Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Alan Grayson: Lying for Truth

A friend on Facebook had a link to Alan Grayson Says Every Man, Woman and Child Gave Almost $100,000 to Banks. Now, I've never really been a fan of Grayson's, as I feel like he's just playing progressives as suckers, by throwing them tons of red meat without having to accomplishment anything.  And sad as it is to say, that's exactly what most progressives seem to want from a politician.  Sure, Obama can get health insurance for millions while ending rescission, and he can even put an end to DADT, but if he doesn't insult Republicans while doing it, he's just no use to them.

Now, maybe I'm wrong about all this and insults really are some magical way for us to score points, just as Grayson's loss in 2010 was somehow a sign of how much he won.  I don't know.  These political theories have never really made sense to me, so I just accept on faith that somehow there's a theory underneath it all that explains everything and these people aren't just looking for an excuse to be petty.  I'm sure the Underpants Gnomes have incorporated this into their business model. 

So needless to say, I didn't read that article with the highest of hopes, and it was even worse than I imagined.  Long story short: No, every man, woman, and child did NOT give $100,000 to the banks.  In fact, they didn't give anything at all.  Just as with TARP, these were loans, not giveaways, it was the Fed's money and not ours, and as the original Forbes article mentions, we didn't lose any money from this at all. 

 Stomping on the Fine Line

Now in Grayson's defense, he wasn't really making the point that everyone paid $100,000 to the banks.  He was just making the nonsensical point that the amount loaned out was the equivalent of that per person, in order to put it in context. He merely made a statement that sort of sounded like we all paid for this.

But as what usually happens in these cases, Grayson stretched the truth to make things sound more repugnant, and then his fans take the fine line he was walking on and dash it to hell by making bold claims about how we all got ripped off.

So we end up with the blogposts that say stupid stuff like:
Grayson says every man, woman, and child in America paid almost $100,000 to the banks.
Grayson points out that we paid almost $100,000 per man, woman and child in America to bail these banks out without any congressional authorization. We paid them $100,000 and they can’t cut us a break.
Yet...how could anyone really believe that each of us paid almost $100,000 to the banks?  That defies all logic.  Seriously.  I don't know about you, but I kind of think I'd know it if that much was missing from my account.  That's such a dumb thing to believe that I'm willing to say that outright, even if it hurts the feelings of people on my own side.  This whole OWS thing has gone to their heads and now they're starting to believe the sheerest nonsense with no sense of shame; and I'm determined to fix that.

When Truth Isn't Enough

And seriously, Grayson's entire interview was stupidly offensive; at least to anyone who respects truth.  Like complaining about how these banks got giant loans for low interest rates that the rest of us couldn't get.  I mean, duh.  It's just common sense that you loan money to people who can pay it back, and the more someone's able to pay it back, the more you'll loan them.  That's not inequality.  That's just common sense.  Similarly, I trust a major bank with all of my money, and I don't trust any of you with it.  Is that unfair?  No, that's just smart.  And if you disagree, then loan me all your money and see how much you get back. 

Yet that blogger actually wrote his piece of idiocy:
They knew that no American citizen could turn to the fed and ask for a bail out or a loan at the rates the banks were getting. No mom and pop could take their tale of woe to the fed, because the fed played favorites and the big banks won
What??  It's obvious that this person didn't even understand what Grayson was saying.  Yes, Grayson said the Fed played favorites, but it had nothing to do with the rest of us not getting loans from the Fed because we NEVER get loans from the Fed.  The Fed doesn't even give loans to citizens.  Only giving money to banks isn't playing favorites.  That's what the Fed does.  And if this person doesn't realize that, then they have absolutely zero business blogging about it, because they're simply incompetent.  Once again, they took Grayson's fine line and smeared it all over the place, as they were not summarizing what he said.

Grayson also complained about how this was all done without Congress's approval, which implies as if it should have been done with their approval, yet unfairly wasn't.  But does Congress approve of loans the Fed makes?  No, they don't.  And that's a good thing, as the Fed is supposed to be non-political, while Congress obviously isn't.  And if we opened up the Fed lending window to Congress's authority, it'd become yet another way for the crooked ones to funnel money to their cronies.

And really, Grayson's whole interview was meant to be inflammatory, to get people's attention.  And I guess I can't blame him for that.  And yet...yeah, I do.  Because when most politicians do this sort of thing, it's kind of a given that they're phony politicians who aren't really telling the truth.  But Grayson's different, because he holds himself out to be a truth-teller; so people who are typically more cynical will believe everything he says.  Yet he doesn't seem to think the truth is good enough for him.  He's got to juice it up a bit.  Find the red meat and make it a little sexier.  And if he says things that can be misconstrued into the ridiculous, so be it; because it's all for a good cause.

But I'm sorry, that's just not how truth works.  It's either true, or it isn't.  And if you have the truth on your side, you're only damaging it when you juice it up with inflammatory red meat; and possibly helping the other side to undermine your credibility.  Misinformation can be worse than no information at all; and if the truth isn't good enough for you, then you probably shouldn't be saying anything at all.  Apparently, Grayson didn't learn his lesson from before.

No comments: