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Monday, November 13, 2006

A lesson in the basic

I've seen a number of 11-07 postmortems. There is one that I've looked at and reviewed and recommended. The Club for Growth is an organization I'm familiar with, but I've not studied much. However, Pat Toomey had an article last week that was linked at Real Clear Politics . Mr Toomey cites a study (opens with Word) that the Club for Growth commissioned from Basswood Research. Basswood polled 15 Congressional Districts across the nation a few days before the election. All House seats were held by Republicans. The poll was taken by talking to likely voters (not registered voters).
The breakdown was as follows:
  • Q: With which political party are you registered or affiliated?

A: Republican 37.6%
Democrat 40.6%
Independent 19.4%
Refused 2.4%

This falls within margin of error agreeing with conventional wisdom that the nation is evenly divided between Republican and Democrat at 40% each with 20% as independent.
The next question is where the first "Oh, oh" occurs:
  • Q: Would you prefer to see the Democrats or the Republicans in control of Congress when the new Congress meets in January?

A: Democrats 50.8%
Republicans 36.3%
Refused 13%

And next, we have an "OH, OH!!":

Introduction to Question: Now tell me whether you think the following phrases better describe the Republicans or the Democrats in Washington.

Q: “The Party of Big Government”

A: Republicans 39.3%
Democrats 27.9%
Both 16.3%
Neither 9.3%
Don’t know/Refused 7.4%

Q: Would you agree or disagree with the following statement: “The
Republicans used to be the party of economic growth, fiscal discipline, and limited government, but in recent years, too many Republicans in Washington have become just like the big spenders that they used to oppose.”

A: Agree 65.8%
Strongly Agree 43.4%
Somewhat Agree 22.4%
Disagree 26.4%

Strongly Disagree 13.4%

Somewhat Disagree 13.0%

Don’t know/Refused 7.9%

This is exactly what many of us have been saying for years.We blogged, emailed, and stated that government had grown faster under the first five years under Republican control of the White House and Congress than under the full eight years with Bill Clinton. That the Repubs were not becoming Big Government Lite, that we saw Repubs as THE Big Government Party. And obviously so does everyone else except Karl Rove,GWB and the Republicans in Congress. This is what so many pundits, like Hugh Hewitt have been saying is not true. The kept proclaiming that to say that there wasn't a dimes worth of difference between the Dems and Repubs was just wrong. Seems the electorate saw a half dollar's worth of difference. And voted accordingly.

But here is what I find extremely interesting:
Q: The 2003 federal tax cuts lowered tax rates on capital gains and dividend income. In two years, those taxes will go up if Congress does not extend the tax cuts. Do you support extending the current lower rates on capital gains and dividends, or do you support allowing those taxes to go up?
A: Extend the tax cuts 62.1%
Allow taxes to rise 24.8%
Don’t know/Refused 13.1%

Q: The 2003 federal tax cuts lowered income tax rates across the board, cutting the lowest tax rate from 15% down to 10%, and cutting the highest tax rate from 39.6% down to 35%. In four years, those tax rates will return to their previously higher levels if Congress does not extend the tax cuts. Do you support extending the current lower income tax rates, or do you support allowing the income tax cuts to expire and let rates return to their previous higher levels?

A: Extend the tax cuts 59.1%
Allow the tax cuts to expire 26.8%
Don’t know/Refused 14.1%

Q: The 2001 federal tax cuts phased out the inheritance tax, also known as the death tax. The law is currently scheduled to completely eliminate the death tax in four years, but then it allows the death tax to return in the year 2011. Would you prefer to have the death tax permanently eliminated, or would you prefer to see the death tax brought back in 2011?

A: Permanent elimination 61.6%
Brought back in 2011 21.5%
Don’t know/Refused 16.9%

In other words, these people wanted what the Repubs had offered, but the people didn't trust them to deliver. Even the Dems want to end the death tax. Even the Dems want permanent tax cuts. Even the Dems want tax cuts on capital gains and dividends. In other words, people want to keep more of the money they earn. And the Repubs were not trusted to deliver.

Look at the dates when the tax cuts were proposed: 2001 and 2003. And even with majorities in both houses of Congress and a Republican in the White House, the Republicans could not make those cuts permanent in three to five years.

This is one of the most eye opening surveys I've seen in years. And unfortunately one that proves the conservatives right. And all those people who proclaimed it was more important to get Republicans elected than to adhere to principles and a platform? Well, they were wrong, flat wrong. Miserably wrong. And they never listened. Or worse, chose to ignore.


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