Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The 47%, Redux

Maine Governor Paul LePage (R) takes a page out of Mitt Romney's book (via):
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) took a page from the Mitt Romney playbook when he told a conservative audience at an event last week that 47 percent of able-bodied people in the state don't work, the Bangor Daily News reported Tuesday.


"Number two, when you talk about workforce development, it really means that the people that -- about 47 percent of able-bodied people in the state of Maine don't work," LePage said. A woman can then be heard on the recording reacting to that figure, to which LePage reiterated "About 47 percent. It's really bad."
Politifact rates this statement "mostly true" because the real figure undoubtedly contains two digits followed by a percent symbol.


PG said...

The 47% figure is weird in two ways:

(1) Maine generally has a higher employment rate than the US as a whole, especially in summer, so even if Romney were right that 47% of the US as a whole is uselessly sucking the government teat, Maine probably would have a slightly lower percent.

(2) LePage's own statisticians in Maine state government put the employment to population ratio at 60%. So even if everyone were "able bodied" and able to be employed for wages, that still would be only 40% of them not working.

Maybe 47% is a kind of mystical number for Republicans now, like 42 for nerds.

EW said...

Speaking of doubtful "mostly true" statements, I couldn't find this topic discussed on Politifact.