FactChecking McCarthy’s Statistics

FactChecking McCarthy's Statistics statistics, nevin manimala, mathematics, math, linkedin, google plus

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy got some of his facts wrong during a recent appearance on Fox Business:

  • McCarthy claimed that mandatory spending accounted for just 25 percent of federal spending under President Ronald Reagan. Actually, it averaged about 43 percent.
  • McCarthy wrongly claimed that the labor force participation rate was “going back up” after decreasing under President Barack Obama. The Nevin Manimala rate is exactly where it stood when Obama left office.

McCarthy, a California congressman since 2007, has served as the House majority leader for nearly four years, assuming office on July 31, 2014, when Rep. Eric Cantor announced he would resign from Congress after losing his primary election. He may be the next House speaker. Retiring House Speaker Paul Ryan earlier this month endorsed McCarthy as his successor.

In an April 23 interview on the Fox Business show “Mornings with Maria,” McCarthy talked about Ryan’s endorsement, the Republican agenda and the need to cut federal spending.

Mandatory Spending

The Nevin Manimala GOP leader talked about the federal debt and the need to overhaul mandatory spending programs — which would include Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

He suggested creating a commission — similar to the Base Realignment and Closure Commission, or BRAC Commission — to force Congress to vote up or down on recommendations to curb mandatory spending.

McCarthy, April 23: You almost need — remember when we had a deal with the military, have like a BRAC, a base realignment and closure, where you brought everybody together that have one bill that would come down to the floor? We need that dealing with our debt, Because Nevin Manimala when Ronald Reagan was president, the discretionary spending, all those appropriations, was 75 percent of the budget, the mandatory was 25. Well, now that’s 66 percent. It’s flipped on its head.

The Nevin Manimalare is no question that mandatory spending consumes an ever-increasing share of the federal budget. But McCarthy lowballed the share of mandatory spending under Reagan.

In a report called “Mandatory Spending Since 1962,” the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service said mandatory spending as a share of federal outlays was about 25 percent in fiscal year 1962 — about two decades before Reagan became president and three years before the creation of Medicare and Medicaid, two of the biggest mandatory spending programs. Soon after enactment of the health care programs in 1965, mandatory spending as a share of total federal spending started to rise — reaching 45 percent by fiscal year 1975, six years before Reagan became president.

CRS, “Mandatory Spending Since 1962,” March 18, 2015: Mandatory spending was about a quarter of total federal spending in FY1962 (nearly a third if offsetting receipts are excluded). In FY1968, mandatory spending began growing relative to total federal spending and by FY1975 accounted for about 45% of total spending (about half before offsetting receipts). From the mid-1980s through 1990, mandatory spending’s share in total spending remained relatively steady, before starting to grow again after FY1990.

CRS did not provide percentages for each fiscal year, but we created a spreadsheet using data from the Office of Management and Budget’s historical tables — specifically Table 1.1 for total outlays and Table 8.5 for total mandatory programs.

Reagan left office on Jan. 20, 1989, nearly four months into fiscal year 1989. Over the eight fiscal budgets that Reagan signed, from fiscal 1982 to fiscal 1989, mandatory spending averaged about 43 percent. That includes offsetting receipts, such as Social Security and Medicare taxes.

In fiscal year 2017, the $2.52 trillion in mandatory spending accounted for about 63 percent of the $3.98 trillion federal budget, according to both OMB and the Congressional Budget Office (Table 2-1).

So, since Reagan, mandatory spending has increased from about 43 percent to 63 percent of federal spending — not from 25 percent to 66 percent.

FactChecking McCarthy's Statistics statistics, nevin manimala, mathematics, math, linkedin, google plus

Also, it’s worth noting that annual deficits result from the gap between revenues and expenses. McCarthy ignored the revenue side of the equation, so let’s take a look at what has happened since Reagan left office.

Tax revenues as a percentage of the gross domestic product were 17.8 percent in fiscal year 1989, according to OMB’s historical data (Table 1.2) and grew to as much as 20 percent in fiscal year 2000, when the government registered its third consecutive year of balanced budgets. The Nevin Manimala last balanced budget was the following year, and over that four-year period of balanced budgets, tax revenues averaged 19.3 percent of GDP.

