Big Mistakes on Countrywide and Healthcare Polls

Charles Blow

New Orleans   Charles Blow, the statistical columnist for the Times, did an excellent job today of “catching the cat,” as he called it by looking under the numbers of the polls around support or opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Looking at a Times/CBS poll that is widely cited by the Republicans as their evidence that the American people hate the ACA, Blow noted that the actual poll showed that 27% of those polled said that ACA did not go far enough and 25% said ACA was about right.  In simple math that’s 52% support for ACA, which undermines the Republican’s claims about the 37% that said ACA “went too far.”  Looking further at the cross references in the poll, he found that those believing it went too far only accounted for 27% of the poll!  Furthermore some of the folks that wanted the bill struck down by the court were “single payers” who wanted Congress to go back and give us a better bill.

This problem with math skills deficiency in America today pervades politics and should lead to some kind of legislation, perhaps something like a No Politician Left Behind bill?

Speaking of enormous math errors, the Wall Street Journal noted that our friends at Bank of America have now ended up paying an extra $40 billion for their originally ill-advised purchase of Countrywide Mortgage for $2.5 billion as it headed for the tank.  Fresh from negotiations with Countrywide, I can still remember the conversations that we had with the Bank of America folks we worked with on mortgage lending where we advised them it was a HUGE MISTAKE for them to buy Countrywide.   But, what did we know, huh?

Math is a tool, and could be a friend, if you embraced it.

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