Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Approval Ratings and More

I am short on time because I have been playing on MPP again. Thoughts?

MPP Approval Ratings and Rationale
MPP MN Moves Closer to Fair Taxation
MPP GOP Blocks Bullying Bill


jerrye92002 said...

Thank you for slumming at the MPP; I don't have the tolerance for such foolishness. Bullying? Look at the bill, it's thought control and indoctrination. We're not talking about violence at all, but anything that might make somebody "feel bad." Hey, they're kids. And why are these kids sexually confused at all? What the heck are you TEACHING?

As for that famous tax chart, I want to ask how you take 10,000 pages of rules covering 18 different kinds of taxes and expect the whole thing to be "fair," if you could define fair in the first place? Every time these genii (plural of genius) diddle with the tax code, it's to make it more fair, and every time it becomes less so, so who is at fault?

John said...

You are welcome. I enjoy asking questions over there, and Lord knows they see the world differently than I do.

By the way, is there a local Conservative site that is still a blog? Somewhere I can poke around and stir pots on the other fringe?

jerrye92002 said...

Best one is True North, but they don't allow comments.

John said...

That's too bad, that is where the fun is. Well I will try reading it more often and I will cross link if I see something worthy of discussion.

Laurie said...

I don't care enough to find any charts, but I believe when taxes at all levels are considered we are pretty close to a flat tax. My guess as to who pays the highest rate of combined taxes is upper middle class.

Laurie said...

Don't you have a friend who is a conservative blogger? Or do you spare friends from your acerbic wit?

John said...

Are you including "payroll taxes" in that supposedly flat tax? Those are still kind of funny "taxes" to me if folks insist they must get the money back with interest.

As for my friend the Conservative blogger, most of his posts are pretty moderate. Other than his disapproval of spending a fortune on light rail projects and bike paths. Don't tell him I called him nearly moderate or he'll probably never talk to me again... hahahaha

Besides I am looking for folks that are as far right as the MN Progressives are Far Left. Which may be a little challenging to find... Maybe I'll have to start perusing the Excellence In Broadcasting site for Rush's views.

John said...

I thought the approval ratings were kind of interesting.

I mean it makes sense that a President will run at about 45%... Those are the folks that voted them in...

And it makes sense that 45% of folks approve of Congress when one party controls both houses. And of course the ratings plummet when gridlock is in place since the citizens of neither party are getting what they want...

John said...

And this comment still has received no feedback over their.

"Where were those parents as that child was falling into depression. Bad enough to get the point of killing themselves? How unaware were they of their own child’s condition? Now they and you want to blame the school administrations for their bad parenting. Sounds familiar.

The reality is that the school personnel have a very limited amount of control in our very modern social media world. Unless of course you truly want to task them with acting as parents 24/7 instead of just 8/5…

Personally I would rather have our educators focused on raising all academic scores and closing the achievement gap. Not taking over the roles that parents should be fulfilling."

jerrye92002 said...

"Besides I am looking for folks that are as far right as the MN Progressives are Far Left. Which may be a little challenging to find... Maybe I'll have to start perusing the Excellence In Broadcasting site for Rush's views."

Difficult to do, indeed. The problem is that you are trying to find somebody as irrational on the right as our friends on the left are irrational, when IMHO the right side of political spectrum is dominated by sound reasoning. I don't think Limbaugh is irrational at all. The closest I could come for what you want is Glenn Beck, and I never pay attention to him.

Laurie said...

I can't help you out, as nearly all conservatives are now much farther to the right than their liberal counterparts, such as MPP, are to the left. Compared to 50 years ago modern liberals are moderate and conservatives have moved from moderate to extreme right.

John said...

Being only 47 yrs old, I would have to take your word for it. However according to my Parents and some of my other elders, they feel the opposite. They feel that Kennedy and crew were much less Liberal than today's Liberals.

