Friday, March 11, 2016

Poll: Why Voters Flock to Donald Trump

It is perfectly reasonable that a successful businessman should be seen as best able to deal with jobs and the economy but that may be only the politically correct answer that Trump voters give to pollsters rather than the most basic reason.  Mitt Romney was a rich businessman too -- but he enthused just about nobody

A new poll shows conservatives and independent voters believe Donald Trump is the best-suited Republican candidate to deal with jobs and the economy, and that this factor is a big reason for Trump's wide support.

A net 64 percent of respondents in a national poll said Trump would be best on jobs and economy, according to a Gallup poll conducted Feb. 26-28. Trump received nearly four times more support than runner-up Sen. Marco Rubio, who scored 17 percent on the same issue.

Trump, who is ranked first in the Washington Examiner's presidential power rankings, swept the six-category poll, and took first place by a landslide on five of the issues. The GOP front-runner had 61 percent of voters' support on handling the federal budget deficit, nearly four times Rubio's 16 percent second place finish.

"These strengths appear to be at the core of his support, tying in with the persistent economic anxiety Republicans express on a host of Gallup measures, such as confidence in the economy and their own economic progress," Gallup poll experts Frank Newport and Lydia Saad concluded.



What This Washington Post Columnist Got Wrong in Analysis of Conservatives

Beware of friendly progressives like E. J. Dionne, Jr., who come bearing beguiling gifts like how conservatism can get back on the right track.

In his new book, “Why the Right Went Wrong: Conservatism from Goldwater to the Tea Party and Beyond,” Dionne, a featured columnist of the always helpful Washington Post, argues that because elected conservatives broke their promises to voters to slash federal spending, spark an economic boom, put social issues at the top of the agenda, and restore tattered American prestige around the world, the American public has gone looking for political alternatives and found them in outspoken outliers.

The solution, suggests Dionne, is for conservatives to stop making promises they cannot keep—like shrinking government to its pre-New Deal size—and reclaim the “moderate” conservatism of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. That is the only sensible solution, says Dionne, because after nearly 80 years of the New Deal and its successors, the voters have come to accept and expect a government that gives them Social Security, health care, food stamps, housing allowances, and all the other accoutrements of the modern welfare state. To hew to a rigid Bill Buckley/Barry Goldwater ideology, he argues, is to consign your political movement to defeat and oblivion.

Dionne’s political diagnosis is accurate—conservative leaders in Washington have constantly let the voters down and hard—but his recommended cure would be disastrous for it would require conservatives to abandon the unquestioned political success of President Ronald Reagan and to a lesser extent that of Speaker Newt Gingrich. Let’s not forget the historic welfare reform of 1996, passed twice over President Bill Clinton’s veto.

It would require conservatives to agree with progressives that the eight years of the Reagan presidency were a decade of greed rather than an unprecedented period of economic prosperity that benefitted all Americans, including African-Americans. It is a little-known fact that during the Eighties, black unemployment dropped 9 percentage points, black household income went up 84 percent, and the number of black-owned businesses increased 40 percent.

Dionne warns that the Republicans “must do more than offer a few tax credits and speak warmly about civil society.” It is obvious he has not read House Speaker Paul Ryan’s pro-growth agenda based on free enterprise and government by consent. Nor has he consulted the Heritage Foundation’s Solutions 2016, with its 111 recommendations on everything from Obamacare (repeal it), education (exit the Common Core standards and tests) and energy (reform the process for new nuclear reactor plants) to jobs (repeal the Davis-Bacon Act).

He accuses Reagan of legerdemain and rhetorical tricks to change the political debate without changing the structure of American government. But that is precisely the point. Reagan did not want to change our form of government, he wanted to restore our government to its original form in which “we the people” govern and the checks and balances carefully constructed by the Founders prevent any one branch of government from gaining too much power.

Contrary to Dionne’s advice, conservatives understand that the way to win the electoral debate is to take a strong forward position and stick with it just as Reagan did with his 1981 tax cuts that triggered 90 months of economic growth and his Strategic Defense Initiative which forced the Soviets to abandon the arms race and agree to end the cold war at the bargaining table and not on the battlefield.

Dionne is correct that President Eisenhower presided over a period of comparative peace and prosperity in the 1950s, but his “modern” Republicanism was rejected as “a dime store New Deal” by Barry Goldwater, a prime maker of the conservative movement. What Reagan said in his first inaugural address still applies: “In this crisis, government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem.”

Contrary to Dionne’s counsel, American conservatism does not need warmed-over Republicanism from the Fifties to get back on track but principled leadership committed to real health care solutions, meaningful spending cuts, tax reform that spurs economic growth and creates jobs, a strong national defense, energy independence, commonsense immigration reform, protection of human life from conception to natural death, and preservation of the traditional family.

That is a sure cure for conservatism’s ills and for an America anchored in family, faith, work and community.



