Monday, December 7, 2009

Dynamic Polling

One of the wonkier debates over the past couple of decades involved the use (or rather non-use) of what was called "dynamic scoring" for Congressional and/or Administration economic projections. In simplified terms, the proponents of dynamic scoring held that when estimating the impact of tax cuts, government estimators should take into account expected additional economic growth--and thus additional revenues--encouraged by the lower rates, as opposed to assuming growth (or lack therof) would basically stay the same and simply subtracting the difference in the dollar amount of anticipated taxes that would have been collected under higher tax rates.

When reading this bit from Mickey Kaus's weekend Twitter compilation, I was reminded of those old arguments:

Mystery Pollster cites a CNN poll discovering that 10% opposed the [Obama health care] plan as "not liberal enough." And that's not 10% of opponents. It's 10% of all those asked. Add that 10 to the 39 percent who support reform in the poll of polls and you have ... well, 49%. Almost a majority! ...

I think Mickey is kidding himself here. While going harder towards full Canadian/UK-style socialized medicine probably would garner a lot closer to 100% support among liberals, actual liberals only make up about 20% of the electorate. A dynamic score of that poll would have to take into account how much support such a turn to the Left would cost from moderates (to say nothing of the additional conservative opposition it would gin up). You're going to fall way, way short of 49% in that eventuality.

The Left--both hard and soft varieties (I think I'm safe in placing Mickey in the latter camp)--has been kidding itself for fifteen years now about why Hillarycare failed, and they're still kidding themselves over why Obamacare is failing today. Here's a hint: it ain't because either plan "isn't liberal enough"...


  1. Will,
    I agree Mickey is whistling past the graveyard. Shifting the plan to the left will not help. But I don't think that's because the voters are dead set against the idea of government health care. Rather, they are dead set against THIS government's health care plan. The stimulus plan has Congress and Obama pegged (rightfully, I think) as reckless. The public could be sold on public option, but not by this sales staff.

    Steve W

  2. Strictly speaking, I'd poll as someone who is in favor of health care reform. Obviously, the system needs some major adjustments. But you'd be hard pressed to count me as someone in favor of moving more to the Left! Obamacare's an abomination, and needs to be scrapped immediately.

    If there were enough sensible, non-partisan members of Congress to play a bridge game, I'd say let's get them together and try to put together a series of plans to bring some sense to health care. But that's not going to happen in my lifetime, so it's not worth losing any sleep over. They should all rot in hell, as far as I'm concerned.