Thursday, March 25, 2010

What people think about Congress

Shortly before last weekend's vote on the healthcare bill, the PEW Research Center asked some 749 people for the one word that best described their view of Congress. This graphic shows the 19 top choices:

Very interesting that "Of those offering a response, 86 percent said something negative while just 4 percent gave a positive one-word description." Even harsher words come to my mind.

HT: Coyote Blog


Benjamin Cole said...

Scoot G:

So is U.S. Congressman from the 44th District Ken Calvert (R) a corrupt, incompetent, lazy, lousy crook?

Would you say those things to him, and the other choice words you have in mind?

Or, is your Congressman a "good one," but it is all those other Congressmen who are corrupt etc.?

If so, you views parallel that of many. All of us define Congress as second-rate, but the Congressman from our own district is usually "okay" to "pretty good."

W.E. Heasley said...

Benjamin said...

‘Scott G:

Or, is your Congressman a "good one," but it is all those other Congressmen who are corrupt etc.?

If so, you views parallel that of many. All of us define Congress as second-rate, but the Congressman from our own district is usually "okay" to "pretty good." ‘

When your survey is in regards to “an attitude toward a group” you find these two general trends in such surveys:

(a) survey respondents having a personal relationship with a single individual member of the group being surveyed will score that individual member of the group more favorably,

(b) survey respondents generally have no personal relationship with the group as a whole. Respondents will score the group as a whole lower than the single personal relationship member of the group as indicated in (a) above.

Benjamin Cole said...

Well, maybe Calvert is a loser.

From his own website:

"During his past eight terms, Calvert has focused on securing federal funds for critical projects in Riverside County including: C-17 operations at March Air Reserve Base; research into the grapevine killing Pierce's Disease scourging California's wine industry; expansion of the Janet Goeske Center for Senior and Disabled Citizens; improving cutting edge clean air technology at the University of California at Riverside; and, supporting various environmental restoration and flood control efforts critical to Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

The C-17 is a project that Def. Secy Gates wants to kill; the wine industry should protect itself against disease w/o hitting up taxpayers; helping old people sounds like another liberal boondoggle, same for the clean-air research; and flood control projects are among the stupidest wastes of money the feds engage in--people who build in flood plains should build on stilts at their own expense rather than get the rest of us to pay for boondoggle construction projects.

In short, everything Calvert has done for his district is a waste or inappropriate swipe of taxpayer money.

This guy is touted as a conservative Republican.

Yeah, sure, let's balance the budget with the R-Party.

This is what I am telling you guys: Ron Paul may be your only hope.

Paul said...

"Would you say those things to him, and the other choice words you have in mind?"

My Congressman is Ciro Rodriguez, a lying, thieving, tax-and-spend liberal just like Obama.

I would say those things to him and more.

Benjamin Cole said...


I am jealous. I thought you saved those choice nuggets for me.

Paul said...


I'm sure you'd vote for Ciro if he ever made the cover of People Magazine.

Benjamin Cole said...

Frankly, I think Ciro and Ran Calvert should run as a team

You see that list--on his own website--of government waste he says he ladled into his district?

Can Ciro top that?

Imagine people in flood plains getting me to pay for their hugely expensive dikes, berms, levies etc so they don't have to take sensible measures to protect themselves. What ever happened to building on stilts?

What a bunch of mollycoddled, knock-kneed weaklings Calvert has in his district. Pink-wussies.

Paul said...

"Can Ciro top that?"

Probably, he's a Congressman in the "Red State Socialist" state of Texas. Yet somehow, he's a Democrat. Gee, how do you explain that one, Benji?

Benjamin Cole said...

Well, Ciro and Calvert ought to have a lovefest.

From Ciro's website:

U.S. Congressman Ciro D. Rodriguez (TX-23) announced this week that the Military Spouse Education program – suspended in February – has been reinstated. Spouses of service members wanting assistance to pursue training and education will once again be able to access federal funding. “The Military Spouse Education program is an important benefit for military families and reinstating program benefits was the right call,” said Congressman Rodriguez, a champion of veterans and their families. “As a nation, we provide for the needs of service members on and off the field, but we cannot forget to support the families who support them back home.”

So, not only taxpayers pay soldiers, and lifetime pensions (after just 20 years), and lifetime medical care, and even free boob jobs for female soldiers, now we taxpayers are expected to pay for training and education of soldier's spouses.

I guess it never ends.

Rob said...

Scott, I have found your comments on this subject as powerful and convincing as all of your economic comments. But still I read articles on this Healthcare Bill that leave me confused as to the rights and wrongs of it all. I wonder if you have time to have a quick look at this one, for example, and see if you can give me a a very brief response to it? Many thanks.

Scott Grannis said...

Rob: the article you link to is long on empathy for the poor, the unfortunate, and the downtrodden, but very short on reasoned analysis. That's typical, it seems, of most liberals who rarely take the time to question whether their ends will be efficiently achieved by the means they propose.

The glaring omission in this article is the failure to question the assumption inherent in almost all liberal policy prescriptions. Namely, that free markets are subject to failure and corporations are greedy exploiters, and the only way to fix things is through government mandates.

It all starts with the Natoma's plight. Why hasn't anyone asked why it is that her insurance company was able to raise her premiums and effectively price her out of the policy? And just because this happened to her, why does that justify a virtual government takeover of 17% of our economy? Aren't there easier ways of addressing her problem?

And what about all the flaws that are sure to be uncovered in the legislation that was passed? For example, it now appears that the government has no authority to enforce its mandate that everyone must buy a policy. This is a prescription for the complete collapse of the the whole thing. It's an example of how it is that government bureaucrats and politicians have virtually no chance of designing a system that is better and more efficient and more moral than the systems that can be delivered by free market forces.

If we fixed the root causes of our current healthcare mess (e.g., allowing everyone to deduct insurance costs, allowing purchases of insurance across state lines) I think the market might be able to work wonders. Insurance companies that mistreated their customers would lose business to those that upheld their promises.

And if a few Natomas fell through the cracks even then, well, that's what private charities are for.

Rob said...

Many thanks for your usual quick, eloquent, detailed and convincing answer Scott !