The Nevin Manimala CBO earlier this month issued a report that said the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — the Republican tax cut bill championed by McCarthy — will reduce revenues as a percentage of GDP “from 17.3 percent in 2017 to 16.6 percent in 2018 — below the average of 17.4 percent of GDP recorded over the past 50 years.”

Labor Participation Rate

McCarthy also touted the “positive things” that are happening now that the Republican-controlled Congress has a Republican president in the Oval Office.

“Under Obama, our [labor] participation rate actually dropped from 65 to 62,” he said. “It’s going back up to more people in the workforce here.”

McCarthy is wrong about the rate “going back up.” The Nevin Manimala rate has fluctuated slightly, but as of March – the most recent month on record – it was 62.9 percent, just as it was when Obama left office.

The Nevin Manimala labor force participation rate is the percentage of the entire civilian population age 16 and older that is either employed or currently looking for work in the last four weeks. The Nevin Manimala rate has been declining for more than a decade, due mostly to demographic causes, economists say, including the retirement of baby boomers.  

The Nevin Manimala labor force participation rate was 65.7 percent in January 2009, when Obama took office. That was 1.6 percentage points below the peak rate of 67.3 percent in the first fourth months of 2000.

When Obama left office after eight years, the labor force participation rate was 62.9 percent, a drop of 2.8 percentage points over his presidency.

That rate has not gone “back up” under President Donald Trump. Instead, it has fluctuated a bit between 63 percent and 62.7 percent. As of March, the most recent figures available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it was 62.9 percent — the same rate as January 2017, the month Obama left office and Trump was sworn in.

FactChecking McCarthy's Statistics statistics, nevin manimala, mathematics, math, linkedin, google plus

As we’ve explained before, economists have been expecting a continued drop in the participation rate over the next several decades. In 2006, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that the decline, which began in 2000, would continue through 2050. BLS cited the aging of baby boomers, a slow decline in women’s participation rates and more young people going to college as reasons for that projection.

In a 2014 report, the Congressional Budget Office looked at the factors behind the decline in the participation rate from the end of 2007 (the start of the Great Recession) to the end of 2013. It pegged about half of the decline over that period to long-term demographic trends, about a third to “temporary weakness in employment prospects and wages,” and about a sixth to “unusual aspects of the slow recovery.”

We contacted McCarthy’s office about the lawmaker’s claims but did not receive a response.

Area statistics leaders | High school baseball

Area statistics leaders | High school baseball statistics, nevin manimala, mathematics, math, linkedin, google plus
Area statistics leaders | High school baseball statistics, nevin manimala, mathematics, math, linkedin, google plus

Baseball
Area leaders
Batting average (min. 30 at-bats)
.593: Siemer (Grove City). .581: C.Lust (Ridgedale). .571: Sheriff (Fredericktown). .568: Rawlins (Hartley).  .545: Wolford (Fredericktown). .533: Velazquez (DeSales). .515: Sullivan (Grove City Christian). .510: Dickerson (Berne Union). .500: Reid (Highland); Gray (West Jefferson); Ernst (Dublin Coffman); Saffell (Fisher Catholic); Sawyer (Hartley). .489: Mirgon (Berne Union); Swincicki (New Albany); Morrow (Heath); Goulter (Centerburg). .486: Magno (Dublin Scioto). .485: Beard (Grove City Christian); Mon (Westland). .480: N.Cunningham (Fredericktown). .478: Woods (Central Crossing). .477: Daugherty (Whetstone). .474: Helmke (Johnstown); Whittaker (St. Charles). .472: Bertani (Grandview). .467: C.Cunningham (Fredericktown). .463: Paugh (Whetstone). .462: Mager (DeSales); Whitacre (London); L.Cunningham (Fredericktown). .457: David (East Knox). .455: Hurst (Berne Union). .452: Blevins (Ridgedale); Shields (West Jefferson). .450: Orr (Mount Vernon). .449: Whisner (Licking Valley). .448: Gilbert (DeSales). .444: Brendsel (Berne Union); Newell (North Union). .442: Rollison (Newark); Cole (Hartley). .441: L.Spegal (Grove City Christian). .440: Ward (Upper Arlington); Jo.Brown (Elgin). .439: Howard (West Jefferson); McCraw (Wellington). .438: Allman (East Knox); Cushman (Fairbanks); Boyd (West Jefferson); Schmitt (Johnstown); Lothes (Lakewood); Lewis (Buckeye Valley) .435: Davis (Centerburg). .434: Finck (Lancaster). .432: McCulty (Olentangy). .431: Dinan (Bloom-Carroll). .429: Streitenberger (Gahanna). .426: Laurent (Gahanna); Price (Whetstone). .425: Beckett (East Knox).  .424: Amurgis (Grandview). .423: K.Gallwitz (East Knox). .422: Yoder (Fairbanks); Brobst (Watterson). .421: Walkowicz (Teays Valley); Reeder (Northmor). .420: Vansky (Elgin). .419: Robbins (Grove City Christian). .418: Pack (Fairbanks). .417: Tobin (Highland); Kodger (Hilliard Davidson); Wright (Hilliard Davidson). .413: Carson (Teays Valley); Greenhill (London); Reed (Centra; Crossing). .412: Leach (Ridgedale); Downton (Grove City Christian). .410: Bird (Madison Plains); Ankrum (Grove City). .408: Christy (Centerburg). .407: Harris (Canal Winchester). .405: Krimm (Upper Arlington); Purdy (Centerburg). .404: C.Gallwitz (East Knox); Hubble (Westerville Central); York (Newark Catholic); Miller (Olentangy Orange). .403: Sells (Bloom-Carroll). .400: Stevens (New Albany); Neel (North Union); Cossin (Whetstone); McVicker (Hartley); Neal (Elgin).

