Tuesday, April 28, 2009

GOP debt chart, un-crappified

This chart is from gop.gov. Hat tip to Sadly, No!

There's a lot wrong with this chart. First off, it describes 4 ordered pairs. Secondly, there's no context to the numbers. Thirdly, an increase from 2.68T to 8.46T (5.77T) is represented by a distance of about 24 pixels, or about 4.2 pixels per trillion dollars.

Then an increase of 4.41T is represented by about 27 pixels, or 6.1 pixels per trillion dollars.

Finally an increase of 3.31T (the smallest increase depicted in reality) is represented by a distance of 107 pixels. This is a factor of 32.3 pixels per trillion dollars.

This gives the Y-dimension a lie factor of 7.8.

In the X-dimension, 334 pixels represent 17 years (20px per year), 60 pixels represent 2 years (30 px per year) and 62 pixels represent 3 years (21 px per year). The lie factor here is only 1.5.

Fourthly, the line from 2009 to 2012 is curved, making it appear longer than it actually is, enhancing the deception. Fifthly, the use of a very well-known optical illusion to make the distorted line appear even longer is rather childish. Sixthly, the use of the noun "Democrat" as an adjective (a well-documented attempt to turn the term into a slur) is also very childish.

Seventhly, the 2.68 number is grayed out and the 16.17 number is enlarged. Eighthly, the large lines and dots obscure the fake data. I think I'm forgetting some other things. Perhaps it was that the OMB projection data from the Statistical Abstract disagrees with the GOP's data, which they claim comes from the OMB. At any rate, the budget data may not agree with the Statistical Abstract data due to policy changes, but I haven't bothered to look into that. Anyway, here's a new design.

(and the SVGZ)

The red portion is historical data, the blue is projection (since the projection is for years that are Democratic-controlled, I chose blue for that portion). The labels on the left are fairly consistent until it gets near the bottom, at which point, the labels would all run into each other.

The year 1976 has an asterisk because that year, there was a change in accounting procedures. It is listed twice, once under each accounting procedure.

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