letter to editor stock art - notebook, coffee cup, hand

The April 10 letter to the editor, "Anyone can cherry-pick statistics," misleads readers of the Prior Lake American with inaccurate statements and innuendos.

First, the writer leads readers to question the credibility of the Prior Lake American by inferring it printed my April 3 letter ("Don't fall for the Republican sales pitch") “without so much as a five minute cursory review.” For the record, there were numerous back and forth emails with the Community Editor and me before the letter was printed after changes were made.

Second, the writer plays fast and loose with his numbers by failing to adjust for inflation when making his comparisons in the growth of the national debt between past and recent presidents. For example, he states Reagan increased the national debt 186% which added $1.85 trillion to it. If adjusted for inflation, the dollar amount would exceed $4 trillion. Using current dollars, comparisons can now be made between the $4 trillion increase in the national debt during Reagan's presidency to the projected $7.8 trillion increase in the national debt during Trump's presidency in either percentages or dollars.

Third, the writer states President Obama added $8.588 trillion to the national debt, which is false. Both the Congressional Budget Office and the bipartisan Committee for Responsible Federal Budget have President Obama's specific policies and initiatives adding less than $3 trillion to the national debt. The ongoing expenditures from inherited policies of previous administrations make up the difference, such as: the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, reduced tax revenues due to 2008 recession numerous and other multi-billion dollar expenditures such as medical care for wounded Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, Presidents Reagan and Bush tax cuts, Medicare prescription drug coverage, increased cost to the safety net programs due to the 2008 recession, and almost $2 trillion in interest on the $11.657 trillion national debt prior to Obama taking office.

Fourth, his letter only mentions Planned Parenthood performing abortions and isn't entirely clear on the organization's funding. Over half of Planned Parenthood's funding comes from private donations and non-government health services revenues. The Hyde Amendment forbids Planned Parenthood from using any taxpayer funds for abortions, with limited exceptions. Various sources list Planned Parenthood using from 3-12 % of total revenues for abortions, the other 88-97% is used for screening and treating STDs, providing contraception, mammograms, cancer screening, prenatal services, adoption referrals, etc. The writer states abortions are down from 1970, therefore government funding should be reduced, not increased for Planned Parenthood in 2021. Is the writer not aware health care costs have increased significantly since 1970 and the population increased by over 130 million?

Based on his statements, it appears the writer has fallen for the Republican sales pitch without any in-depth checking for accuracy of various talking points of Republication politicians and conservative media before regurgitating them.

Glen Weber

Prior Lake