Josiah Bartlett Center - In Budget Debates, Ignore Anecdotes and Check the Data

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Weekly Update from the Josiah Bartlett Center

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In Budget Debates, Ignore Anecdotes and Check the Data

Much of the work of state government is in a holding pattern until the state Senate finishes its work on a draft of the budget. This is probably a useful time to remind you that so much of what we think we know isn’t true. It would be helpful to check your data ask your correspondent (the fellow bending your ear and complaining incessantly) if he’s checked his data. If nothing else, it will make his complaints about whatever happens in the budget more compelling.

New Hampshire’s fiscal policy is often subject to competing claims about tax burdens. Usually pontificators on both the right and left are guilty of exaggerating some claims, relying too heavily on anecdotes and adjectives, and rarely checking their facts to see if what someone once told them is still true (well, not me, obviously I’m talking about everyone else).

Describing a proposal as draconian or profligate is often determined by our pre-existing mindset. Adjectives are determined by philosophy rather than facts. Click here to keep reading.