Friday, April 29, 2005

Social Security Ain't The Sacred Cow Democrats and Mainstream Media Want You to Believe It Is

Now hold on just one second here! Nearly every day I am barraged by messages from news outlets and our friendly Democrats telling me that most people are not interested in Bush's proposed private accounts. In fact, just last night after the President's prime time news conference Chris Matthews 'told' me how little support there is for such a measure...

Well maybe he could explain to me the latest poll conducted by Opinion Dynamics Corporation on the issue.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,154805,00.html

It is reported that a full 79% of the people polled believe that people under 55 years of age should have the right to choose between the current system and a private savings account (you know... like Bush's lame proposal). Furthermore, a slight majority of 53% say they personally want a choice to invest a portion of their contributions!

A full 77% of people say they trust themselves, generally speaking, to invest their monies properly over the government (a wise observation given the absolutely depressing rate of return we're all going to get out of the current system).

Yet again Democrats are deceiving America. Yet again they are on the wrong side of the issue. After Bush talked about Social Security during his State of the Union and pointed out that the program stood to go bankrupt by 2042 or something like that, I about wet my pants laughing listening to Senator Reid in the Democrat response. The good Senator from Nevada pointed out how Bush was 'wrong again' and that the program really wasn't expected to go belly up until something like 2051, and that there was no reason to get Americans worried about this issue yet! WELL HOLY CRAP!! If I'd known that I would have started contributing a full 20% long ago, instead of that measly 12.4% currently taken for the program! ;)

So, next time you hear a liberal ripping on this 'crazy' private account idea, turn off the idiot box... because it is propaganda of the worst kind! It is just another way liberals would like to continue controlling you and restricting your options and freedom. It kills them that we might take a single step away from this socialist program.

Well everyone, if nothing else remember this...

...eat, drink, and be merry for the demi's tell us social security will always be there tomorrow. ;)

4 Comments:

Blogger Izdatyel said...

Oh, if only it were that simple.

Let's not neglect to mention that the poll was conducted for Fox News. I think we all know that polls are very tricky business and that almost any group can come up with a poll that favors their preferred position(s). And, debates about the liberal/conservative bias of the media in whole aside, Fox News is, of course, a conservative-leaning network, just as the LA Times is left-leaning.

The way questions are worded alone can have a major effect on poll results (polls contain "leading questions"). Please don't tell me you think using phrases like "Should seniors have the right to choose" does not employ a "leading" strategy. I imagine that you can ask about any American whether someone should have "the right to choose" and she/he will say YES! before you can finish the question. Basically, "issue" polls are to be taken with a huge grain of salt. For example, in other recent polls:

56% of Americans opposed Bush's handling of Social Security.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7162162/

(AP poll) ~55% opposed creation of SS private accounts
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7162162/

(NY Times Poll) 69% opposed the creation of private accounts where it meant a sacrifice in benefits.
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FB0917FE3B590C708CDDAA0894DD404482

NY Times Poll) 51% opposed SS private accounts generally.
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FB0917FE3B590C708CDDAA0894DD404482

What does all this tell us? That anybody can rely on their poll of choice to support their position or politician of choice. I mean, one poll, commissioned by Fox News no less, is supposed to wipe out the whole debate (and other polls) regarding the public's view? I don't think so.

"Yet again Democrats are deceiving America. Yet again they are on the wrong side of the issue."
- - - Oh, right. And this is shown by one cleverly worded Fox News poll? Puhleeaase. Democrats are deceiving America, huh? And how does anything you said, even if true, prove this? -Because Democrats didn't use Fox's recent poll? Is that now the national standard? Give me a break.

Are there Democrats that lie? Yes. Are there Republicans that lie? Yes.

because it is propaganda of the worst kind!
How so? How about some substantiation?

It is just another way liberals would like to continue controlling you and restricting your options and freedom. It kills them that we might take a single step away from this socialist program.

