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Posted in A bunch of political stuff on 2006-07-14 18:52:08

Maybe I made this too long, and thusly, to explain everything, this message too will be long.

Age wise it appears that this was mostly taken by those 16-46, with 15-25 being the largest group. 4 out of 5 participants are American, which is for whom I wrote it.

It looks like both National Public Radio and Fox News are the popular news sources, with half the respondents using them, however everyone indicated that it's a good idea to get news from multiple sources. This question should have been worded better to indicate multiple types of news sources, such as those which are liberal, middle of the road, or conservative. Someone could get news from 3 conservative news sources (for instance) and say that they get news from multiple sources.

More than 1/3 think that CNN is mostly Liberal, and 2/3 think that Fox News is mostly Conservative. Of all the news services I use, Fox News is the only Television source that makes a claim to be fair and balanced. To some, that makes them ultra Conservative. Talk radio shows however, are quick to announce their shows as Conservative (Rush, Hannity, Savage), Liberal (Colmes, Cuomo, Franken), Libertarian (Boortz), or none of the above (O'Reilly). Of course these aren't all of them, just ones that I am familiar with. Some say that Boortz and O'Reilly are really Conservative because they report Liberal shortcomings more predominantly.

National Public Radio news is seen as balanced. It was voted the most trusted news source in some 2005 survey. However of those who don't think it's balanced, 5 out of 6 say it's mostly liberal.

Considering that the vast majority of Radio Talk shows are Conservative, only 40% say so. Maybe that's because the rest just don't listen to those shows.

2 out of 3 prefer talk shows that favor their own political stance and just under half watch or listen to talk shows of other persuasion to get the other side.

NPR funding is only about 2% from the Government, but a lot of people say it should be fully funded. Would it then become a government bureaucracy and not be able to report timely news because stories would have to be screened by the government first?

The question about the best expressed talk show host probably should have been handled differently. I wanted as few questions as possible but maybe one or two questions about each person would have been better. Al Franken came out on top. Maybe I'll do a poll just on these people here.

Most people have never heard of the Fairness Doctrine so I should have added that as a possible answer. It is currently repealed, and half of you think it should stay that way. For those who want to reinstate it, 2 out of 3 say that there is too much conservative news and talk.

John McCain seems to be popular as a Republican candidate for president, as is Hillary Clinton for the Democrats. Close to 2 out of three say that Democrats do a better job with the economy. I should have added a "neither" as an option, because that's my personal thought. The economy changes due to things like disasters, fighting and other things that have little to do with which political party is in office. We have had prosperity with Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton and Bush 43, and have had not so good times with Nixon and Carter. I might do a poll just on this one question expanded.

Democrats are better at protecting individual rights, as 2 out of 3 of you say. But in the next question, more than half say that republicans want a smaller government. I would think that a smaller government would offer better protection individual rights.

Once again 2 out of 3 say that Republicans want to keep an "issue" while Democrats want to solve a problem. In the next question, a similar number say that Democrats want to reduce the number of people who need public assistance. I go back to 1994, when the Republicans took control of the House and Senate, they introduced a plan to drastically overhaul welfare. I remember the news media saying it was a bad plan because it was forcing people to go out and look for work. The number of people on welfare did actually go down significantly and it did not cause an increase in unemployment. President Clinton was heralded as having the best record when it came to unemployment figures. It was the republican controlled house and senate that made him look so good. The answering of these two questions are both wrong, but considering that this happened when the majority of those who answered this survey were very young and don't have a perspective.

Neither party protects us from foreign attack, the Defense Department does, so a 50-50 tie about sums that one up. Two more questions with incorrect answers. Most of you said that Democrats want to reduce taxes, but historically, Democrats (except President Kennedy) raise taxes. Nancy Pelosi just announced that if Democrats take control of the house, tax increases will be submitted right away.

Secondly, lowering tax rates actually increases the tax revenue brought in by the IRS. Those who don't think it does only use a "snapshot" look. Here's an example. Let's say that under the current tax system, the average taxpayer is taxed at 20%, and the Federal revenue per year is $10 billion. If that rate is reduced to 15%, that's a 25% decrease. In the "snapshot" look, revenue is reduced to $7.5 billion, and that sounds bad for the government. But, what really happens is $2.5 billion is pumped into the economy. That's more money for people to buy groceries, new clothes, new cars, buy a house or whatever. Companies that produce the merchandise being bought need to hire more workers to manufacture them, to transport them, to sell them, to install them, to maintain them. This actually reduces unemployment and creates more tax payers. The end result is a net increase of federal revenue received by the government, and with lower unemployment, and lower numbers on welfare, less money is needed to fund those programs, making this a win/win/win proposition for the government, it's programs, and the citizens. On a side note, state and local sales taxes bring in more local revenue. And with the next question, it's actually the Republicans who want to reduce personal tax burdens.

