In simple math classes the thing that many students have the most trouble with is fractions. Fortunately most math teachers find a way to overcome a student’s difficulty, and they master the concept.
Percents are easier.
Except, it would appear, when it comes to Congress learning their basic fractions and percents.
The denominator is on the bottom of the fraction, while the numerator is on the top. The denominator tells you how much you need to have in order to have the whole of something with the numerator telling you how much of it you have.
The smaller the denominator, the number on the bottom, the bigger the pieces and the less of them you need to make a whole. So 4 is a bigger chunk than, say, 7.
The closer the numerator is to the denominator, the bigger a chunk you have. So, if it takes 7 pieces to make a whole and you have 5 while someone else has 2, you have a bigger share.
When you then translate this to percents, it gets easier to grasp that the closer you are to 100, the bigger your share.
I know for some reading this I am coming across as, perhaps, a little insulting, but I reviewed this so that you can have a better grasp of exactly how slow members of the House of Representatives seem to be when it comes to math.
The latest survey on Congress has their approval rating hovering around 15% which means that 85% of the bipartisan sampling disapprove of the present congress.
This past Sunday in an interview, john Boehner, Speaker of the House which has not passed any Jobs bill, still hasn’t addressed the sequester, but is about to vote once again to attempt a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, bringing it close to 40 attempts, told Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation that Congress passes too many laws and should actually be working to undo existing measures.
I suppose the first part would be true if the House actually passed any legislation.
Boehner believes that the house “ought to be judged” on how many laws it repeals, which is an odd sentiment, considering its consistent failure to repeal “Obamacare”.
“Well, Bob, we should not be judged on how many new laws we create. We ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal. We’ve got more laws than the administration could ever enforce. And so we don’t do commemorative bills on the floor. We don’t do all that nonsense. We deal with what the American people want us to deal with. Unpopular? Yes. Why? We’re in a divided government. We’re fighting for what we believe in. Sometimes, you know, the American people don’t like this mess”.
But, back to the fraction/percent thing.
If only 15% of the American people believe Congress is doing a good job while 85% thinks the opposite (what would that be in fractions? 3/20 for; 17/20 against?), how is what Congress is doing dealing “with what the American people want us to deal with”?
But I do suppose this difficulty in understanding the concepts of fractions and percentages explains the reason why, when it comes to helping the American people, the House believes that their favoring the 1% over the 99% is what the majority of American people want.