- - - OK. This kind of talk rivals the shrill and lazy rhetoric of Sean Hannity (or Hollywood Left - take your pick), and that is not a good thing. No offense, but I really think we should try to keep inflammatory and sensational assertions to a minimum here. Both sentences are loaded with rash and baseless assumptions (I count at least 12), none of which you even begin to support factually or logically. How is that condusive to intelligent and measured discourse?

5/02/2005 4:02 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

For those interested, here is the exact text for the survey quoted in my original comment.

Note 1) I'm certain this is copyright material of Opinion Dynmaic Corporation, so please reference it if you choose to share it elsewhere.

Note 2) If you are not familiar with surveying, you will notice occassionally the following after a question:

(Rotate)

This simply tells the questioner to rotate the variables in the question to offset any wording and ultimately response bias in the study.

Note 3) In my personal observation and opinion, a good way to have reason to worry about a polls validity is if they do not publish their methodology and exact question wording. Fox/ODC did publish their data from this survey, which follows here:


Polling was conducted by telephone April 25-26, 2005 in the evenings. The
total sample is 900 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of ±3
percentage points. Results are of registered voters, unless otherwise noted.
LV = likely voters
******** Job Ratings Summary Chart ********
Dis
Approve approve (DK)
Rice 59% 22 19
Bush 47% 43 10
Rumsfeld 44% 40 16
Cheney 43% 40 17
1. Do you approve or disapprove of the job George W. Bush is doing as
president?
*** Bush Job Ratings Summary ***
Approve Disapprove (Don’t know)
Most recent (25-26 Apr 05) 47% 43 10
Highest (14-15 Nov 01) 88% 7 5
Lowest (3-4 Aug 04) 44% 48 8
First-Term Average 61% 29
RECENT TREND
Dis Dis
Approve approve (DK) Approve approve (DK)
25-26 Apr 05 47% 43 10
29-30 Mar 05 49% 46 5
1-2 Mar 05 52% 39 9
8-9 Feb 05 51% 43 7
25-26 Jan 05 50% 40 10
11-12 Jan 05 52% 41 7
14-15 Dec 04 48% 45 7
16-17 Nov 04 53% 40 7
30-31 Oct 04 47% 46 7
30-31 Oct 04 LV 48% 46 6
29-30 Oct 04 47% 45 8
29-30 Oct 04 LV 48% 46 6
28-29 Oct 04 47% 47 6
28-29 Oct 04 LV 47% 47 6
27-28 Oct 04 48% 47 5
27-28 Oct 04 LV 49% 46 5
17-18 Oct 04 LV 49% 44 7
3-4 Oct 04 LV 53% 43 4
21-22 Sep 04 LV 50% 45 5
7-8 Sep 04 LV 49% 44 7
24-25 Aug 04 LV 51% 43 6
3-4 Aug 04 44% 48 8
20-21 Jul 04 47% 45 8
22-23 Jun 04 49% 44 7
8-9 Jun 04 48% 45 7
18-19 May 04 48% 43 9
4-5 May 04 49% 43 8
21-22 Apr 04 50% 44 6
6-7 Apr 04 49% 44 7
23-24 Mar 04 47% 44 9
3-4 Mar 04 48% 44 8
18-19 Feb 04 48% 41 11
4-5 Feb 04 53% 41 6
21-22 Jan 04 53% 39 8
7-8 Jan 04 58% 31 11
2. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Dick Cheney is doing as vicepresident?
Dis Dis
Approve approve (DK) Approve approve (DK)
25-26 Apr 05 43% 40 17
RECENT TREND
11-12 Jan 05 48% 41 11
16-17 Nov 04 50% 38 12
21-22 Apr 04 46% 42 12
14-15 Oct 03 50% 32 18
3-4 Dec 02 53% 23 24
28-29 Nov 01 73% 10 17
14-15 Mar 01 54% 11 35
3. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Donald Rumsfeld is doing as
secretary of defense?
Dis Dis
Approve approve (DK) Approve approve (DK)
25-26 Apr 05 44% 40 16
RECENT TREND
11-12 Jan 05 42% 42 16
16-17 Nov 04 46% 38 16
21-22 Apr 04 49% 39 12
14-15 Oct 03 54% 29 17
22-23 Apr 03 67% 19 14
25-26 Mar 03 71% 16 13
29-30 Jan 03 58% 20 22
8-9 Sep 02 63% 17 20
30-31 Jan 02 77% 9 14
12-13 Dec 01 78% 6 16
28-29 Nov 01 80% 4 16
14-15 Nov 01 78% 5 17
17-18 Oct 01 75% 7 18
4. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Condoleezza Rice is doing as
secretary of state?
Dis
Approve approve (DK)
