Archive for the ‘3. Government’ Category

FINDING RELIABLE POLITICAL POLLS

INTRODUCTION

With two exceptions, the presidential polls in the 2016 presidential election were completely wrong.  If you knew those two exceptions in advance, you could have predicted the outcome of the election.  I did and therefore was 75% certain that Donald J. Trump would become our next President.  It was really simple:  I looked at the polls that accurately predicted the 2012 presidential election.  There were only two, one of  which polled daily, the Rasmussen daily presidential tracking poll.

BODY

I thought that the reason for the poor poll results was simply the media funding fake polls in order to create a bandwagon effect for their politician.  However, I decided to examine polls and find out why they differed so much.  The following is what I learned:

a) The design of a poll can easily create any outcome the pollster wants.  For example, the pollster determines what percentage of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents s/he polls.  These percentage largely determine the results of a poll.  Most of the recent polls used 24% of Republicans although the 2016 and 2018 election exit polls showed 33% of Republicans voted…which explains why they were so wrong.

b) Whether the poll is of: a) all adults, b) registered voters, or c) likely voters,  is the next most important factor in determining the results of a poll.  Only half of all adults vote, 80% of registered voters, and over 90% of likely voters vote.  The most accurate poll of the President has been the Rasmussen daily presidential tracking poll which polls likely voters.  As of 7/9/20 it has President Trump at 45% approval.

c) The way in which poll questions are worded can significantly influence the results of the poll.  For example, a question can be worded: 1) do you approve of the the President? OR 2) do you approve of the President’s job performance? OR 3) do you like the President? OR 4) etc., etc., etc.  Often poll questions are deliberately ambiguous and therefore the results can’t be trusted.

d) How many people you poll is very important in order to get a representative sample.  Nothing under a 1000-person-poll is very reliable.

e) How you select the people to be polled is very important.  For example, only selecting people from the inner city would result in an overwhelming number of people favoring a Democrat and would not be a representative sample.  Same is true for a poll conducted of New Yorkers only.

f) Who is sponsoring the poll is extremely important.  A poll funded by the New York Times, Washington Post, or CNN will not depict a Republican President favorably because those newspapers and TV station have a partisan agenda and are therefore unreliable.

CONCLUSION

I’ve attempted to show how polls can be manipulated to persuade public opinion rather that guage public opinion.  I believe that most political polls are seriously flawed and therefore I don’t believe them to be reliable.  Past performance is the best way to judge a poll.  For example, the Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll I believe to be the best of all of the Presidential polls, based on its past performance in both the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections.  Looking at past performance, therefore, is the quickest and easiest way to determine how accurate or misleading a poll might be.

CHOOSING A PRESIDENT: DONALD TRUMP?

On November 8, 2016 Americans made a decision that was one of the most important in the history of the United States: electing for Donald Trump to be the President of the United States.  Many believe that politics is stupid because of all of the partisan bickering that goes on.  That may or may not be true, but it’s irrelevant…our President makes decisions that affect not only us, but our children, grandchildren, and many others around the world.

Based on the controversy of this Presidential election, I developed the following non-partisan criteria for selecting a President.  I came up with them after looking at everyone else’s and concluding that they were inadequate.  My qualifications for doing this are: I followed politics for over 60 years, my Masters degree from the University of Pennsylvania is in Government Administration, and I’ve worked for the Federal, State and local governments for 44 years.  My 6  criteria for choosing a President are listed below and are prioritized and listed in the order of their importance (#1 is the most important and #6 the least important).

1. POSITIONS ON ISSUES:  this criterium might also be called “ideology”  and is really the most important reason why one should select one presidential candidate over another.

2. EXPERIENCE: there is no job exactly like the presidency but there are some jobs that provide relevant experience.  It’s not a coincidence that seventeen of our U.S. Presidents have been Governors of a State.  Being a Governor provides the best experience  for the presidency, however any executive or managerial experience is relevant and useful.  High-level military experience is good.  Legislative and legal experience is also useful.  Check out accomplishments.

3. EDUCATION: A masters degree in either Government or Business Administration is probably the most relevant education a President could have.  A law degree is helpful.  Business education is helpful.

4. OPEN-MINDEDNESS:  In U.S. politics, the politician is either on the left or the right and this ideology  can be constraining at times for finding the best solutions to a problem or dilemma, so willingness to “going-across-the-aisle” and being good listener can be a great asset for a president.

