This morning I wrote about the Goldwater Institute's Byron Schlomach's anti-Prop 100 op ed. Schlomach found a way to imply the favorite G.I. line, "the average family will spend $400 $516 extra if Prop 100 passes" (he actually raised the figure) while allowing him to claim that's not what he said.
Today I picked up a Tucson Weekly and found Jim Nintzel is on the same wavelength in The Skinny. Diogenes-like, Nintzel found himself an honest man in Tom Sander of the Pima Association of Taxpayers -- honest at the moment anyway, I don't know Sander, so I don't know if that's a feature or a bug -- then Nintzel demonstrated that Tom Jenney of Americans for Prosperity is a weasel of G.I. proportions.
Nintzel attended a Prop 100 rally. At the end of his piece, he writes this.
At the end of the forum, Tom Sander of the Pima Association of Taxpayers stood up to repeat some talking points from the Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity.
Sander said the average Arizonan would pay an extra $400 in taxes if voters approve the sales tax.
The Skinny approached Sander after the meeting to point out that in order to pay $400 in taxes, the average Arizonan would have to spend $40,000 on items that are subject to the sales tax. That does not include mortgage (or rent), utilities or groceries.
Given that U.S. Census data from 2008 shows that half the households in Arizona earned less than $51,100, that seems pretty hard to believe.
Sander gave that a bit of thought and agreed with us.
"Good catch on that one," he said.
The next day, Sander—to his credit—dropped a line to Tom Jenney of Americans for Prosperity, saying he thought the organization should be careful about tossing around wild figures.
Jenney defended a calculation of his that the average family would pay $400, because he divided the total amount the tax was going to raise and divided it by the number of households in Arizona.
"The point you're after is how much the TYPICAL family (or person) will pay," Jenney wrote to Sander. "That depends on how you define 'typical.' And that's a purely subjective choice."
Well, thanks for clarifying that your numbers remain mathematically accurate, if completely useless except as a deceptive rhetorical device.
All the facts that fit. Fit the facts to the agenda.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Tom Jenney of Americans for Prosperity.