25-26 Apr 05 59% 22 19
1-2 Mar 05 51% 18 32
5. – 10. I'm going to read the names of some people. Please tell me whether
you have a generally favorable or unfavorable opinion of each. If you've
never heard of one, please just say so. (RANDOMIZE)
SCALE: 1. Favorable 2. Unfavorable 3. (Can't say) 4. Never heard of
********** SUMMARY CHART **********
Favor Unfav Can't Never
able orable say heard
Bill Clinton 53% 40 6 -
George W. Bush 52% 43 5 -
Dick Cheney 49% 40 11 1
Hilary Clinton 47% 45 8 -
Tom DeLay 21% 34 25 20
Kofi Annan 16% 28 21 34
Favor Unfav Can't Never
able orable say heard
Tom DeLay
25-26 Apr 05 21% 34 25 20
Kofi Annan
25-26 Apr 05 16% 28 21 34
George W. Bush
Favor Unfav Can't Never Favor Unfav Can't Never
able orable say heard able orable say heard
25-26 Apr 05 52% 43 5 -
RECENT TREND
29-30 Mar 05 49% 43 7 1
1-2 Mar 05 54% 41 4 -
11-12 Jan 05 53% 41 6 -
14-15 Dec 04 50% 43 7 -
30-31 Oct 04 48% 47 5 -
30-31 Oct 04 LV 49% 46 5 -
29-30 Oct 04 47% 46 7 -
29-30 Oct 04 LV 49% 45 6 -
28-29 Oct 04 47% 45 8 -
28-29 Oct 04 LV 49% 44 7 -
27-28 Oct 04 49% 45 6 -
27-28 Oct 04 LV 50% 44 6 -
17-18 Oct 04 LV 49% 45 6 -
3-4 Oct 04 LV 52% 43 5 -
21-22 Sep 04 LV 52% 43 5 -
7-8 Sep 04 LV 51% 43 6 -
24-25 Aug 04 LV 50% 44 6 -
3-4 Aug 04 47% 45 8 -
20-21 Jul 04 50% 42 8 -
22-23 Jun 04 52% 41 7 -
8-9 Jun 04 52% 41 7 -
4-5 May 04 50% 42 8 -
6-7 Apr 04 49% 44 7 -
23-24 Mar 04 50% 43 7 -
3-4 Mar 04 52% 40 8 -
4-5 Feb 04 56% 37 7 -
21-22 Jan 04 54% 39 7 -
Dick Cheney
Favor Unfav Can't Never Favor Unfav Can't Never
able orable say heard able orable say heard
25-26 Apr 05 49% 40 11 1
RECENT TREND
11-12 Jan 05 49% 41 10 -
27-28 Oct 04 LV 49% 43 8 -
17-18 Oct 04 LV 47% 41 11 1
21-22 Sep 04 LV 45% 43 10 2
7-8 Sep 04 LV 42% 44 12 2
24-25 Aug 04 LV 43% 42 14 1
3-4 Aug 04 40% 46 13 1
20-21 Jul 04 43% 41 14 2
4-5 Feb 04 46% 39 14 1
21-22 Jan 04 43% 39 15 3
Hillary Clinton
Favor Unfav Can't Never Favor Unfav Can't Never
able orable say heard able orable say heard
25-26 Apr 05 47% 45 8 -
RECENT TREND
20-21 Jul 04 44% 44 11 1
21-22 Jan 04 47% 44 9 -
17-18 Jun 03 44% 47 9 -
3-4 Jun 03 44% 47 8 1
17-18 Dec 02 47% 45 8 -
14-15 Nov 01 44% 44 11 1
18-19 Apr 01 42% 49 9 -
14-15 Mar 01 39% 51 10 -
21-22 Feb 01 44% 46 10 -
10-11 Jan 01 52% 38 10 -
Bill Clinton
Favor Unfav Can't Never Favor Unfav Can't Never
able orable say heard able orable say heard
25-26 Apr 05 53% 40 6 -
RECENT TREND
8-9 Jun 04 52% 40 7 1
21-22 Jan 04 47% 47 6 -
17-18 Jun 03 41% 52 7 -
11-12 Mar 03 47% 46 7 -
3-4 Dec 02 42% 50 8 -
12-13 Feb 02 45% 47 7 1
12-13 Dec 01 42% 50 8 -
25-26 Jul 01 42% 51 7 -
18-19 Apr 01 40% 54 6 -
28-29 Mar 01 41% 52 7 -
14-15 Mar 01 40% 54 6 -
21-22 Feb 01 40% 54 6 -
10-11 Jan 01 48% 46 6 -
11. Do you think it is a common practice or is it rare for members of
Congress to hire family members for their office or campaign?
All Dem Rep Ind
1. Common practice 71% 70% 69% 81%
2. Rare 13 18 11 7
3. (Not sure) 16 12 20 12
12. Do you think the controversy over House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is
better described as (just politics) or (legitimate)? (ROTATE)
All Dem Rep Ind
1. Just politics 41% 34% 49% 44%
2. Legitimate 20 29 12 15
3. (Mixed) 13 13 11 15
4. (Not sure) 26 23 28 27
13. Do you think it is acceptable or unacceptable for a U.S. Senator to base
his or her vote on a presidential nominee solely on whether the nominee has
at times had a confrontational management style?
All Dem Rep Ind
1. Acceptable 17% 17% 16% 21%
2. Unacceptable 59 58 59 61
3. (Not sure) 24 25 25 18
14. Do you believe the Social Security system is something the president and
Congress need to fix now or is it something to let others worry about later?
Under Age 55
All Age 55 & Over
1. Fix now 74% 80% 66%
