Wednesday, November 21, 2007

You Might Call It Cognitive Dissonance

Yahoo published an article which tells how miserable Americans think things are. 88% of Democrats and 62% of Republicans say they think "things in this country are headed off on the wrong track."

However, a top paragraph in the article says: "most in the U.S. say they are personally happy and feel in control of their lives and finances, according to an extensive Associated Press-Yahoo! News survey on the mood of voters."

66% say they are personally happy and feel in control of their lives and finances, but that things are on the wrong track. In other words, "I'm doing okay, but I hear things are bad everywhere else."

The power of the media, folks.

To give you an idea of the overall tone of the poll, two of the questions were:

1) "Do you favor or oppose having the federal government intervene to reduce the income differences between the richest and poorest Americans?" (42% favor! How do you think the "federal government" would go about implementing this idea?)

Consider this: Economist Thomas Sowel wrote an article in which he analyzes income data from the Internal Revenue Service. People in the bottom fifth of income-tax filers in 1996 had their incomes increase by 91 percent by 2005. The top one percent -- "the rich" who are supposed to be monopolizing the money, according to the left -- saw their incomes decline by a whopping 26 percent. Meanwhile, the average taxpayers' real income increased by 24 percent between 1996 and 2005.

2) "Do you favor or oppose canceling the tax cuts passed since 2001 for people who are wealthy?" (41% favor.)

This, despite the fact that the tax rate cuts implemented by the Bush administration have increased the amount of taxes the wealthy pay. (The top 25% of wage earners pay 84.6% of all federal income taxes.)

Dante's Eighth Circle of Hell is reserved for politicians who engage in and exploit the politics of envy and covetousness.

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