In Washington-speak, an increase that is less than some hypothetical alternative is a “cut.” Today’s Associated Press “fact check” insists that Washington’s favorite dodge be enthroned as the only way to talk about spending.
The AP criticizes this tweet by President Trump, which it concedes is entirely correct:
The Democrats howled that the GOP Senate bill “slashes” Medicaid spending. Trump accurately pointed out that on the contrary, Medicaid spending will grow under the Senate plan. The AP admits this is true. Nevertheless, it headlines: “AP FACT CHECK: When a swoopy line on a chart misleads.”
President Donald Trump has been spread [sic] around a chart purportedly showing Medicaid spending rising under the Republican health legislation. According to the raw numbers, that’s true.
Then why the “purportedly”?
But an AP Fact Check finds that the bill would inflict deep cuts in the program by slowing Medicaid’s projected growth.
If you think that “slowing…projected growth” constitutes “inflict[ing] deep cuts,” you qualify as a D.C. Democrat. But for the AP to claim that it is “misleading” to point out that the “raw numbers” will rise is absurd.
I give the AP four Pinocchios.