2. Later 15 12 19
3. (Doesn’t need fixing – vol.) 6 3 9
4. (Not sure) 5 4 6
15. Who do you trust more to handle your retirement investment decisions --
you and your family or the federal government? (ROTATE)
Under Age 55
All Age 55 & Over
1. You and your family 77% 79% 75%
2. The federal government 15 14 16
3. (Not sure) 7 6 9
16. Based on what you know about the Social Security proposal for personal
investment accounts, is it your understanding that individuals could continue
under the current system if they wanted or is it your understanding that
everyone would be required to put a portion of their retirement money in
stocks and mutual funds?
Under Age 55
All Age 55 & Over
1. Individuals would have the choice 57% 52% 62%
2. Everyone would be required 27 30 22
3. (Not sure) 17 18 16
17. Thinking about Social Security contributions, do you think people under
age 55 should have the right to choose between keeping all of their
contributions in the current system and investing a portion of their
contributions?
Under Age 55
All Age 55 & Over
1. Yes, people should have the right to choose 79% 84% 74%
2. No, people should not have the right to choose 13 11 15
3. (Not sure) 8 5 11
18. Based on what you know about the Social Security personal investment
proposal, would you want the choice to invest a portion of your Social
Security contributions in stocks or mutual funds?
Yes No (Not sure)
25-26 Apr 05 53% 37 9
Age under 30 72% 23 5
30-45 64% 24 11
46-54 60% 33 7
Under Age 55 64% 27 9
Age 55 & Over 42% 48 10
8-9 Feb 05 48% 40 12
Age under 30 58% 36 6
30-45 59% 32 9
46-55 54% 33 12
Under Age 55 57% 33 10
Age 55 & Over 34% 50 15
Questions 19–27 held for future release
28. Do you think a female under age 18 should be required by state law to
notify at least one parent or guardian before having an abortion?
All Pro-life Pro-choice
1. Yes 78% 95% 64%
2. No 17 4 30
3. (Not sure) 5 2 6
29. Do you think a female under age 18 should be required by state law to
get permission or consent from at least one parent or guardian before having
an abortion?
All Pro-life Pro-choice
1. Yes 72% 93% 55%
2. No 22 5 38
3. (Not sure) 6 2 7
30. Do you favor or oppose passing a law making English the official
language of the United States?
1. Favor 80%
2. Oppose 15
3. (Not sure) 5
31. Do you favor or oppose passing a law making it mandatory for all
students in the United States to take English language classes?
1. Favor 93%
2. Oppose 5
3. (Not sure) 3
32. On the issue of abortion, would you say you are more pro-life or more
pro-choice?
Pro-life Pro-choice (Both, mix) (Not sure)
25-26 Apr 05 42% 47 8 3
21-22 Apr 04 47% 44 6 3
15-16 Jul 03 44% 44 6 6
22-23 Apr 03 41% 49 5 5
9-10 Jan 02 41% 47 5 7
24-25 Jan 01 42% 47 7 4
12-13 July 00 38% 54 5 3
26-27 Jan 00 44% 43 8 5
23-24 June 99 44% 42 9 5
7-8 Jan 98 46% 49 - 5
20-21 Aug 97 40% 50 5 5
Questions 33-37 held for release
38. Do you think the citizen volunteers known as “Minutemen,” who are
patrolling the borders are best described as vigilantes who should leave
patrolling to professional law enforcement, or as concerned citizens doing
what the government is not doing (ROTATE)?
All Dem Rep Ind
1. Vigilantes 34% 47% 22% 30%
2. Concerned citizens 44 35 51 49
3. (Haven’t heard about Minutemen) 10 9 11 12
4. (Not sure) 12 10 15 9
39. Do you think the following statement is true or false: If a government
does not control its country’s borders, then the government will eventually
lose control of the country.
1. True 63%
2. False 29
3. (Not sure) 8
Party Identification Demo
When you think about politics, do you think of yourself as a Democrat or a
Republican?
1. Democrat 39%
2. Republican 39
3. (Independent) 17
4. (Other) 2
5. (Refused/Don’t know) 4