5. INTEGRITY: one of the important qualities but not so common in many politicians.  This is important because the President may ask us to go to war or to make some other sacrifice, so we need to be able to trust him or her and not think that whatever is being done is for political purposes.

6. PUBLIC SPEAKING and CHARISMA: for his “bully pulpit” duties, a President would be well-served by being a master of the spoken word…and if he or she is charismatic as well, so much the better.

You may agree or disagree with my 6 criteria or perhaps you simply may want to add a few more.  Whatever…but it is important to have criteria (or standards) to use, otherwise you’ might do what many people do: vote solely by political party, vote because of something irrelevant like age, gender, physical appearance, ethnicity, race, or emotions.  While most elections don’t matter that  much, the 2016 Presidential election was one of the most important in U.S. history, and the 2020 Presidential election will also be very important because in his second term President Trump I predict will mostly eliminate annual budget deficits and devise a plan and strategy to pay down the National debt if both the Senate and House have Republican majorities.

It used to be relatively easy to carefully consider my aforementioned six criteria in judging presidential candidates.  With today’s partisan media, it’s very difficult, but it can be done with great effort.  The fate of the U.S. depends on it.

 

JUSTICE BRETT KAVANAUGH: ORIGINALIST, NOT ACTIVIST

Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, Thomas Hardiman, and Raymond Kethledge were the four finalists that President Trump considered for the Supreme Court (although I didn’t rule out justice Amul Thapar  or Utah Senator Mike Lee).  All four have their positive attributes and were on the list from the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation as “originalists”, those legal scholars that interpret the Constitution with the same meaning at the time it was written.  This is very different from “activists”, whom consider the Constitution as a living document whose interpretation changes to meet changing times.  Originalists believe that either legislation should be passed when changes are needed or the Constitution amended, not the interpretation of the Constitution changed with the times.

Democrat leadership is attempting to portray President Trump selection, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, as being anti Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that currently allows abortions.  The fact that an “originalist”was selected should actually make the Left feel better because originalists are committed to not interpreting the Constitution to mean what they want it to mean, but what the founders meant when they wrote it.  Moreover, Chief Justice John Roberts will not vote to overturn Roe v Wade, so the liberals on the Court would still have a majority on this issue even if Justice Kavanaugh is confirmed by the Senate.

I believe Hardiman, Kavanaugh and Kethledge to be the most qualified but I believe that the Court could really use a conservative female justice like Barrett.  President Trump has chosen Kavanaugh, 53, from the four finalists because of his twelve years of experience on the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, writing 300 opinions on many different issues.  In addition, his academic credentials are stellar, with a law degree from Yale and teaching at Harvard, Georgetown, and Notre Dame.  Moreover, very liberal Justice, Elena Kagan, recommended Kavanaugh to be hired by Harvard to teach law.

BLAME MITCH McCONNELL

Whatever President Trump has promised during the presidential campaign, but does not accomplish, blame Senate Majority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell from Kentucky.  Although he is very experienced and knowledgable, having served as a senator since 1985 and having been the Senate Majority leader since 2015, the 76-year-old senator may prove deadly for Trump and the Republicans keeping the House and Senate in November 2018.

It’s no surprise that Democrat senators oppose everything the President is trying to do.  However, Senator McConnell has the authority, but refuses to use it, to facilitate passage of the President’s legislative agenda, because he can foster changes in the Senate’s archaic rules by abolishing the filibuster rule which require 60 senators to pass most legislation in the Senate.  He can foster a change to be a 51-senator requirement to pass legislation and abolish the Senate’s legislative filibuster rule.  So why would he not do this?  He says that Republicans will eventually be in the minority again and does not want set the precedent to the Democrats for this Senate rule.  Does McConnell have a good point?  That’s what this article will consider.

“Strike while the iron is hot” is one of my beliefs!  The current situation with a Republican President, House and Senate may never occur again so the opportunity it provides needs to be used right now.  Democrat leadership would not hesitate for a second to do it.  So many wonderful things for the U.S. could be done now if the Senate vote threshold were only 51 votes instead of the current 60 votes needed to pass most legislation.  All major legislation has been voted down by the Democrats in the Senate.  Even when an independent-minded Democrat senator is voted in, Democrat leadership threatens him/her with not funding their upcoming races and also with running strong candidates against them in their primary elections.  Thus, they toe the Democrat line.

