With its falsehoods, prevarications and statistical mix-ups, it is too bad Marcel Morin’s Sept. 18 letter, “Barack Obama’s many lies,” made it to print.

Let’s start with “The U.S. spends $43.6 million for food stamps.” Wrong. The U.S. had 43.6 million Americans enrolled in the program in November 2010. In fiscal year 2011, the program paid out $71.8 billion, according to the USDA, which administers the program.

Here’s another: President Obama “took George W. Bush apart for adding debt of $4-$5 billion in eight years. Obama has added more than $5 trillion in three and one-half years.” Four to five billion dollars? This is simply false. The U.S. Treasury Department shows that the total outstanding national debt increased by $4.95 trillion during President Bush’s terms in office.

Morin also uses a common slight of hand when presenting statistics, writing: “He … has stated that he reduced taxes for 98 percent of the people (49 to 51 percent pay no income taxes).” Aside from the fact that the first statement is false (Mr. Obama has pledged not to raise existing taxes for 98 percent of Americans, he didn’t claim that he reduced them), it confuses two different measures: the percentage of people that won’t see a change in income tax rates and the percentage of people that pay income taxes.

Morin notes that 42 cents on the dollar seems small until you multiply it by $100 billion. Given his letter’s myriad errors, we should take caution in repeating his “simple arithmetic.”

Matt Jones, Auburn

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