5/02/2005 12:06 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

"Let's not neglect to mention that the poll was conducted for Fox News."

Do you have any proof or substantiation that Fox News has fabricated data, or manipulated people via their survey questioning in the past?

"The way questions are worded alone can have a major effect on poll results (polls contain "leading questions")."

I agree whole heartedly with you on this. That is why I believe it is so important to take a poll more seriously when the publisher will disclose all relevant information and data for independent review. Most legitimate pollers will do this, like Fox/ODC did with this poll.

**56% of Americans opposed Bush's handling of Social Security.
**(AP poll) ~55% opposed creation of SS private accounts
**(NY Times Poll) 69% opposed the creation of private accounts where it meant a sacrifice in benefits.
**(NY Times Poll) 51% opposed SS private accounts generally.


All interesting surveys, but when I followed your links I didn't find ready access to the data for these polls on those cited pages. Let us know if you find it.

I was able to glean, however, that many of the these questions were put forth with conditions attached. (e.g. How would you feel about private accounts if it meant a reduction in benefits? ... which was one of the questions from your quoted polls...) This is a common tactic in polling to get results favorable to your cause too. Though, being totally honest there are times when you need to ask conditional questions. I would just like to see the data and understand the objective of this poll. It isn't hard to see the Fox/ODC data and objective.

I personally like this latest Fox/ODC poll because it strictly asks the question in a non-biased and non-conditional way of what people think of private accounts, and shows true interest in this option. I am not saying that this means that Democrats have to embrace the Republican version of this option or private accounts at all, but it should tell them that the majority of Americans polled are interested in this private account idea and more largely the Social Security issue.

