There are days when the mental gymnastics of political spin become almost too much.
Tuesday was one of those days.
Federal healthcare contributions.
Egmont MP Gail Shea versus the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the Council of Canadians.
The problem with this argument is that both sides are simultaneously right and wrong - it all depends on how you look at it.
Let's set the stage.
CUPE and the council have been knocking on doors in Summerside and spreading some strongly worded literature about the federal Conservatives Party of Canada.
"The federal Conservatives are wrecking our health care system."
Wording doesn't get much stronger then that.
The main thrust of their claim is that the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, of which Shea is part, plans to "cut" $36 billion from health care funding over the next several years. This includes a $144 million "cut" for P.E.I.'s funding between 2017 and 2024.
These losses were accounted for in the fact that in 2017, the legislation that has ensured six per cent annual increases in federal cash transfers to the provinces will run out. Those increases will be replaced by per capita transfers, with a guarantee of at least three per cent increases a year.
So the $144 million "cut" for P.E.I. is actually just the difference in what we were getting, if it was theoretically allowed to continue into the future, and what Harper has said we are going to get.
They go on to claim that these cuts will make all kinds of problems with the health care system worse and generally make a great deal of proverbial hay with these numbers. Numbers we should add didn't come from either group, but were instead prepared by the Council of the Federation - a working group of all provincial and territorial premiers in 2012.
Shea didn't take too kindly to these comments.
In a follow up article she pointed out that the figures CUPE and the council are throwing around, like the $144 million, was never on the table - so you can't call it a cut.
So there's there spin.
Shea is technically right. Harper isn't "cutting" anything because the money was never there to begin with.
But CUPE and the council are also right in that P.E.I. is facing a future where we'll get smaller increases than we have for the past 10 years.
Both are right. Both are wrong.
The rest of us are stuck in the middle.