Wisconsin is Proof Positive That Conservative Solutions Work

Scott Walker may have washed out of the presidential election early, but his conservative agenda is saving the state of Wisconsin billions. As Townhall notes:

    "Republican Gov. Scott Walker found himself fighting for his political life when he proposed necessary reforms to Wisconsin’s labor unions in 2011. It prompted liberal forces in his state to mount a recall effort to remove him from office; they failed. Then, they failed to boot him during his 2014 re-election bid. Act 10 is, for all intents and purposes, here to stay–and it’s saved the taxpayers billions of dollars (via Watchdog):

    …[D]espite all the dire predictions, Act 10 has proved a smashing success for Wisconsin taxpayers, according to a new analysis by the MacIver Institute.

    The Madison-based free-market think tank’s report estimates taxpayers have saved $5.24 billion over the past five years, thanks to the law.

    The analysis found that the state has saved $3.36 billion by requiring government employees to contribute to their government-backed pensions, and another $404.8 million by opening up employees’ health insurance to competitive bidding, among other cost controls. The savings have been widespread, across state and local governments.

    Milwaukee Public Schools, for instance, saved a whopping $1.3 billion in long-term pension liabilities, according to the MacIver report. The University of Wisconsin System saved $527 million in retirement costs, the study found. And Medford School District recently realized an 11 percent decrease in the cost of its health insurance plan by opening it to competitive bidding.

    The savings due to Act 10 breaks down to $2,291 for every household in Wisconsin, according to the analysis"

Reforms like Walker's aren't easy, and as the piece notes, they nearly cost them his job. But they provide a template for any committed conservative who's ready to set to the task of taking on the public sector unions that are bankrupting this country.



Minimum Wage Hikes Hose Canadians, Too, Eh?

It’s not just American economists who are waving red flags when it comes to raising the minimum wage. The Canadian-based Fraser Institute recently published a study — “Raising the Minimum Wage: Misguided Policy, Unintended Consequences” — that analyzes the negative regulatory effect of minimum wage increases for Canadians. The executive summary states:

    There is an enormous body of empirical research examining the effects of the minimum wage. Canadian studies are considered of higher quality than US studies because (among other reasons) there is a wider variability in the provincial Canadian minimum-wage variable. The Canadian literature generally finds that a 10% increase in the minimum wage reduces employment among teens and young adults (ages 15 to 24) by 3% to 6%. By making it harder for low-skilled workers to obtain an entry-level position, the minimum wage may perversely hinder the development of human capital and harm the long-term career prospects of the very people it ostensibly helps. Indeed, Canadian researchers have found that hiking the minimum wage has no statistically significant impact on poverty and in some cases can increase it.

Democrats often say that America needs to more emulate other countries, particularly Canada, Australia and Great Britain, because their Big Government boondoggles work. But no matter which country you analyze, the end result — whether we’re talking about government-run health care, generous benefits and entitlements or gun registration — is always the same: failure. Moreover, Democrats never mention the numerous studies like the Fraser Institute’s that completely refute their Socialist make-believe. It seems the only thing to them worth emulating is the rhetoric — not the evidence.



Broken ObamaCare Co-Ops Cheat the System

During his weekly address on June 27, 2015, Barack Obama responded to a favorable Supreme Court ruling from two days earlier on the legality of ObamaCare subsidies by boasting, “This law is working exactly as it’s supposed to — and in some ways, better than we expected it to. … [I]t is time to stop refighting battles that have been settled again and again. It’s time to move on.” If only we could. The reason we can’t (aside from the Supreme Court getting it wrong twice) is because the law is not working, no matter how you spin it. Not only is enrollment tanking, but a new poll shows that very few people are seeing any benefits, and already 12 of the nearly two dozen ObamaCare co-ops have imploded. As for the rest? They, too, are on shaky ground.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services unloaded a bombshell on Congress last week by revealing that eight more co-ops may soon be headed for closure. According to The Washington Free Beacon, “The agency’s chief operating officer, Dr. Mandy Cohen, told the House Oversight and Government Reform committee that the 11 co-ops that remain are ‘being monitored closely,’ and that eight have a corrective action plan in place and are under enhanced oversight. Cohen explained that a co-op is put on a corrective action plan when the agency identifies issues with its finances, operations, compliance, or management processes.” If history is any indication, they won’t last long.

The news gets worse. A separate Free Beacon story published Tuesday says, “Co-ops created under Obamacare reported net assets despite losing millions because they used an accounting trick approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. … In July 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services amended its agreement with co-ops, allowing them to list $2.4 billion in loans they received from taxpayers as assets.” So not only are co-ops closing left and right, but the federal government allowed them to cheat the system, all while CEOs pulled in hundreds of thousands of dollars. If this was happening in the private sector, would Obama claim the system “is working exactly as it’s supposed to — and in some ways, better than we expected it to”?



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


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