In response to data like the Fox/ODC poll, or at least the very fact that the system as it stands will go bankrupt in my life time, I would like to see the Democrats start to bring out some of their ideas for discussion. So far, most of what has come out of the Democrat camp has taken the form of what they don't like.

5/03/2005 3:59 PM  
Blogger Izdatyel said...

"Do you have any proof or substantiation that Fox News has fabricated data, or manipulated people via their survey questioning in the past?
- - - No. But, I can see why it would be necessary if I had actually asserted that Fox News had done so. I think my comment sufficiently explains why I said that the source of the poll should be taken into consideration (assertions that Fox engaged in foul play are not part of, or necessary to, my point - look again). There is no such thing as an objective poll. That is the point.

"[W]hen I followed your links I didn't find ready access to the data for these polls on those cited pages"
- - - Did you expect to? Those were simply news articles that discussed the polls. Usually, I think the data is accessible from those who conducted the poll - not from a news article about it. I'm pretty sure my intent was not to debate validity of each poll's data, or even hold those polls up as superior.

In fact, I think my point was simply that there are other polls saying different things. The validity and methods of each poll is, of course, a different (but good) question. Nevertheless, I wouldn't go so far as to say the data is not sufficiently accessible merely because the news links did not "readily" link to it.

Let us know if you find it.
- - - Yeah...Don't hold your breath on that. I'm not really interested in finding it since it wouldn't further the point I'm making and, I just don't care that much about what polls say. I agree with President Bush, our elected officials should not govern or form opinions according to public opinion polls. I think the discrepancies speak for themselves: Polls are of very limited benefit, and the public is fickle. I believe that relying on polls to support a position is little more than a rhetorical mind game.

"I was able to glean, however, that many of the these questions were put forth with conditions attached. (e.g. How would you feel about private accounts if it meant a reduction in benefits? ... which was one of the questions from your quoted polls...)
- - - Did you happen to glean that the very same poll asked the same question again, without the "reduction in benefits" condition? I agree that even having the condition in one of the questions might subconsciously affect the responders answer to another (if that's what you're getting at - couldn't tell).
Once again, the point of citing those other polls was not to hold them up as superior or more objective. I don't doubt for a second that they used leading questions in one way or another. Just as the Fox poll did.

"This is a common tactic in polling to get results favorable to your cause too."
- - - "too"? This is a good example of the tactic I already mentioned. It's often called a "leading question," which is sometimes employed by adding conditions.

"[The] Fox/ODC poll. . .strictly asks the question in a non-biased and non-conditional way of what people think of private accounts, and shows true interest in this option."
- - - Brillo, Brillo, Brillo. You don't really believe this poll asks the question in an unbiased way, do you? I mean, let's be straight, here. I already gave one example (substantiation) of why the Fox poll, indeed, contained a "leading" question. Due to the American worldview and emphasis on individual liberty and "rights" (I'm guessing you agree that this is commonly accepted knowledge, and that the emphasis, while the areas of focus may differ, is likely espoused by most every American), and general love affair with the phrase "right to choose," the language is certainly "leading."

Notice the language of the Fox News Poll: "Should seniors have the right to choose." You can't possibly deny that that language nudges the American-socialized mind towards a "yes."

Notice that the poll did not, in a less encouraging fashion, employ language like "Should Social Security include funding for private accounts as an option." In fact, this language is similar to that of the AP Poll, which, surprise surprise, derived a different result! 55% in opposition to private accounts.

"I would like to see the Democrats start to bring out some of their ideas for discussion. So far, most of what has come out of the Democrat camp has taken the form of what they don't like."
- - - I would also like to hear more of the Democrats' ideas. Although, I don't think we can say they haven't been forwarded - that's a difficult thing to know. But, at least we know we hear very little in that regard in our news media.

5/03/2005 9:10 PM  

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