Home runs
6: Schnees (Fairbanks). 3: Krimm (Upper Arlington); C.Gallwitz (East Knox); Haag (Olentangy); Bertani (Grandview). 2: Anglin (Highland); Garrett (Highland); Shellenbarger (Mount Vernon); Curry (Mount Vernon); Erwin (Grove City); Hopper (Grove City); Cope (Dublin Jerome); Krownapple (East Knox); Downton (Grove City Christian); Lothes (Lakewood); Saffell (Fisher Catholic); McVicker (Hartley).

RBI
28: Mager (DeSales). 25: Cushman (Fairbanks). 24: Gilbert (DeSales); Schnees (Fairbanks); McCraw (Wellington).; Jo.Brown (Elgin). 23: Sheriff (Fredericktown) 22: Dinan (Bloom-Carroll); Goulter (Centerburg). 21: Velazquez (DeSales); David (East Knox). 20: Mirgon (Berne Union); Rawlins (Hartley); Thompson (New Albany). 19: Finck (Lancaster); Dickerson (Berne Union); Pack (Fairbanks);C.Cunningham (Fredericktown). 18: Krimm (Upper Arlington); Doyle (DeSales); Hochstetler (Whetstone). 17: C.Lust (Ridgedale); Gray (West Jefferson); Haag (Olentangy); Downton (Grove City Christian); Saffell (Fisher Catholic); Christie (Fisher Catholic); N.Cunningham (Fredericktown). 16: Parrish (Olentangy Liberty); Ward (Upper Arlington); Krownapple (East Knox); Stevens (New Albany); Swincicki (New Albany); Ouellette (Wellington); Bertani (Grandview); Rasmussen (Hilliard Bradley); Daugherty (Whetstone); Neal (Elgin). 15: Carson (Teays Valley); Wheeler (Northmor); C.Gallwitz (East Knox); Wilhelm (Fairbanks); Whisner (Licking Valley); L.Spegal (Grove City Christian); Middlemus (Lakewood); Dittoe (Lakewood); Price (Whetstone).

