Not all problems are purely about numbers. But try to take on a single large-scale issue in the country and world today without specific detailed information. It doesn’t matter what side of a question you’re on.
Legal abortion? Then you need to consider how poor people as well as wealthy can get access. Oppose it? You need to provide care for babies and children and adoption and other services, all of which are big budget issues.
Want to save the environment from global warming? Grab scientific data to see how it’s progressing, how potential remediation and reduction solutions compare, and what deep financial discussions need to be made. Think it’s hooey? Find data that can solidly prove your point or, more likely, recognize you’re in the realm of probabilities which means sophisticated risk management.
Government is the single largest provider of critical systemic data of all sorts. The U.S. owns a vast publishing empire dwarfing the largest private enterprises, and you never know when you’ll need the data. I personally use a wide array in journalism, research, and analysis. You likely do or work for or with businesses and other entities that need it. Or it will be your bank, insurance company, utilities, state, or other entity.
When the quality of the data and its interpretations come into doubt, no important effort is safe. That has been the case with the Trump administration all along.
Two days after the inaugurations, there were disturbing signs of how much the entire group would be willing to—while dissembling—distort, reject, twist, and even try to redefine basic data and even fact that many in the country might need.
Since then, the examples have piled up. Falsely casting entire groups of people from other countries, including those seeking asylum, of character and behavior defects in the attempt to gain support for anti-immigration policies. Removing mention of climate change from government websites.
Now there’s another claimed example. The administration has indulged in “blatant manipulation” of wildfire science to promote logging, as described in the following short selection from the Guardian story:
” Political appointees at the interior department have sought to play up climate pollution from California wildfires while downplaying emissions from fossil fuels as a way of promoting more logging in the nation’s forests, internal emails obtained by the Guardian reveal.
The messaging plan was crafted in support of Donald Trump’s pro-industry arguments for harvesting more timber in California, which he says would thin forests and prevent fires – a point experts refute.”