A 10% increase one year followed by a 8% increase the next year is NOT a cut. Anyone who passed mathematics in high school should get this one right. These are "talking points" used by some members of congress as an attempt to make someone on the other side "look" bad in the eye of the voters.

More than half who voted said they are more comfortable with a president who is a Democrat. I can't argue with that, because it’s in line with the rest of the answers to this poll. The next 2 questions about what Democrats and Republicans "are" are not good questions at all, and the answers are all over the place.

Nearly 3/4 of you want smaller government, but most think Democrats are better at reducing the size of government. 4 out of 5 of you want less taxes and this time, most of you said that Republicans will bring this about. Different outcome for this question than one earlier.

3/4 want a strong military and most think it's a Republican function. The Republicans have Eisenhower, Ford, Bush 41, and the Democrats have Kennedy and Carter whom all served.

Now more people say that reducing personal income taxes will improve the economy but nearly that many say that raising the minimum wage would do it. I can't say for sure, but when I was young, I made just above minimum wage, but paid zero income tax, so from that perspective, I couldn't see the impact of lowering income taxes compared to raising the minimum wage. Consider this about the minimum wage. It's currently 5 something an hour and the latest proposal is to raise it to over 7 an hour. If someone makes $7.50 an hour right now, and the minimum wage is raised to $7.25, the $7.50 earner gets nothing. The $6.75 earner gets very little. Both of these workers busted their butts to get pay raises through learning skills and demonstrating reliability to their employers. Since it costs employers more to pay higher wages, those costs will be put into the prices of the goods and services those companies provide. Let's take McDonalds for example. Nearly everyone working in fast food is at entry level, or "unskilled". That minimum wage is what unskilled labor is for, while the worker learns "skills" to apply later in other endeavors. A happy meal is now close to $3.50 in some markets. If a $5.25 worker get a raise to $7.25, that's around a 40% increase to the wage. It's also a 40% cost increase to McDonalds. To make up for it, they'll slowly increase the price of a Happy Meal until it costs $4.50. What if people don't want to pay that much for a Happy Meal? If there's a "Happy Meal Revolt", sales will go down, and McDonalds will have to lay off employees, creating more unemployment. None of this will happen to such a large company because they can easily absorb it into their operating budget, but for small companies, it won't be that easy. It could actually drive some small companies out of business.

One more caveat on the Minimum wage. There are some employee/company contracts that have a pay scale that's tied directly to the minimum wage. Their contracts state that with any increase of the minimum wage, the worker wages increase at a rate established in the contract. So, while the law would directly affect a certain number of wage earners, many more would get automatic pay raises. And all of the other pay increases will affect other companies in a very similar way as the Happy Meal story.

I'll summarize the questions on corporate taxes. Any cost to a corporation is reflected in it's business strategy, no matter how large the company. If there is any increase in cost (taxes or otherwise) it will affect the costs of products or services they provide. Simply put, a tax increase for a corporation is just like a raise in the minimum wage…prices for the consumer will go up, sales will go down, unemployment will go up, taxes actually paid by the companies will go down, and the government will get less tax revenue.

Most of you got it right. Taxing the wealthy won't solve any problems. If someone works twice as hard and makes twice as much money, they should be able to keep twice as much of it.

No nation ever taxed itself into prosperity. With the last 2 questions, I am Conservative but wasn't always. Back when I was making minimum wage, and got all my income taxes back, I hated Ronald Reagan and voted for Jesse Jackson in 1984 thinking he had all these great slogans and buzzwords. When I started seeing my paycheck eaten away by federal and state tax withholding and this FICA thing, I stopped listening to slogans and catchphrases and looked for solid facts.

I have an Associates in Applied Science degree from Excelsior College and am not pursuing a further degree at this time.

Concerning the comments about not having enough choices. While there is a broad spectrum of political beliefs and ideologies, when it comes to those in elected office, there has only been one member of congress and one senator who called themselves "Independents". This is the simple reason why I wrote this with only 2 choices.

