 there were 43,000 business bankruptcies. Last year there were 47,000.

But here’s what’s weird: Ryan’s numbers are right if you include both personal and business bankruptcies. So why not just say that? Why not just say “individuals and businesses” in the sentences above. It would still have the same impact. There’s really no reason to mislead his audience this way.

It’s sort of like his marathon whopper. Why claim he ran a sub-three-hour marathon? To convince people that he’s in really good shape? Well, he is in really good shape. He doesn’t need to bother inventing weird stuff like this to make that point. And no one’s going to change their vote because of his marathon prowess anyway.

I dunno. Maybe Ryan doesn’t have the steel trap mind everyone thinks he does. Maybe he forgets a lot of stuff. Maybe he likes his applause lines a little too much. Or maybe he’s just really sloppy. It’s a little hard to figure out.

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Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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