Well, at least now we know

President Bush explains why the job market isn’t everything he said it would be:

Bush, linking Kerry policies to campaign donations from trial attorneys, said “junk lawsuits” hinder job creation and cost the economy more than $230 billion a year.

Does anyone know where George got his $230 billion figure?

Added: According to the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, the entire US tort system cost US$179 billion in 2000.

Added II: Here we go — we now call this $230 billion figure 100% bullshit:

The facts: The $200 billion [September 2003] “lawsuit burden” figure has been repudiated by the Congressional Budget Office. The number was reached by adding up the total cost of liability insurance purchased in the United States, including administrative costs. But these costs would not disappear if there were no tort system. [PDF link.]


This number [$200 billion,] notes Doroshow, was compiled by the insurance-consulting firm Tillinghast-Towers Perrin, which simply totaled all liability insurance premiums, not just those caused by “frivolous” lawsuits?auto insurance alone, according to an Americans for Insurance Reform study, accounts for $82 billion of the Tillinghast figure.

How much does restoring honor and dignity to the Oval Office run these days anyway?


Comments: 8


I would assume he pulled it from that fount of wisdom known as his asshole.


They don’t even try anymore

You’d think they’d at least try to make the lies look like the truth, wouldn’t you? The Bush campaign’s latest spin is that the economy is tanked because junk lawsuits cost $230 billion a year. Except: According to the Oklahoma…


How much do junk wars in Iraq cost?



I think your link is off-base on the Tillinghast Towers-Perrin study which you can find here. As you’ll see its not just a total of liability insurance premiums, although they are taken into account.

A more telling indictment of the TTP study can be found in its own stated reservation about the limits of the study:

The tort system also provides indirect benefits that are not measured in this
study. Such benefits include a systematic resolution of disputes, thereby reducing
conflict, possibly including violence. Another indirect benefit is that the
tort system may act as a deterrent to unsafe practices and products. From this
perspective, compensation for pain and suffering is seen as beneficial to society
as a whole.

Also, you need to take into account that 22% of that figure reflects transfer of direct economic costs and so aren’t really a cost of the tort system. For example, if your negligence destroys my $1,000,000 house, then a judgment for that amount is a cost of the system. But if there is no judgment, the cost doesn’t go away. It is just borne by a different party: me, not you.

So the $230 billion figure is nonsense, just for different reasons.


On Meet the Press, Mary Matalin claimed frivilous law suits in the medical profession alone costs $100 billion. Did Russert ask her to back this up? Sadly no.


Harold, we have to ask: any relation to Troy?


“How much does restoring honor and dignity to the Oval Office run these days anyway?”

I’m gonna guess… $477 billion. Give or take a billion.



They seem to be saying that the American people are idiots. The only way anybody could possibly make money filing truly frivolous lawsuits would be if the juries (made up of ordinary citizens) regularly find for the wrong side. So they’ve decided the jury system is fine for deciding if somebody is put to death but can’t be trusted when corporate cash is at stake.


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