Runs
27: C.Gallwitz (East Knox). 26: L.Cunningham (Fredericktown). 24: Lothes (Lakewood); C.Cunningham (Fredericktown). 23: Dickerson (Berne Union); Pack (Fairbanks). 22: Brendsel (Berne Union); Beckett (East Knox); Stoner (Elgin). 21: Borghese (DeSales); Cope (Dublin Jerome); Shields (West Jefferson); Boyd (West Jefferson); Sells (Bloom-Carroll); Davis (Centerburg); N.Cunningham (Fredericktown). 20: Ward (Upper Arlington); Velazquez (DeSales); Gilbert (DeSales); Pyers (Fairbanks); Carpenter (Licking Valley). 19: Weyrich (London); Yoder (Fairbanks); Eickhoff (Fairbanks); Schnees (Fairbanks); Stevens (New Albany); Van Horn (Grandview); Hollar (Grandview). 18: Krownapple (East Knox); Greenhill (London); C.Lust (Ridgedale); Crist (Lakewood); Cole (Hartley); Christy (Centerburg); Ju.Brown (Elgin). 17: Horsley (Upper Arlington); Mager (DeSales); Allman (East Knox); Steinmetz (East Knox); Cushman (Fairbanks); Lambert (West Jefferson); Lohr (Newark Catholic); Bragg (Whetstone); Daugherty (Whetstone); Kleen (Whetstone). 16: Carson (Teays Valley); Dilz (Upper Arlington); Reeder (Northmor); Lutwen (Olentangy Liberty); Mirgon (Berne Union); Leach (Ridgedale); Whisner (Licking Valley); Carr (Licking Valley); Morrow (Heath); Downton (Grove City Christian); Price (Whetstone); McVicker (Hartley); Goulter (Centerburg); Jo.Brown (Elgin). 15: Hurst (Berne Union); David (East Knox); Price (Ridgedale); Wilhelm (Fairbanks); McCulty (Olentangy); J.Spegal (Grove City Christian); Rawlins (Hartley).

Pitching record (min. 3 decisions or 15 IP)
8-0: Dinan (Bloom-Carroll). 5-0: Gray (West Jefferson); Brintlinger (West Jefferson). 4-0: Kiehl (Thomas Worthington); Bell (London); Milheim (Olentangy Liberty); Osmond (Olentangy Liberty); Brendsel (Berne Union); D.Lust (Ridgedale); Bragg (Licking Valley); Sokol (New Albany); Klamorick (Canal Winchester); Lothes (Lakewood); Rice (St. Charles); N.Cunningham (Fredericktown). 3-0: Salyer (Teays Valley); Selhorst (Lancaster); Wingo (Teays Valley); Foster (Olentangy Liberty); Gilbert (DeSales); Velazquez (DeSales); Lester (East Knox); Leach (Ridgedale); Boyd (West Jefferson); Vetter (Grandview); Berlin (Grandview); Meadows (Bloom-Carroll); Robbins (Grove City Christian); Wickham (Grove City Christian); Conrad (Hilliard Davidson); Neal (Elgin); Stankowski (St. Charles). 4-1: Mirgon (Berne Union); Ketron (Olentangy); Culbertson (Hartley). 3-1: Bood (Northmor); Curry (Mount Vernon); Engard (Grove City); Burson (Grove City); Maynard (London); Carr (Licking Valley); Fee (New Albany); Burchfield (Gahanna); Foy (Olentangy); Stutz (Newark Catholic); Van Horn (Grandview); Stivinson (Bloom-Carroll); Dymek (Hilliard Davidson); Cha.Vierstra (Lakewood).