I mean none of those folks tried to socialize health care, make gay marriage legal, they were terrified of socialism, etc, etc, etc. Based on those facts, it looks like the elders are correct.

Laurie said...

I think you need to find some wiser elders.

Past presidents who attempted to pass health care reform include, but not limited to, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. Yes, two GOP presidents, Eisenhower and Nixon attempted to do it. Medicare is socialized medicine and that was passed in 1965. The ACA is a GOP idea that keeps health care in the private market. We also had Johnson's great society programs, which succeeded in reducing poverty to 11% by 1973. We had the clean air act and the clean water act. The top tax rate was 90% (doesn't sound like terrified of socialism to me.) Maybe you remember Reagan who raised taxes taxes many times during his 2 terms. The GOP used to include many moderates, who have all been replaced by tea party reps and others from the far right.

Last, the funny thing about history is you don't have personally experience a time period to learn it's history, the internets makes it quite easy for things you didn't learn in school.

John said...

So let's say that your interpretation is correct. Meaning that some people were willing to move the country further to the Left. And that they succeeded in pulling it that direction.

Now this generation of Liberals isn't satisfied and wants it pulled further to the Left. More business regulations, more pollution regulations, more social programs, more belief freedoms, etc.

With this in mind, who's moving which direction? It seems to me the Conservatives are right where they have always been, and the Left is moving even further Left. Thoughts?

By the way, the problem with book learming history is that someone wrote down from their perspective. Thus it is biased whether they intended it or not. (Ie revisionist history)

Laurie said...

Just when I am tiring of the content and tone of your posts and comments you surprise me with respectful and interesting questions.

As I was born in 1962 I am far from expert on that time period. It seems to me that was a time of both big government and social change. There was the civil rights movement, the women's movement and strong antiwar movement. The environmental problems of their day were successfully tackled. Our environmental problem, global warming, is being largely ignored, due in part to a successful misinformation campaign put out by oil companies and conservatives.

I think modern day liberals have maintained and built upon the changes from this earlier era. I don't think we are any more liberal, some current policies such as tax rates are less liberal, nor has there been any big increase in regulation.

I do think conservatives have moved to the right (i.e.absolute refusal to raise any taxes by any amount or to enact any commen sense gun laws.) I do have enough curiosity about this to see if there is any data or more knowledgeable authorities to back my subjective opinion and plan look into it more later this evening or weekend. Right now I need to go and pick up Chinese food.

jerrye92002 said...

History is written by the victors. Remember that Democrats controlled Congress until 1996, and moved the country gradually left. Somehow, the election of true conservatives in sufficient numbers to change that drift was a polarizing action, because Democrats then began drifting leftward. It isn't obvious that John Kennedy or even Lyndon Johnson could get the Democrat nomination today. Reagan COULD get the nomination, but lately it has been the more centrist Romney and McCain types. There is no doubt Obama is the most leftist President in our history, and it was the Democrats in total control of Congress that pushed through Obamacare, the takeover of 1/7 of the US economy.

John said...

My theory exactly... Comment enough that occasionally something useful comes out... Subway for me and 2 of the girls... Boats and docks weekend...

Laurie said...

don't you guys get sick of me being right so often, or at least mostly right:

Political Scientist: Republicans Most Conservative They've Been In 100 Years

my 10th grade son, who actually applied himself in his AP history class this year, helped to refine my thinking since my previous comment. It seems, as shown by the graph that liberals have indeed become sightly more liberal in the last 50 years, due in part to the moderate dems of the south being replaced by republicans and more liberal dems from other areas.

We were surprised by the time period of FDR and the new deal being rated as the least liberal, if anyone wants to take a guess at explaining that.

Laurie said...

sorry, J, but you're wrong again.

Obama Most Conservative Democratic President Since WWII?

I have said for years, since before Obama was even elected, that he is a moderate, which has been proven by his policies.

What has he done that makes you so certain that he is an extreme liberal?

John said...

