Increasingly Ham-Handed Spin
It’s a minor thing, almost not worth mentioning, but pixels are cheap, and it won’t take but a moment to correct Crowley’s pitiful attempt to find contradiction where there is none. Jim Baron, of the Pawtucket Times paraphrased Jeff Neal, spokesman for Governor Carcieri, as follows:
Neal deemed the claim that 90 percent of Rhode Islanders would see a reduction in their overall taxes “highly unlikely.” He pointed out that the tax returns of those earning $75,000 or more already make up 70 percent of the income taxes collected.
Crowley attempts to twist this, thus:
… doesn’t this mean, Jeff, that if the average person is reporting $75,000 a year in income that the state worker whose average salary is $46,000 (or, even as you often claim $58,000) is anywhere from 23 – 39% BELOW what the majority of Rhode Islanders make? You can’t have it both ways, Jeff.
Called on the deliberate misreading, the intrepid Crowley pushed on in the comments:
Again, you guys can’t have it both ways. It is ISN’T true that 70% people file returns making $75K or more, then in means that 90% of the people WOULD see a decrease. He just throws numbers out and lets people like you say it different than what he meant.
The difference between what Neal said and what Crowley claims he said ought to be clear to Anchor Rising readers, but just to sidestep the “lets people like you say it different[ly]” ruse, I emailed Mr. Baron to ask whether Neal presented the latter statement as evidence of the former (i.e., “unlikely because”), or as an additional, related consideration. Baron confirmed that “the two things were not as related as the juxtaposition in the story might imply. My impression is he was giving two different reasons why the proposal is a bad idea.”
If Crowley had an ounce of integrity, he would issue a correction — even a clarification — with the same prominence as the original spin. It’s an abomination that the teachers of Rhode Island allow this guy to have any official role in our educational system whatsoever.