Same drill as in the other articles, the cute little pictures link back to the original polls: Part 1 (aptly) is a catfish. Part 2 is red ink. And the link to Part 3 is (ta da) lima beans.
In both Parts 1 and 2, we asked the respondents to pick out the bogus Federal agency. On day 1, 13% of the respondents were correct (Southeast Asia Commission) and on day two 14% were correct (Center for ADD, ADHD, Autism and other DSM-IV Disorders). It's a tribute to the federal government's intrusiveness into every corner of our lives that we can't pick out the ludicrous from the merely ridiculous. I'm sure that a Southeast Asia Command and an ADD Center are on the drawing board.
Question 13, Which is more annoying, the amount of money each member of the House gets for expenses each year or the way they use up any 'extra' at the end of the year. I was pleased to see that most (60%) chose the latter. This helps to underscore that trying to cut the federal budget with baseline budgeting in place is a fool's errand.
In Question 14, 'none of the above' was offered as a choice. Unfortunately, 37% of the respondents took this route. Fake must review its sample for weak knees.
Fake Social Science learned many things during the researching and compilation of this polling series. One of them was what a lot of work it was. But the main thing learned was not to make rash promises to a test subject no matter how interesting, cute or intelligent that subject might be.
"It seems a shame," the Walrus said,
"To play them such a trick.
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!"
Fake Social Science agreed (see Day 3 analysis) that I would totally recuse myself from any and all dieting/weight/calories/chocolate jokes. Thus, I'd never live it down if I were to call my collaborator The Walrus, so therefore she must be The Carpenter and therefore, I am the Walrus ... and you test subjects are the Oysters ... except for Bad Fish, who's a bad fish, and, you know, Walruses prey on bad fish who steal Walruses' lunches out of their desk drawers. Just sayin'.
All of which is to say, the Baseline Budgeting stuff is all Jabberwocky to me. For as long as deficit hawks have been making it, I've never understood the argument. The baseline you set is always arbitrary, whether it's zero-budgeting, year-over-year, nominal or indexed.I'm good with whatever arbitrary rule we can agree on so long as it's consistently and comprehensively applied. If we Baseline Budget, we'll spend about a trillion dollars on all things military next year. If we zero-budget ... we'll spend about a trillion dollars on all things military. It's the trillion that matters, not the way we choose to count it. Thus, I voted "Could be a good tool" on Question #11 because it's the Carpenter, not the saw, that does the cutting.
I also saw "Year end spending binge" and "DoD-protested earmark" as of a piece and far more pernicious to fiscal sanity than House office expenses or one-shot boondoggles of the kind we've had since the 19th century, and voted that way on Questions #13 and #15.
And I'm still a sucker for Dale Evans, I'm afraid.