Tuesday, January 18th, 2011
AP has an interesting report today on the use of statistics.
A recent report by House GOP leaders says “independent analyses have determined that the health care law will cause significant job losses for the U.S. economy.”
It cites the 650,000 lost jobs as Exhibit A, and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office as the source of the original analysis behind that estimate. But the budget office, which referees the costs and consequences of legislation, never produced the number.
Many have suggested that the short title of the bill is a bad idea because of the use of the word “killing.” More to the point, the question might be, instead, thoughtful titles in official work by Congress. To inject vehement language into a title is cynical, and, as AP confirms in this case, incorrect. How would it play, for example, if the bill to amend the law used the words “health care law” without use of “Job-Killing”?
One reason: the bill would be a irrelevant. “Job-Killing” in this case is meant to “prove” that facts have been verified by evidence. Is this intentional “error of fact” or the wishful thinking fallacy.
Let’s assume instead a need for a higher burden of proof to write legislation.