Lies upon lies

Glenn Kessler, who has been doing yeoman’s work debunking the White House’s stream of sequestration lies, debunks another. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan:

It just means a lot more children will not get the kinds of services and opportunities they need, and as many as 40,000 teachers could lose their jobs. … There are literally teachers now who are getting pink slips, who are getting notices that they can’t come back this fall.

Lie. After being pressed for days for an example, the White House finally produced a single district in West Virginia, but even that wasn’t true. In Kanawha County, five or six teachers (not 40,000) are being transferred (not laid off), due to a change in state policy (not due to sequestration).

Megan McArdle sums up this way:

These aren’t matters of opinion where the administration can simply argue assumptions; these are easily checkable statements with hard numbers attached.  From this I infer that the administration is having a hard time finding concrete examples of bad things that the sequester is going to do.  Nor is that a huge surprise.  Whether you’re for or against the sequester, we are talking about relatively small sums, in the scope of the federal deficit.  They’re simply not going to show up in much measurable way as devastating hardship.

POSTSCRIPT: Despite being on the front line of the administration’s lies, Kessler still wants to give them the benefit of the doubt:

In other words, Duncan’s scare story about teacher layoffs — right now, at this moment — was apparently too good to check. If the Obama administration had learned anything about the Susan Rice-Benghazi debacle, you would have thought it was to make sure the talking points for the Sunday shows are rock-solid. Given that Duncan had made this claim once to reporters, couldn’t anyone in his office have bothered to pick up the phone and double-check the information?

It’s not a matter of checking. The Benghazi misinformation wasn’t a mistake; it was a lie. So is this.

(Previous post.)

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