Looks like the same source for both. I think we will need to learn more about what they consider Liberal and Conservative. I think they should probably break things down into a few categories. (Ie economic, social, business regs, other) And I assume Obama's recent reversal on the war on terror will move his score to the Left.

Personally I would score Clinton as much more moderate than Obama... So I kind of question the professor's model. And I even remember Clinton...

John said...

An interesting read. Classical vs Modern Liberalism

An oldie but goody.Liberal vs Conservative

John said...

More Poole / Rosenthal Charts

More INFO / Graphs

I can not figure out how they decided to place the 0.0 line where they did??? Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Yes, actually the modern liberal is more of a classical conservative. It's like today, where the Federalist Society would have been the anti-Federalists during the post revolutionary era.


jerrye92002 said...

Laurie said...
"sorry, J, but you're wrong again."

Well, I've been wrong before, but that might just be someone else's opinion. :-) The statement being made simply shows the problem of definition. How do you decide who is liberal or left or conservative or right? For the same reason I object to Nolan charts, I reject any definition that would describe Obama as anything but a leftist, in the sense of seeking more government control and less individual freedom.

I've said before that the only way the tags "conservative" and "liberal" are of much value is to categorize generally where people expect to fall on an issue or issues, but on any given issue, PARTICULARLY complex issues like abortion or immigration, it may be hard to define which side (partly because there are so many) is the conservative or liberal position.

Laurie said...

I used voteview to take a look at our congretional delegation. Where each member falls in the ranking is as follows:
( 1 is most liberal higher numbers more conservative)

Franken 6
Klobuchar 41

Ellison 13
Mccollum 73
Waltz 168
Peterson 194
Cravaack 264
Paulson 279
Kline 341
Bachman 384

What is really more interesting is their first dimension DW-Nominate score which is used to make the rankings and seem to measure how liberal or conservative they are. It seems Ellison is more liberal than Bachman is conservative.

Ellison 619
Bachman 595
Kline 530
Mccollum 464
Franken 461
Paulson 402
Cravaak 372
Waltz 304
Klobuchar 252
Peterson 156

No matter where you draw the line when looking to these scores for which number divides the moderate from the conservatives, the dems have more moderates and the GOP has more conservatives.

If I pick 300 as dividing line for moderates the score is:

moderate dems 82
Moderate GOP 29

moderate dems 40
Moderate GOP 7

For example if 700 represents extreme the score is:

extreme liberal 4
extreme conservative 25

or if the cut off for extreme is 800:

extreme liberal 0
extreme conservative 7

Go ahead and checkout the scores and draw your own dividing lines:

SENATE_112 Rank Ordering

John said...

So you all are not helping me to understand what a Moderate (0.0) is?

As society moves away from pure Capitalsim towards Socialism, does a "moderate" shift with the changing times or do they stick to some principles?

If the 0.0 is shifting to the Left with society, and you are measuring relative to this moving standard.It would make the right look like it is shifting right while it is staying still.

Extreme example, moderates would say the Taliban are far to the right and yet the Taliban has not changed its belief system in centuries. It is actually society that has moved away.

Laurie said...

maybe a 0.0 moderate agrees with dems on somethings and GOP on others and favors only slight changes in either direction. I think moderates would be willing to compromise. I think the ACA was created by moderates. I think moderates believe in effective govt and personal responsibility as their principles. It really doesn't seem complicated to me.

Maybe the center has shifted slightly to the left on some things. I think it appears to have shifted more to conservatives due to their own shift to the right. They didn't use to be the party of no tax increase on anyone for any reason. Nor did they use to be opposed to all regulation.

On a completely unrelated note I highly recommend the movie Mud

John said...

Technically one should never need a tax rate increase... I mean incomes, GDPs, profits, etc increase, therefore revenues increase. If one is raising the tax rates, that means government expenses are going up too fast. (ie larger part of economy)

They aren't against all regulation, they just feel we have too many already.

