OPINION

Simple math: Columnist – and the newspaper's editors – need to get facts straight

The Examiner

Bruce Lindgren, Independence 

To the editor: 

My cable TV provider provides me with 24/7 access to fact-free opinions from any point along the ideological spectrum. I’m not sure why The Examiner has chosen to follow suit. 

The Nov.17 Independent Aussie column (“Pretending doesn’t make it so”) states: "The trillion dollar-plus infrastructure bill actually is only sending $550 million to actual infrastructure …"  

In fact, a large part of the bill reauthorizes current infrastructure spending that already includes far more than $550 million per year to Missouri alone. MODOT says, "In fiscal year 2019, Missouri received $778 million of federal reimbursement for state highway improvements and $104 million for cities and counties. This revenue source also includes federal funding for multimodal grants totaling $59 million in 2019.” 

The bill provides an additional $550 billion in additional funding, and the breakdown of that “actual infrastructure” spending has been reported by sources of widely varying ideologies. It’s easy to find. 

Confining spending to “actual infrastructure” is what has allowed the bill to receive broad bipartisan support. If Annie Dear opposes increased federal spending for infrastructure, that is certainly her right; but she has an obligation to her readers to avoid misstating clearly evident facts. So does The Examiner.