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Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013 04:59 pm

A little knowledge…No. 4 in a series

 A recent NYT/CBS poll that found that 54% of American voters “disapprove” of the way Barack Obama is handling the deficit left Slate’s David Weigel puzzled.

“What are voters reacting to, exactly? Can it be the size of the deficit? That wouldn’t make sense, as the deficit is down 35 percent from this time last year,” and in the four-and-a-half years he’s been in office he’s cut the deficit in half.

“My theory?” ventures Weigel. “As has been true for generations, Americans don’t actually know what the deficit is, conflate it with “debt,” conflate it with the economy being rotten.”

Pretty much. Public opinion is only that – opinion, not judgments, because judgments must be made on a basis of fact.

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