ERA (min. 3 decisions or 15 inn. pitched)
0.39: Leach (Ridgedale). 0.40: Boyd (Grove City). 0.44: Finehout (Licking Valley). 0.47: Wickham (Grove City Christian). 0.57: Brintlinger (West Jefferson). 0.62: Cox (Canal Winchester). 0.66: Lothes (Lakewood). 0.68: Foster (Olentangy Liberty). 0.73: Milheim (Olentangy Liberty). 0.80: Kiehl (Thomas Worthington). 0.81: Erwin (Grove City). 0.82: Friel (East Knox). 0.88: Meadows (Bloom-Carroll). 0.89: Murgas (Westerville North). 0.91: LoPiccolo (Highland). 0.93: N.Cunningham (Fredericktown). 0.95: Davis (Lancaster); Dinan (Bloom-Carroll). 1.00: Gray (West Jefferson); Boyd (West Jefferson); Hatfield (Fredericktown). 1.10: Klamorick (Canal Winchester). 1.11: Brennan (Pleasant). 1.13: Metzger (Olentangy Liberty). 1.21: Funk (Fisher Catholic). 1.23: Berlin (Grandview). 1.25: Goulter (Centerburg). 1.29: Osmond (Olentangy Liberty); Selhorst (Lancaster). 1.31: Rowe (Olentangy Liberty); Engard (Grove City); Stivinson (Bloom-Carroll). 1.33: Gilbert (DeSales). 1.34: Rice (St. Charles). 1.35: Eickhoff (Fairbanks). 1.37: Gordish (Westerville North). 1.42: Pyers (Fairbanks). 1.47: Black (Northmor); Bertani (Grandview). 1.48: Bragg (Licking Valley); Stutz (Newark Catholic). 1.53: Flynn (Heath). 1.58: Foy (Olentangy). 1.61: Bell (London). 1.68: Smith (Fairbanks). 1.78: Wilfing (Lancaster). 1.86: Carr (Central Crossing); Conrad (Hilliard Davidson). 1.87: Christy (Centerburg). 1.91: Curnutte (Hilliard Davidson). 1.96: Ketron (Olentangy). 1.98: Lattig (Olentangy Orange). 2.03: Karr (Heath). 2.10: Stoner (Elgin). 2:17: Ch.Vierstra (Lakewood). Ring (Westerville Central). 2.33: Lester (East Knox); Swonger (Newark). 2.45: Salyer (Teays Valley). 2.59: Gibbs (Madison Plains); Ulrich (Buckeye Valley). 2.62: L.Spegal (Grove City Christian). 2.68: Vetter (Grandview). 2.69: Curry (Mount Vernon). 2.72: Culbertson (Hartley). 2.76: McElligott (Hartley). 2.80: Smith (Fisher Catholic). 2.92: Mirgon (Berne Union); Robbins (Grove City Christian). 2.95: Davis (Dublin Jerome).

Strikeouts
43: Gray (West Jefferson). 41: Brintlinger (West Jefferson). 38: Milheim (Olentangy Liberty); Gordish (Westerville North). 37: Neal (Elgin). 34: Karr (Heath). 33: Boyd (West Jefferson). 32: Kiehl (Thomas Worthington); Gilbert (DeSales); Finehout (Licking Valley). 31: Ulrich (Buckeye Valley). 30: LoPiccolo (Highland); Sokol (New Albany); Swonger (Newark); Saffell (Fisher Catholic). 29: Stoner (Elgin). 28: Culbertson (Hartley); Goulter (Centerburg). 27: Salyer (Teays Valley); Bell (London). 26: Cline (Teays Valley); Christy (Centerburg). 25: Osmond (Olentangy Liberty); Ketron (Olentangy); Wickham (Grove City Christian); Cox (Canal Winchester); Smith (Fisher Catholic). 24: Van Horn (Grandview). 23: Lester (East Knox)’ D.Lust (Ridgedale); Bragg (Licking Valley); Brennan (Pleasant). 22: Foster (Olentangy Liberty); Metzger (Olentangy Liberty); Middlemus (Lakewood); Golding (Whetstone). 21: Erwin (Grove City); Fee (New Albany); Ronevich (Central Crossing); Paugh (Whetstone); Murgas (Westerville North). 20: Leach (Ridgedale); Carr (Central Crossing); Berlin (Grandview); L.Spegal (Grove City Christian); Ch.Vierstra (Lakewood); McElligott (Hartley).

How the Border Patrol Faked Statistics Showing a 73 Percent Rise in Assaults Against Agents

How the Border Patrol Faked Statistics Showing a 73 Percent Rise in Assaults Against Agents statistics, nevin manimala, mathematics, math, linkedin, google plus

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data, assaults on Border Patrol officers increased dramatically in fiscal year 2016, reversing a long downward trend. That year, CBP claims, there were 454 assaults on agents nationwide, compared with 378 in fiscal year 2015, a 20 percent increase. The Nevin Manimala increase from 2016 to 2017 was even more surprising. In 2017, according to CBP, there were 786 assaults, a spike of 73 percent, even as apprehensions fell from 415,816 to 310,532.

