With Debt Talk, Watch out for the Spin
Does anybody really know what’s happening in Washington? Are legislators moving closer to a solution (note I didn’t say “deal”) on our massive debt and spending? Most of you have opinions on what should be done, but what do other people think? That is the question, and the media are trying to provide the answer. But beware… in poll after poll, the devil is in the details.
There is no doubt our liberal media will try to influence the American people on the direction Washington should take in dealing with the debt and spending. They are clearly in Obama’s corner, and more spending and higher taxes are their only solutions. What they will try to do is convince you that that is what everyone else believes too. But just because their information comes from a poll doesn’t mean it’s a fact.
The Washington Post and ABC News just released a poll, and here are some of the “results”:
First, the poll does a comparison of Obama and the Republicans regarding the federal budget deficit. With Obama, the results are 60% against and 38% for. With Republicans in Congress, the results are 68% against and 27% for. The results paint a picture of both sides being equally bad, and that is reflected in the Washington Post news story. What the audience is not reminded of, however, is the fact that Republicans only control the House of Representatives. Democrats have the White House and the Senate. Republicans in the House can have the best plans in the world, but it doesn’t mean they will go anywhere. Do you think the the poll respondents realize this?
Or how about the “blame” question? This poll asked respondents to look at Obama, former President Bush, and Republicans in Congress and classify with actions taken by them made the economy better or worse. Again, what’s the point of this question? We have an angry, out of work, and frustrated population, and two out of the three choices are GOP-related. The results are 29% better and 37% worse for Obama, 16% better and 57% worse for Bush, and 16% better and 39% worse for Republicans in Congress.
Question… how many years is Obama going to have to be in office before it’s HIS problem? We had all those years of growth and low unemployment and lower taxes under Bush, and yet this is his problem? The fact that this poll question is even asked is silly, but it keeps the idea out there, and that is the point.
Here are a few points to keep in mind. First, this poll is of adults, but not “registered voters.” Thus, some of these people may be expressing an opinion when they have no idea what’s going on. Also, when asked to describe their party affiliation, 32% responded Democrat while 26% responded Republican. Is that a representative sample?
Another poll was released this week by Ipsos and Reuters. Guess what? It was more of the same craziness passing as factual information. Here is the summary:
The public wants to see a mixed solution with some cuts and some tax increases; fewer than a third (31%) of Americans say that a non-mixed solution (either ALL cuts or ALL tax hikes) is best. It appears that Republicans may be suffering most from the failure of these negotiations so far – they are seen as most to blame for the failure of the talks, and the public also believe that they should be the ones giving the most ground in order to reach a solution.
The link to the full results can be found here.
Sounds just like what the media wants us to hear, right? Again, the poll was not conducted among registered voters, and in this case, the poll had 49% Democrats and 33% Republicans. Is it any wonder that poll respondents blame Bush and want higher taxes?
The polling companies will say they use “weighting” to balance everything out. The problem is that you can’t weight what questions are asked and how they are asked. Questions can easily be worded to steer respondents to a particular outcome.
Please check out the poll results yourself. Did you find anything else that hints of spin or bias? It’s all around, but most people won’t even realize it until they are already drinking the kool-aid.