So if you had 25 kids in your class, and you were ok with that. It wasn't ideal but it was ok. The next year you have 28 kids and you can tolerate it because you want to be agreeable. Then the next year they give you 31 kids and you start complaining, but no one listens. Finally they give you 38 kids and you yell NO MORE!!!

Were you becoming more intolerant, stubborn, difficult and "shifting", or were they just trying to shift things too far from what is acceptable and right??? (ie principles) Who is shifting?

How dare you be so unreasonable....

John said...

This is why I am thinking about what is our benchmark? Is it a moving target, or is based on core principles and beliefs that keep us from wandering too far astray... (ie constitution or something else)

Laurie said...

the reason that we need to keep raising taxes is because of the unwise tax cuts the the GOP loves so much.

Also there is this Yesterday’s tax revenues can’t support tomorrow’s America

Do you really think we can maintain current tax rates with the baby boom retiring and going on medicare? How deep of cuts do you want to make in entitlements. It would probably be better if you didn't answer that.

Laurie said...

btw The U.S. Continues to Be One of the Least Taxed of the Developed Countries

Our current tax percent of GDP is lower the when Reagan was president. Clearly we have shifted to far to the right and are in need of a correction

John said...

I personally don't care if we cut benefits or raise payroll taxes, however the benefit should be aligned to the premium. Or better yet get rid of ss and medicare, and have the needy old folks go on welfare and medicaid.

If you want the general fund or the wealthy to fund medicare and ss. And you want to reduce benefits or tax them for the wealthy, then in reality that is what they will become... So let's not kid ourselves.

John said...

You never answered my question. Were you, the teacher, changing or was it those who kept demanding more over the years.

Laurie said...

I made this statement to point out the false premise:

"Our current tax percent of GDP is lower the when Reagan was president. Clearly we have shifted too far to the right and are in need of a correction"

"class size" has not gone up and instead is at the lowest level in 30 years.

Looking at this a different way if class sizes did go up it would be because of tax cuts and under funding schools. At my school 25 students are too many with classroom very crowed with acting out students. I would be complaining long before 38 students.

As I have pointed out a couple times already the conservative shift to the right gives the false impression that the center is moving far to the left. It seems in spending we have shifted slightly to the left and in terms of tax receipts we have shifted right.

jerrye92002 said...

I go back to the Nolan chart discussion, and claim that a "moderate" is somebody that doesn't believe in anything in particular. If you stand for nothing, you will stand for anything.

Laurie, thanks for all the research, and I am willing to concede your point that Republicans have become "more conservative" over the years. But I think we're looking at this through the wrong prism. First of all, because Democrats have steadily pushed the country to the left over the last 4 generations, Republicans have had to become ever more conservative to "right the ship" and steer a more centrist course, if not repair the leftward drift.

The second, which follows from the first, is that our politics and government has become more polarized than ever. Republican minorities used to powerlessly observing the leftward drift are now alarmed and trying to halt or reverse it. Democrats accustomed to drifting ever leftward take offense, and the activists of both parties-- the most extreme and involved-- choose the candidates accordingly. Nothing wrong with that, IMHO. The larger point is that, REGARDLESS of where you think the "middle" is, nobody goes there, and shouldn't. A little research on the Taxpayers League scorecard shows that, using votes on fiscal issues, the worst Republican is better than the best Democrat, and the AVERAGE score of the two parties is 80 points (out of 100) apart!

Let me explain a bit further about "moderates," "compromise" and "bipartisanship." Sure, on some things we can have all of that, but Republicans are starting to fall back on what they call "principles," and no longer readily compromise them. Last legislative session, we had one Party (the DFL) that wanted to spend $6 billion more than what the State expected to take in. Republicans wanted to spend no more than what the State expected to take in. So where is the reasonable compromise between those two positions? Which position is "extreme"?

jerrye92002 said...