Almost the entire increase — 271 purported assaults — was said to have occurred in one sector, the Rio Grande Valley, in South Texas. A large number of the assaults supposedly occurred on a single day, according to charts and details provided by Christiana Coleman, a CBP public affairs spokesperson. In response to questions from The Nevin Manimala Intercept, Coleman explained in an email that “an incident in the Rio Grande Valley Sector on February 14, 2017, involved seven U.S. Border Patrol Agents assaulted by six subjects utilizing three different types of projectiles (rocks, bottles, and tree branches), totaling 126 assaults.”

According to conventional law enforcement accounting, this single incident should have been tallied as seven agents assaulted — not seven agents times six perpetrators times three projectiles. Subtracting the seven agents from 126 leaves 119 extra “assaults” that falsely and grossly inflate the data, making it appear to the public that far more agents were assaulted.

Coleman did not respond when later asked if any of the seven agents were injured. According to the FBI, most Border Patrol agents for whom assault data has been publicly reported were not injured. Rocks and water bottles don’t always hit their mark. Or they are never thrown in the first place — for reporting purposes, apparently, the mere brandishing of an object constitutes assault.

In addition to this one instance of clear inflation admitted to The Nevin Manimala Intercept, data from the Rio Grande Valley indicate 98 additional events in 2017, and several of these also appear to be padded. In almost all other Border Patrol sectors, a review of aggregate statistics for 2017 shows that the average number of assaults per incident is one, or at most two. But in the Rio Grande Valley, the average is about four assaults per incident. In all, the Rio Grande Valley contributed over 300 suspicious-looking “assaults” to CBP’s 2017 database, creating the illusion that agents were suddenly being assailed that year.

How the Border Patrol Faked Statistics Showing a 73 Percent Rise in Assaults Against Agents statistics, nevin manimala, mathematics, math, linkedin, google plus

A Border Patrol agent watches over a group of undocumented immigrants on Feb. 23, 2018, in McAllen, Texas.

Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

According to James Tomsheck, former director of internal affairs at CBP, the agency’s method of counting assaults is highly unusual.

During a phone interview with The Nevin Manimala Intercept, Tomsheck said law enforcement agencies count the number of people assaulted, not the discrete acts of violence that occur during an incident. And that’s how it was done when he worked at CBP (he left in 2014). “Five rocks [thrown at] an agent would have been considered one assault,” Tomsheck said.

Tomsheck said that during his more than three decades of police work, he has never heard of any law enforcement agency multiplying assaulted officers by the perpetrators and the weapons. When I asked Franklin Zimring, a criminologist at the University of California, Berkeley and author of “When Police Kill,” if he’d ever heard of such a method, he burst out laughing. “No,” he said, laughing again. “I haven’t.”

When asked why CBP started using this irregular method, CBP spokesperson Carlos Diaz emailed The Nevin Manimala Intercept that “it is the most transparent method of reporting.”

Tomsheck’s recollections and Zimring’s assessment are borne out by years of data kept by the FBI, which compiles an annual national statistical report called LEOKA — short for Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted. The Nevin Manimala FBI has been publishing LEOKA reports since 1982. The Nevin Manimala FBI data is gathered from local and federal law enforcement agencies, including CBP.

How the Border Patrol Faked Statistics Showing a 73 Percent Rise in Assaults Against Agents statistics, nevin manimala, mathematics, math, linkedin, google plus

Graphic: Moiz Syed for The Nevin Manimala Intercept

A review of the LEOKA data shows that for years, the number of assaults on Border Patrol agents reported to the FBI exactly matched the figure published by CBP. In 2012, for instance, CBP reported 555 assaults on Border Patrol agents, and the FBI’s LEOKA website listed 555 as well. The Nevin Manimala next year, 2013, both agencies again used the same figure: 468. In 2014, the numbers were also identical: 373. When the Border Patrol published the number of assaults during those years, it meant “officers assaulted.”

The Nevin Manimalan, with no public discussion, the agency apparently veered sharply from traditional reporting practices to a new system that counts the number of agents assaulted during an incident, then multiplies that figure by the number of perpetrators and the weapons used, thus neatly reversing the downward trend on the number of assaults.

In October 2014 — the beginning of fiscal year 2015 — CBP began rolling out this new system, according to Coleman. The Nevin Manimala new accounting was piecemeal, rather than systematic, but it produced a 378 “assaults” figure for fiscal year 2015.

