In a January 5 Letter to the Editor, Ralph Bush presents an inaccurate comparison of Donald Trump’s fourth quarter 2017 Gross Domestic Product growth compared to Barack Obama’s. He says, “The Gross Domestic Product for the fourth quarter is almost at 4 percent, it never got higher than 1 1/2 percent under Obama.”
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce website, there was no fourth quarter GDP data available at the time Mr. Bush wrote his letter. The first advance estimate release occurred on Jan. 26, and the number is 2.6 percent, a decline from the previous quarter. And President Obama’s fourth quarter GDP numbers exceeded 1.5 percent six times during the eight years of his presidency, including increases of 3.9 percent, 4.6 percent and 4 percent in 2009, 2011 and 2013.
Mr. Bush also says, “It appears The Tribune has an agenda to criticize President Trump at every opportunity.” In fact, the Tribune executive editor wrote to readers in February 2017 about how the newspaper is attempting to placate conservative readers.
As conservative columnists like Charles Krauthammer grew more critical of Mr. Trump, the Tribune replaced them with different ones who more stridently toe the Trump line. In the same note to readers, the editor encouraged conservative readers to write more letters, saying The Tribune receives “far fewer letters from Trump supporters” than from Trump opponents. I’m curious if that is still the case and would welcome an update from The Tribune.
Russell Wyllie, Paso Robles
Editor’s note: Yes, we still receive far more liberal letters. To quantify that, we reviewed Letters to the Editor emailed to us over five separate weeks in 2017: Jan. 8-14; March 5-11; June 4-10; Sept. 3-9; and Dec. 3-9. We counted only letters that dealt with partisan politics; the vast majority of them were about Donald Trump.
Liberal letters outnumbered conservative letters 74 to 40. In only one week — June — did the pro-Trump letters outnumber the anti-Trump submissions, 18 to 8.
Not all the letters were published; some were too long or did not contain the necessary contact information. In some cases, the letters were repetitive and due to space limitations, we chose to run a representative sample.
As we wrote roughly one year ago, we remain committed to publishing as many reader viewpoints as possible, so regardless of your political affiliation, we want to hear from you.
Email your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, address and telephone number (we won’t publish your street address or phone number). And especially as we enter election season, be mindful of the 200 word limit.