"the reason that we need to keep raising taxes is because of the unwise tax cuts the the GOP loves so much." -- Laurie

Sorry, but that cannot be allowed to stand as fact. Taxes need to go up because SPENDING keeps going up. For the last 50 years, the Minnesota DFL has driven government spending up EVERY YEAR by an average of 9%! If taxes don't keep up, it because peoples' incomes don't go up 9% per year. I've done the math. If, starting in 1965, Government spending (MN) had kept pace with inflation and population growth, the State budget would be almost exactly 1/10 of what it is today? Now really, is our "quality of life" TEN TIMES "better" than it was in 1965?

For history buffs, folks complain about the Reagan tax cuts, but government revenue greatly increased after that. Reagan got blamed for the deficits, but the fact is that the Democrats in Congress SPENT all of those additional revenues, and then MORE! Revenues dropped during the recession that Obama "inherited," but that accounts for less than half of the trillion-dollar deficits that he has run every year. Somewhere, the Democrats are spending money that we don't have on things that we don't need, and it needs to stop!

Laurie said...

The correct figure is $2.1 Billion in new revenue.

From MN 2020:

The state’s “Price of Government”—a measure of the size of government used by business and labor, conservatives and progressives—will decline over the next four years. (The precise magnitude of this decline will be known in a few weeks when Minnesota Management & Budget releases its updated Price of Government report.)

In the next biennium, the growth in state general fund revenues and expenditures in the newly agreed to tax and budget bills will be less than the growth in the economy.

The increase in revenue and spending agreed to during the 2013 session will replace only about a third of the real per capita spending decline over the last decade. Real per capita general fund revenue and spending in FY 2014-15 will be significantly less than they were in FY 2002-03.

2013 Session was “Radical” Only by Tea Party Standards

John said...

The "right" the ship example was good and what I tried to explain with Teacher example.

Not sure about the State... But the feds are definitely spending more. (ie moving left)
Forbes Graphic
Forbes Article

Laurie said...

you should read more carefully:

"It seems in spending we have shifted slightly to the left and in terms of tax receipts we have shifted right."

the "righting the ship" metaphor applies equally to raising more revenue.

also, what is so magical about revenues at 18% of GDP? the last time spending was at this level was in the 1960's. It seems the public prefers the govt spend more.

John said...

It looks like Clinton and Gingrich got us in the right ball park in the mid-90's.

I agree that it does seem that some of the public do prefer more govt spending. Hopefully Ben wasn't predicting the future when he stated this warning.

“When the people find that they can vote themselves money,
that will herald the end of the republic.” - Benjamin Franklin

18% would be great, but I would be happy if you folks would help dial it back down to 20%...

While looking for Ben's quote, I ran across this page of quotes. Larry Willis Quotes

This one was especially interesting and concerning... Definitely if more and more people start believing that "collecting" other people's money and giving it to the less industrious citizens is a good thing. And even worse when they want to collect it to redistribute it to themselves. Because that would truly be stealing.

"The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But,
under the name of 'liberalism,' they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program,
until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened." - Norman Thomas (US Socialist Presidential Candidate)

jerrye92002 said...

Someone once observed that the American and Soviet economic systems were growing closer together, and would eventually "cross," with the Soviets becoming less socialist than the US. Asked when I thought this would occur, I said, "After one more Democrat administration." It seems I was right. Russia now has a flat tax, for example, and the Chinese government has announced plans to privatize its state industries.

Laurie said...

It seems to me that one more democratic president would hold the line on spending cuts so we don't replace Chile and Mexico at the bottom of the list of the least taxed countries.

John said...

Does that include the federal, state and local taxes?

Also if you have the world's biggest ecconomy, you should be able to have the world's lowest tax rates (ie one huge denominator) Unless of course you think government needs to grow faster than the GDP.

Anonymous said...

Why do we care about being, or not being, the lowest tax nation? Isn't the purpose of taxation to provide for the necessary and reasonable functions of government? And apparently, what we spend has no bearing on how much we tax. :-(

J. Ewing