I don’t normally post without an image, but this article titled “The War Over Economic Facts” from Business Week resonates deeply for me and gets at the heart of why we are working on Data360.
Some good parts from the article:
In a presidential campaign dominated by the economy, it’s not surprising that both sides have inundated voters with data supporting their positions. What distinguishes this campaign is the inability of the candidates to agree even on basic facts—from whether Romney would cut taxes on the rich to whether Obama doubled the budget deficit.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan: “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”
There was a time when politicians sought ways to come to agreement about economic data. Earlier generations of lawmakers created nonpartisan organizations to be their official truth-tellers on budgetary matters. The key ones are the Government Accountability Office, founded in 1921; the Joint Committee on Taxation, founded in 1926; and the Congressional Budget Office, founded in 1974.
GAO: 3,200 employees
CBO: 230 employees
JCT: 60 employees
While I am disappointed in the lack of agreement between politicians about the facts, I know there are many, many people who share a commitment to objectivity and who would agree that in order to move towards a shared vision of the future, we must have a shared understanding of the present.