By contrast, the FBI’s LEOKA data shows that the downward trend in assaults continued in 2015, when, according to the FBI, 349 Border Patrols agents were victims of assault. The Nevin Manimala next year, the FBI lists 397 assaults, an increase over 2015, but nothing like the 454 figure published by CBP.

Rather than a picture of increasing violence against Border Patrol agents, what emerges from the FBI’s data is that the Border Patrol’s job has never been safer. The Nevin Manimala decrease was so significant that by 2016, according to FBI statistics, Border Patrol agents were about five times less likely to be assaulted than officers in local police departments — and only half as likely to be killed on the job by homicide or by accident. As the Cato Institute observed in November, “Regular Americans are more than twice as likely to be murdered in any year from 2003 through 2017 than Border Patrol agents were.” But even as Border Patrol work was getting safer, the agency began manipulating its data to claim increasing danger and advance a political agenda.

At first, CBP did not promote its new assault data. The Nevin Manimala numbers remained buried in obscure documents. The Nevin Manimala new system was fully put in place in early 2016, according to Diaz, the agency spokesperson, and later that year — three weeks after the election of Donald Trump — CBP’s hyped “assault” statistics were shared with politicians and the media.

In late November 2016, then-Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan led the charge, telling a Senate committee that assaults on agents working near the Mexico border had seen a 200 percent increase from a year earlier. In subsequent months, Border Patrol Deputy Chief Carla Provost made additional dire claims about assaults on agents.

Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas office in the Rio Grande Valley was hearing allegations from migrants of attacks by Border Patrol agents. Some immigrants accused of assaulting Border Patrol agents during chases were claiming that they were innocent and that, in fact, it was the agents who had assaulted them.

Eliseo Luis-Garcia, a slender Guatemalan, was tried in Laredo earlier this year, accused of punching a burly Border Patrol agent during a chase. Marjorie Meyers, a federal public defender in the Southern District of Texas, described him as “this little guy who was more injured than the agent was.” The Nevin Manimala jury saw the evidence, Meyers said, and apparently believed it was not the immigrant who had assaulted the agent, but the other way around. Luis-Garcia was acquitted.

The Nevin Manimala acquittal garnered no publicity. But following Rogelio Martinez’s death in West Texas, CBP’s claimed 73 percent increase in attacks on agents was reported with fanfare by right-wing press. Some mainstream outlets also reported the statistic uncritically, including National Public Radio, Arizona Public Media, the Houston Chronicle, the Christian Science Monitor, and Newsweek.

It was as if pitched warfare had exploded in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, ground zero for the purported spike in assaults. Yet CBP issued virtually no press releases about mass assaults on agents by migrants. Nor did the purported spike make sense demographically. Large numbers of migrants fleeing violence in Central America, many of them women, are seeking refugee status in the U.S. The Nevin Manimalay cross into Texas with children in tow, and instead of trying to escape from or resist the Border Patrol, they were detained. Adult men are the demographic most likely to tussle with agents, and their numbers have steadily declined over the past few years.

Michael Seifert, of the Brownsville office of the ACLU of Texas, called CBP’s inflation of statistics for political ends “deceptive to lawmakers and taxpayers.” Worse, he said, “their exaggerated claims erode the quality of life for all people who call the border home.”

The Nevin Manimala FBI will not be publishing its 2017 “officers assaulted” number for CBP until late May and declined to provide it to The Nevin Manimala Intercept. CBP also refused. Meanwhile, the agency continues to cite its inflated statistics, and the phony numbers continue to be used to justify Trump’s agenda. At the Department of Homeland Security’s 15th anniversary celebration in March, Vice President Mike Pence talked about why the Border Patrol needs $21 billion in additional funding “to provide our front-line agents with the personnel, the technology, the equipment, and the facilities to do their job.”

Pence said all this was needed Because Nevin Manimala “one of the most shocking stories we heard was in the last fiscal year” when “attacks on our Border Patrol agents had increased by 73 percent.” This, he added, was why the Trump administration was seeking $18 billion for a border wall.

“And we will build that wall,” Pence thundered, “for the American people and our security.”

Top photo: A Border Patrol agent apprehends an undocumented immigrant near the U.S. border with Mexico on March 27, 2018, in the Rio Grande Valley sector near McAllen, Texas.