Posted in Do you trust politicians on 2006-06-18 13:24:40

I had to add this. About the congressional districts that take up only urban areas of several cities in North Carolina and Virginia, your vote was, "A lie." Well, I didn't know they existed until 3 years ago when I sold my old house and moved 6 miles within the same city, and pretty much in the same area of that city. When it came time for election, I got campaign material from a different congressional representative than I had last time. This is the 3rd Congressional District of Virginia. It takes up pieces of Richmond, Petersburg, Newport News, Hampton, Portsmouth and Norfolk, but not one of these cities lies entirely within this congressional district. The best representation I can find online is at Here. Be sure to move the map around because not all of it's shown when you first call it up. All areas within the blue lines are part of this district. They are connected by narrow pieces of land too small to have a house.

Posted in Do you trust politicians on 2006-06-18 12:46:31

This one bears commenting on.
Words very similar to those have contributed to the deaths of over 100,000 (as of this writing) Iraqis, 2,500 (as of this writing) American troops, and 245 (as of this writing) troops from participating satellite nations. Do you really want to apply them to partisan politics when they're weighted with such misery?
I see that factual information is being placed at the begining. However this poll has nothing to do with what is going on outside the United States at this time.
You compare the misdeeds of a minority party which controls no arm of the government to those of the majority party which controls all three governmental branches including their related bureaucracies, and the military, as well. No, I do not compare. I simply have 2 of each for people to vote upon, and all 4 are in the news lately. Even democrat William Jefferson was removed from the Ways and Means Committee at the request of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, while Patrick Kennedy was not. Is there a racial preference among the democrats? While the misdeeds of both are grievous, those of the majority Republicans serve not only the agendas of the individual participants (like those of the Democrats) but also the larger agenda of a false president and his administration, the policies of which have caused not only in the horror I mentioned above, but in numerous other tragedies as well. You say that the misdeeds of both political parties are grievous (a better word would be egregious) your votes don't say the same thing. You are so narrow minded when it comes to politics in current events. Instead of whipping the rotten carcass of this long-deceased political nag, perhaps you should attend to the power-corruption that's eating away at your own party and its resultant abhorrent policies. No, these are not long dead. They are all from 2006.I realize that the Republicans' core constituency of transnational corporations and religious fundamentalists will howl at this betrayal, but the party in particular and the country in general will be better off for this cleansing. Transnational companies. Like Heinz Corporation owned by the wife of Senator Kerry? I'm sure you are referring to Haliburton? You see, Richard Cheney recused himself from all controlling interest in that corporation before he accepted the nomination to Vice President. When the defense department put out advertizing for bids for companies to do reconstruction in Iraq, Haliburton was literally the only one that could do all aspects of it. Any other company would have had to subcontract to get the job done and that would have cost much more to accomplish. This poll also had nothing to do with corporate interests or religious fundamentalism so I almost ignored that comment.

I should have known those facts put at the beginning of your comment were a setup. You just couldn't get away from your core emotional crybaby ways.
Are you up to that challenge?
A cleansing? Up to a challenge? Actually, I will be writing two more polls, one for each main political party. Keep your eye out for them.

I have to say that your nickname here has to do with Freeing one's mind. Free it from what? From the ignorance of being so one sided on politics? From xenophobia? No actually, you need to free your mind from thinking only with feelings and emotions. While you're so busy thinking that way, the rest of the world is getting on with life with all its real or concrete things.

I will have to point out that you erred eggregiously in one of your answers. You voted that the goal of welfare is to get people off it through training and other resources. I guess you did kind of jump on the republican's Contract with America bandwagon didn't you?

I'm not sure just what is defensive in my answer. I wrote about the three most uniquely "American" holidays, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, and Veteren's day. I don't expect people to know all the details about them, or the story of the Star Spangled Banner. Hopefully people will open a search engine and look for themselves, or watch the History Channel where I personally learned many of these details. My "agenda" with this poll is education, and American History.

As far as my background, I have been a teacher, and have written historical based curriculum and test questions. It's not important to me (here in this particular poll) what someone's opinion is, but when I am challenged, I respond in a factual, calm and reserved manner.

Hopefully I have fully explained myself well enough. If anyone has further questions, or can think of another type of poll I can write (including collaborating with me), feel free to respond to this.

Posted in Do you trust politicians on 2006-06-16 12:27:58

Ok, people from both sides get someone to beat-up on. If you're going to comment about anything, have the decency to use facts to back you up. Let's see if it can be done without using only emotions. If you write something intellegent and meaningful, I'll thank you. If the best you can do is write using only the emotional side of your brain, copying talking points from either side of the aisle, I'll probably ignore it unless it desperatly requires redressing.

Bring it on.