Let’s hope Senator McConnell sees the light and changes the Senate filibuster rule.  If he doesn’t, he really should be blamed for the huge backlog in the Senate, as well as its inability to pass significant legislation, including legislation for the much-needed wall on our southern border.

 

GOP/TRUMP ECONOMIC PLAN: REDUCE TAX RATES TO INCREASE TAX REVENUE

How can President Trump and the Republican House and Senate pay for large tax cuts and a trillion dollars in infrastructure improvements that they are advocating and still eliminate Budget Deficits and eventually the National Debt?  Few politicians explain this so I thought that a U. of Penn Wharton graduate (me), who should know this, would explain it.  Many are concerned that the large proposed infrastructure spending and proposed tax cuts will force the U.S. further into debt.  If you simply look at the economy as static, this would be true.  However, the economy is dynamic, not static.  Therefore, when you change some things, like reducing corporate taxes from the current 35% to President Trump’s 20%, as well as reducing taxes on the working and the middle classes, this stimulates businesses in many ways, bringing back U.S. business and investment money to America and stimulating new businesses and the growth of existing businesses.  In addition, Trump will repeal the individual mandate contained in Obamacare, which is the penalty that Obamacare imposes on those who chose not to be covered under it, estimated at $358 billion. Finally, there is about $3 trillion in U.S. corporate funds residing in other countries, that with a one-time repatriation tax rate of 10%, will return to the United States and be invested here.

All of this resulting economic activity will result in a huge increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is a measure of the size of the U.S. economy.  The taxes from this huge growth in economic activity, though the tax rates are reduced, will result in tax revenues being vastly increased.  President Ronald Reagan did this in the 80’s, as well as reduce regulations, and GDP consequently almost doubled in size within 10 years from the time that Reagan’s tax rate cuts went into effect (1983).  President Kennedy also did this in the 60’s.

GDP growth is extremely important because, with 4% annual GDP growth, the United States can afford to do what needs to be done without having annual budget deficits, that at the end of each fiscal year, are added to the total national debt.

If some form of the Trump/GOP tax cuts become law, the United States economy (as measured by Gross Domestic Product, GDP) will more than double in 10 years.

 

 

CONSEQUENCES to the U.S. from PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ECONOMIC POLICIES

 

President Obama meant well.  He sounded sincere and touted “fairness” as his primary concern in his governance of the nation.  However, it’s true that “the road to hell is paved with people with good intentions.”  In plain English, it almost doesn’t matter if the President was sincere  and meant well if the results of his policies were to cause great  harm to hundreds of millions of people.  The percentage of Americans with full-time jobs (“Civilian Labor-force Participation Rate”) has not been as low as today (62% of civilian labor force) since the late seventies and if unemployment statistics were calculated the way they were in the year 2000, unemployment would be about 10%.  If they were calculated the way they were during the Great Depression, unemployment would be over 20%.  Below is my analysis of those major policies of President Obama that destroyed the American dream for many Americansand which President Trump and the Congress need to reform:

A. OBAMACARE/AFFORDABLE CARE ACT: This  law is a wet blanket on the economy. While I’m for good healthcare, and for insuring people with pre-existing conditions as well as kids up to the age of 26 years-of-age on their parents insurance, Obamacare is a bureaucratic nightmare with much more expensive premiums for most people, and unbelievably-high deductibles and co-pays.  This turns most Obamacare policies into catastrophic care only because most people will never meet their deductibles and will therefore be paying out-of-pocket for most of their healthcare.  This turkey needs to go and hopefully will be replaced with something created by a combination of Senators and Representatives from both major political parties.

B. IMPEDING ENERGY PRODUCTION:  A decision on the Keystone pipeline was made for political reasons.  Oil production on government land was significantly down, however, basically because the environmental lobby was against all fossil fuels.  Meanwhile, America has more gas, oil, coal, and shale oil than all of the countries in the Middle East combined but government regulations prevent most of it from being developed.  The wealth created by all of this energy could pay off the National debt, the trillions in unfunded liabilities, and produce an economic boom the likes of which no country has ever seen.  And as thoroughly, scientifically, and irrefutably proven in David Archibald’s, Twilight of Abundance, the warming trend of the earth over the last century, up until 18 years ago when it stopped,  is due mostly to Sun Spots and Solar Flares, not to the burning of fossil fuels.  

