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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Fake Punditry in Action - 5

Today's example of Fake Punditry (an opinion article based on false facts) comes from  To be fair, expecting either truth or fairness from Slate is like expecting honesty and morality from a Clinton.  Nevertheless, today's column by Fred Kaplan about the proposed increase in defense spending put forward by President Trump is an exercise in error.  Kaplan calls the increased spending "staggering".  Actually, it surely is not.  Right now, the USA is spending a smaller portion of its GDP on defense than at any time in many decades.  In the 1960s we spent almost 10% of GDP on defense.  Back when Obama took office, we spent close to 5% of GDP.  Now, it is only in the mid 3% range.  We have been starving the military of new equipment and necessary expenditures for over a decade.  Kaplan says that America doesn't need new planes; wars will never again be fought by such machines (or so he says.)  Apparently, Kaplan missed the fact that it has been American air power that has allowed the Iraqi forces to drive ISIS out of eastern Mosul and other cities.  Those American planes hitting ISIS in Syria must not be involved in fighting according to Kaplan.

Kaplan's facts are so wrong that I wonder if he knows it.  Can he truly be so misinformed as to actually mean the stuff he says?  Or is this just propaganda?  We may never know for sure.

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