Facts Without Context Are Often Manipulation

I don’t watch the news as much as I used to and I’m happier and less stressed because of that decision. But every now and then I go against my better judgment and turn on the news before dinner, usually flipping between MSNBC, Fox, and CNN.

The Debt Ceiling Fight

Recently I saw Ari Melber, host of MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari Melber, talking about our national debt. He stated that former President Trump’s spending during his four years in office accounts for 25% of our current national debt. This was being discussed because of the debt ceiling fight going on between the republican controlled congress and the White House.

Melber had several guests on the show railing against Trump’s spending as if it were the only reason we’d hit the debt ceiling. What a terrible administration they were to run up the national debt by such a huge percentage! But wait a minute, what have other recent presidents done to our national debt because of their spending? 

Presidents Adding to the Debt

According to an article from The Balance, US Debt by President: Dollar and Percentage, here’s how our last five presidents have added to our total debt by the end of their time in office:

  • Donald Trump added $6.7 trillion over 4 years, 33% increase
  • Barack Obama added $8.6 trillion over 8 years, 74% increase
  • George W. Bush added $5.85 trillion over 8 years, 101% increase
  • Bill Clinton added $1.4 trillion over 8 years, 32% increase
  • George H.W. Bush, $1.55 trillion over 4 years, 54% increase

In case you’re wondering about Ronald Regan, he added 186%, but that’s a drop in the bucket compared to Woodrow Wilson’s 723% increase and FDR’s 1048% increase!

Of course, with every administration there’s always a reason for blowing out the spending – Covid, battling a recession and financial meltdown, Middle East war, etc. 

Is Biden Lowering the Debt?

When you hear the Biden administration is lowering the debt, don’t believe it. That’s not my opinion, that’s according to Politifact. The “rescue plan” and other spending initiatives continue to drive the deficit up. For the time being the debt may be rising at a slower rate but it’s still going up. Not knowing what excuses may come this year or next, it remains to be seen what the total and percentage will be by the end of Biden’s term on December 31, 2024.

Media Manipulation

While I’ve shared a lot of numbers and railed against out-of-control spending, my real issue is with our news. Every station is severely slanted to one side or another. MSNBC and CNN sound like apologists for the democrats whereas Fox continually defends republicans. Melber’s presentation of the debt fact may be true, but the context is designed to give an incorrect impression. In other words, it’s pure manipulation.

Two Sides of the Same Coin

Let’s just be honest about our political system – Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same coin and boy oh boy do they like spending those coins! In fact, it’s very apparent they like spending the coins they don’t have and that comes at the expense of every citizen.

In case anyone thinks I’m an apologist for Trump. I didn’t vote for the guy either time, but I didn’t vote for Hillary or Biden either. Voting for the same parties over and over and expecting something different is Einstein’s definition of insanity playing out in real time.

Paying Off the Debt

Let me close with a staggering fact. Our national debt now stands at $31.5 trillion dollars ($31,500,000,000,000). With 332 million citizens in the U.S. that means every person in the country would have to pay $95,000 to reduce the debt to zero. Or how about this, we start paying down the debt by $1 million a day. A million dollars is still a lot of money so how long do you think it will take us to pay it off? Believe it or not, 86,000 years!!!!

Brian Ahearn

Brian Ahearn is the Chief Influence Officer at Influence PEOPLE. An author, TEDx speaker, international trainer, coach, and consultant, Brian helps clients apply influence in everyday situations to boost results.

As one of only a dozen Cialdini Method Certified Trainers (CMCT) in the world, Brian was personally trained by Robert Cialdini, Ph.D., the most cited living social psychologist on the science of ethical influence.

Brian’s first book, Influence PEOPLE, was named one of the 100 Best Influence Books of All Time by Book Authority. His follow-up, Persuasive Selling for Relationship Driven Insurance Agents, was an Amazon new release bestseller. His latest book, The Influencer: Secrets to Success and Happiness, is a business parable designed to teach you how to apply influence concepts at home and the office.

Brian’s LinkedIn courses on persuasive selling and coaching have been viewed by more than 500,000 people around the world!

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