C. DEFICITS/NATIONAL DEBT: President Obama doubled the National Debt (from $9 trillion to $20).  The Federal government is still borrowing billions/month from the Federal Reserve so the annual budget deficit is currently over 1/2 trillion dollars/year.  Each year the Annual Budget Deficit is added to the total National debt and currently the National debt is about $20 trillion.  This amount of deficit spending and National Debt is unsustainable. The Federal Reserve  has the authority to print money and by doing so has been able to get away with this huge deficit spending,  but doing so without the backing of gold and/or legitimate loans from other countries, simply inflates our currency.  The U.S. dollar is currently the world’s “reserve currency,”  but our borrowing and spending may eventually change that.  When it occurs, the dollar will immediately decrease in value by about 30%, our credit rating dramatically reduced and interest rates on our borrowing dramatically increased, and our ability to borrow severely curtailed.

D. REGULATIONS:  Regulations are necessary in our society but government needs to be very careful in not over-regulating since this can and does add significant costs to the economy, negatively impacts business creation, and reduces freedoms.  The regulations written pursuant to Dodd-Frank, the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and the Affordable Care Act  (“Obamacare”), among many others, are excessively burdensome to people and the economy.  ESA, for example, has caused the destruction of most crops in California’s Central Valley due to the Delta Smelt, a small fish on the Endangered Species list. Dodd-Frank is a financial nightmare that does nothing to prevent future bank problems.  Obamacare has and is destroying jobs.

E.  HIGH TAXES:  Money taken from the economy in taxes should be limited because it hurts the economy.  Tax money should be used only for legitimate purposes.  Higher taxes is a drag and drain on the economy so  government needs to be careful to spend it wisely.  Lowering tax rates on everyone who pays taxes in order to stimulate the economy is the preferred way of increasing tax revenues and growing the economy to pay for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment benefits, etc.

F. CORPORATE TAXES:  A significant Obama policy  that has unintentionally done  harm to many people is the retention of the 35% corporate tax, which is higher than any other country in the world.  This has led to the flight  of many U.S. corporations and businesses to other countries, and with this flight, the jobs and taxes that go with them.  They need to be reduced to 15-20%.

G. PROLONGED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS:  Extension of the duration of unemployment benefits for more than  12 months is very harmful to the unemployed as evidenced by studies showing  the unemployed usually do not even look for jobs until a few weeks prior to their unemployment benefits expiring.  At one point, Obama, in conjunction with a Democrat Congress, extended unemployment benefits to 24 months. “Compassion” was the stated reason, but getting the unemployed off of of the official unemployment roles  so that the official unemployment rate would be lowered is the real reaon.

H., I., J.,K., L., M., N., etc.

In closing, most Americans were proud that the U.S. elected an African-American President 151 years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed  American slaves, even if they personally did not vote for him.  The United States inherited slavery from England when it took over the country in 1776 but had to temporarily retain slavery  in order to form the Union to include Southern States (the “Great Compromise”).  At the first opportunity, the U.S. rid itself of slavery (in 1863).

The first African-American President unfortunately had no experience in managing anything or in guiding an economy and therefore the U.S. consequently is badly hurting economically.  While I believe President Obama meant well, he also still believed that failed liberal/”progressive” economic policies (“Keynesian economics”) were the way to stimulate the economy and therefore turned a blind eye to workable economic policies.

President Reagan demonstrated how to get an economy working and the proof is the fact that the Gross Domestic Product (which measures the size of the economy) of the United States almost doubled 1n the 10 years following Reagan’s implementation of his large reduction in tax rates (1983-1993) and curtailing Federal regulations.  President Kennedy also stimulated the economy during a recession in the 60’s by cutting tax rates.

 

 

WATCH THE MOVIE, “HILLARY’S AMERICA” TO GET OVER HER DEFEAT

I saw the movie, “Hillary’s America,” on Verizon and thought it was a “must see” film for anyone who voted for Mrs. Clinton or any Democrat, so I thought I’d write a brief preview which Democrat voters might find healing .  The movie, now on DVD, was written, co-directed, and narrated by Dinesh D’Souza.  While it was mostly accurate,  I thought it went too far at times in assigning motives to the Clintons’ behavior.

