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On Fox :"The government is lying to us"

Reported by Judy - October 8, 2005

Thank heavens for tape-replay. The first time I heard it, I could not believe my ears and had to replay it. "The government is lying to us," he said. Right there on Fox News Channel.

Investor and panelist Jim Rogers was the one who said it on "Cavuto on Business" on Saturday (Oct. 8, 2005). Rogers said the government's price data is seriously out of whack, failing to register steep increases in commodities. "Where do they shop?" he asked. "The prices of commodities have tripled. The government says prices are not up, but copper is at an all-time high, oil is at a all-time high. Everything's going through the roof."

Meredith Whitney, panelist from CIBC World Markets, quickly stepped in to reassure viewers that prices really are not up. The $3-plus a gallon that you're paying for gasoline is really not that much out of your pocket book, she said, coming up with the totally unbelievable statistic that oil prices account for only 3 percent of a consumer's budget now compared to 20 percent in the 1970s. She didn't cite a source for her statistic, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says a gallon of gas averaged 63 cents in 1978. In today's dollars, that would be only $1.90 a gallon, according to the site's inflation calculator. The last time I filled up, the price was $2.99. (Go to Bureau of Labor Statistics' Average Price Data page to construct your own table and see for yourself.) Sounds worse than the '70s to me.

Panelist and author Ben Stein also rebutted Rogers, telling him that the government is perfectly capable of telling us what things cost.

Charles Payne, another panelist and the Fox token-minority-who-supports Bush, also chimed in with the cheery news that inflation is nowhere near what it was in the 1970s, when it avearaged 10 percent a year. Of course, that's a typical GOP lie about the 1970s. The CPI increase for the years from 1970-1979 averaged 7.08 percent, not 10 percent.

The token liberal, Greg Hymowitz, panelist from Entrust Capital, recommended buying gold, a classic hedge against inflation. He also said that "this administration is over."

Stein couldn't let that stand, saying, the Bush admninistration "is a perfectly fine administration doing good work in every field." And he sounded like he believed it.

I only believed the part about "the government is lying to us."

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