You probably sensed Congressional speeches were getting dumber.
Well, now there’s a chart to prove it, based on an analysis by the Sunlight Foundation, proving that Congress has dropped a full grade-level since 2005—roughly from 11th to 10th—on the Flesch-Kincaid readability scale.
National Public Radio reports that the very lowest-ranking speaker is South Carolina Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney, who speaks at a 7.94 grade-level. “Gosh,” Mulvaney comments, “I guess I should be disappointed that I’m not using my higher education to better use, but oh well. I hope people don’t take it as a substitute for a lack of intellect, but small words can be just as powerful as big words sometimes.”