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Tue., Oct. 6
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Catchy headline distorts facts


Republican Matt Doheny sent out a news release Wednesday accusing Rep. Bill Owens of "costing Americans $4 billion a day," which is, of course, preposterous.
The math is pretty quick: Using the debt calculator, figure out how much the debt was when Mr. Owens first took office, then what it is today, and divide it by the number of days.
But pinning the entirety of government spending on one congressman, who has been in the minority for much of his two years in Congress and is on the agriculture, armed services and small business committees, is a whole bucket of spin.
"Owens burned through $4.06 billion of taxpayer money every day since he's been in Congress," Mr. Doheny said in a release.
But what about the spending he's voted against? And what about the spending that he could have no possible control over — from promises made and wars waged well before Mr. Owens took office?
It's blaming a one-and-a-half term congressman for not having the wherewithal to single-handedly stop the freight train of federal spending. Which is, just so we're clear, really, really silly.
If we're using the same logic here, Rep. Eric Cantor is responsible for debt that soared from $5.7 trillion when he took office in 2001 to more than $15 trillion today. And don't even get me started on House Speaker John Boehner.
Another part of the news release includes rhetoric that's much more reasonable: "Bill Owens has helped rack up more than $3 trillion in new debt in the two short years he's been in Congress — – which doesn't include the $1 trillion that will be taken from American taxpayers to pay for the “ObamaCare” my opponent supported."
The debt and the health care law are two separate things, according to the Congressional Budget Office, though some doubt whether the law could actually improve the nation's bottom line.
Mr. Doheny makes a few other points in the release, including this one: "When I'm elected, I'll support a balanced budget amendment that ensures government will live within its means."
Mr. Doheny told Newzjunky that he wanted a balanced budget amendment that requires a supermajority to raise the debt ceiling or to raise taxes.
But the Newzjunky report says that Mr. Doheny supports Rep. Robert Goodlatte's balanced budget amendment that is coming up for a vote shortly. But the bill that's actually coming up for a vote doesn't require a supermajority to raise taxes, so there's a bit of confusion here, the bottom of which will be gotten to.

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