The movie begins with Dinesh being tried for the crime of giving too much money to a friend running for political office.  He then goes to jail for this and subsequently learns there how criminals scam and defraud, and also that criminals believe the biggest crooks and thieves are politicians.  From there the movie takes the audience on a historical journey starting with the first Democrat President, Andrew Jackson.  President Jackson directed the creation of reservations for Native Americans and the round-up and removal of many of them to Oklahoma (the “Trail of Tears”).  It talks about the creation of the Republican Party, dedicated to freedom for the slaves and liberty for everyone.

It then addresses the fact that the Democrat Party strongly favored slavery and that every Klu Klus Klan member was a Democrat.  Moreover, that it sponsored the Jim Crow laws that were designed to subjugate African-Americans and championed Blacks from owning guns so they could not defend themselves from the Klan.  It talks about Democrat President Woodrow Wilson who was a racist and sexist and led to the re-emergence of the Klu Klux Klan.  Then it discusses Margaret Sanger, who started Planned Parenthood as a means to suppress the African-American population.

At some point it jumps to Hillary Clinton and displays her biography and association with Saul Alinsky, who she wrote her term paper on.  It addresses Alinsky, who wrote the infamous book on deceiving voters called,  Rules for Radicals.  It mentions that president Obama taught the deceptive and unethical Alinsky tactics. It depicts the deception of Obamacare and Hillary’s role in silencing Bill’s sexual predations.  Dinesh interviews Carol Swain, Professor at the Vanderbilt University Law School.  Professor Swain (who is an African-American) is an expert in the history of race relations and civil rights and said that after the Civil War the purpose of the Democrat Party was to re-establish white supremacy.  The movie shows how the Clintons worked Hillary’s position as Secretary of State to make a fortune for themselves as well as their front “charity”, the Clinton Foundation.

The movie ends on a beautiful and positive note and should dry up any tears you might have for Secretary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump.

HILLARY CLINTON vs. DONALD TRUMP

The Clinton and the Trump campaigns are close to an end after being hard-fought.  Currently, Clinton is doing better in the media-run polls than Trump, though Trump is doing better than Hillary in the most accurate-in-the-past poll (Rasmussen), and his rallies are getting larger than his usual large crowds.  Note that one of the recent WikiLeaks “John Podesto” emails told the media how to rig polls to make it appear that Hillary was trouncing Donald (this was done to achieve a “bandwagon effect”).

Multi-billionaires, like Donald Trump, obviously don’t get to be wealthy by being stupid.  However, Trump is prone to rhetorical excesses. He is the populist anti-establishment candidate, called by his son, Eric, a “blue-collar billionaire”.

Hillary Clinton has an interesting hand because she was President Obama’s Secretary of State, however she has developed into a good debater and speaker.  As the WikiLeaks “Podesto” emails have exposed, as well as many more credible sources, Hillary Clinton will do almost anything, no matter how corrupt or illegal, to win the election and become President of the United States.  Moreover, the FBI has re-opened the investigation of her having classified information on her private computer server.

On policy, Trump has the advantage because Obama’s policies have hurt medical care, foreign policy, the military, the economy, Israel, etc., and Hillary, as Obama’s Secretary of State, is closely allied with Obama’s policies.  On the other hand, if you only watch NBC, ABC, or CBS, you have’nt heard about these negatives about Obama (so Obama’s shortcomings don’t really matter that much).

There are many reasons for electing “your” candidate, but here is the strongest reason for supporting either Clinton or Trump.

o for Clinton: if you like Obama’s presidency, you’ll like Hillary; however, you’ll have to overlook rampant corruption in a Clinton Administration (past performance is the best indicator of future behavior).  Hillary Clinton should be better than Obama was as commander-and-chief of the military.

o for Trump: he would appoint at least 3 conservative Supreme Court justices, his economic plan would double the size of the economy (Gross Domestic Product or GDP) within 10 years after his policies are put  into effect (which is what happened under President Reagan), he would fix illegal immigration, and he would repeal and replace Obamacare.

I’m a political junkie because much of my education and interests were about government and my jobs were with the Federal, a State and a city government, where elected political leaders were in charge.  I know both sides of every issue and therefore know who is fabricating and twisting facts to support their policies.  For the sake of everyone on the planet, I pray we make the right decision in selecting our next president.

 

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