Saturday, February 4, 2012

Ron Paul, Mathematics and a Super 8 Motel

Super 8, Council Bluff, IA:
Ron Paul spent here
February 4, 2012 - Paulbot Math - Some of Ron Paul's followers are touting an article by Samantha Wagner as proof that their candidate is thrifty. By extension, they would have you believe that Paul is better with money than the other Republican candidates.

But the "evidence" that they offer, what's written in Wagner's article, is not only flimsy but also contrary to what they claim.

I've seen Paulbots quote this passage from the Wagner article: "When Republican presidential rival Rick Perry stayed in Council Bluffs, Iowa, his campaign racked up a $1,204 tab at the Hilton Gardens Inn. When Paul visited Council Bluffs, he spent $64.38 at a Super 8 motel."

Super 8, Council Bluff, IA
However, what they fail to point out is that this article says actually shows that Rick Perry spent LESS than Paul did in the fourth quarter of 2011. That's the period that Wagner looked at in making her candidate spending comparison.

To wit: "Overall, Paul spent $15,085,426.39 in the fourth quarter," the article says, "the second most of any Republican candidate. Mitt Romney topped him at $19,019,342.53 and Perry was a close third at $14,226,095.17."

Let's do the math: Subtract Perry's fourth quarter total spending from Paul's, $15,085,426.39 minus $14,226,095.17. Rick Perry, then, stretched 15 million dollars better than Paul did, by a whopping $859,331.22.

Despite these simple mathematical facts, Wagner makes the absurd statement that Ron Paul's "disclosure statements prove that he practices what he preaches." But, no they don't. As Wagner herself laid out, they prove the opposite. It's especially weird that Ron Paul spent close to a million dollars more than Perry did even though, as Wagner points out, Paul eats at McDonalds and Subway and shops at places such as the Salvation Army. If Paul is saving there, how did he blow nearly a million dollars more in the last three months of 2011 than rival Rick Perry did?

Neither the Paulbots nor the article reveal the reasons why Perry spent more at the Hilton than Paul spent at the Super 8: Could it be that Perry picked up the tab for his staff, while cheapskate Paul made his people pay their own way? Why did Paul only spend $64.38 at a Super 8? Was he there alone? If staff traveled with him, did they pay for their own rooms?

Please, small chunks only
No big chunks, please
Wagner ends her piece with a weird statement: " Paul spends the money the way he raises it — in small chunks. Overall, 62 percent of Paul’s disbursements were for under $100. Just 5 percent of Perry’s expenditures were less than $100."

Really? Ron Paul raises money "in small chunks?" If that's so, then why do Ron Paul and his followers constantly remind us that he has had hugely successful mega-bucks money bombs? Why, then, do they love to claim that Paul gets big money from members of the armed forces? (Ron Paul's support among the US armed forces is less than 5 percent, much lower than they would have you believe.)

Small change only, please
Why did the Ron Paul mouthpiece, "The Daily Paul," brag that he "raised at least $4.5 million in the second quarter, putting him in second place behind Romney?" Granted, Paul gets more small individual donations than the other candidates, who get more big checks from wealthier donors.

It is misleading to hype the "small chunks" aspect of Paul's campaign donations because it falsely (and intentionally) gives the impression that poor Ron Paul is struggling with few donations. Ron Paul's supporters talk out of both sides of their mouth on this subject.

Ms. Wagner's bio says that she "is a reporter for the Hearst Newspapers Washington Bureau. She is a recent graduate of the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where she earned a degree in News-Editorial Journalism." I'm wondering how the hell she got that degree.
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