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"There are Lies. Damn Lies"

Reported by Melanie - December 27, 2004

Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was a guest today (December 27, 2004) on Your World w/Neil Cavuto. Sanders was on to speak with Stuart Varney (substituting for Neil Cavuto) about outsourcing, US trade policies and the US corporate tax structure which gives huge breaks to corporations as they simultaneously ship jobs overseas.

During the discussion, Sanders pointed out that more and more Americans are slipping into poverty as they work longer hours for a wage that, when adjusted for inflation, is less than it was 25 years ago.

As Sanders made his argument, Varney looked increasingly astonished, or maybe it was worried. After all, the message coming out of Fox is that all's well in this, the greatest, most perfect nation on Earth and what Sanders was saying didn't exactly jive with that message. Unable to let Sanders' argument go unchallenged, Varney said: "On what basis do you say that our standard of living across these United States is actually falling and that the middle class is shrinking and that there's more and more proverty?"

Sanders responded: "By every economic..."

Varney: "Where are your statistics from?"

Sanders: "...[S]tudy done by the government and private economists. The average American today is working longer hours for lower wages than was the case 25 years ago. Four million people more are in poverty today than was the case just four or five years ago."

During Sander's explanation Varney had a smirk on his face which suggested (to me at least) that Varney wanted the audience to think that Sanders was one of those northeastern liberal wackos. Varney broke out with a laugh and said: "There are lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics. Come on!"

Sanders tried to explain that he could cite many statistics about lower wages, the profusion of low-wage jobs, lost jobs, etc., but Varney changed the subject to China instead.

COMMENT: What a shame that Fox News mocks someone who speaks absolute truth. What a shame that Fox suggests to its viewers, albeit in a subtle way, that Bernie Sanders is a crack-pot. What a shame that Fox News' viewers aren't told that this problem is bad and getting worse, under the "leadership" of George W. Bush no less, a man they exalt at every opportunity. Shame on Fox News for mocking the truth.

A quick Google search of "poverty in America" showed over eight million hits. Here are a few of those hits as well as a link to the US Census Bureau for information on their studies which show that in fact, poverty is on the rise in this country.

U.S. Census Bureau
Catholic Campaign for Human Development
Knight Ridder: More Get Food Stamps as Economy Changes
Washintgon Post: Poverty Rate Up 3rd Year in a Row
Economic Policy Institute: Wages and salaries at unprecedented low growth rate

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