National (US) poll on government regulations

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    Sep 13, 2011 12:05 AM GMT
    http://www.thepublicnotice.org/2011/09/11/memo-national-poll-on-government-regulations/

    – There is little appetite among American voters for additional regulations coming out of Washington. Three quarters (74%) of voters throughout the country believe that businesses and consumers are over-regulated. Further, another two thirds (67%) believe that regulations have increased over the past few years. These percentages include majorities of all partisan affiliations, with 91% of Republicans, 75% of Independents and 58% of Democrats saying businesses/consumers are over-regulated.

    – A key fear among voters is that regulations will hinder job creation, as most believe the result of new regulation will be either job losses (47%) or increased prices for American made goods and services (22%).

    – More than two thirds (70%) believe increasing the number of regulations on American businesses will result in more jobs moving overseas. Also, majorities agree that the increasing number of regulations have created uncertainty for large and small businesses (66%), and that agencies who enforce regulations fail to consider how their decisions lead to increased prices for consumers and job losses (69%).

    – A majority (56%) agrees that “more government intervention and regulation to the process of overseeing business means you have less accountability because everyone assumes someone else is in charge”, while only 38% agree more that additional regulation leads to more accountability because of the increased number involved in oversight.
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    Sep 13, 2011 1:10 AM GMT
    Really?

    "The Tarrance Group is pleased to present Public Notice with the key findings from a survey of N=801 registered “likely” voters across the country. Interviews were conducted September 6-8, 2011, and, in 95 out of 100 cases, the margin of error on a sample of this type is 3.5%."

    http://www.tarrance.com/about/The Tarrance Group is one of the most widely respected and successful Republican strategic research and polling firms in the nation. The firm is run by Edward A. Goeas III, who serves as President and CEO.

    Our total commitment to quality has helped elect more than 80 Republican Governors, U.S. Senators and Members of Congress, as well as numerous state legislative candidates.


    And the "Public Notice"? This is, what, the 3rd item in a brand new Republican outfit? Nonpartisan, yeah right:

    http://www.factcheck.org/2010/10/public-notice-bankrupting-america/Public Notice is a group headed by Gretchen Hamel, who has a long history of working for Republicans. She was a press assistant for former GOP Rep. J.C. Watts of Oklahoma, then press secretary to GOP Rep. John Carter of Texas and later for the House Republican Conference. She was deputy assistant U.S. trade representative during the final years of the Bush administration.

    This group describes itself as "an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization." Hamel insists that the organization is "an education advocacy group" and not a "political group." Unlike some "super PACs" and overtly partisan groups, it does not attack specific candidates. But it does echo Republican campaign themes and attacks federal spending programs identified with Democrats.

    As of Oct. 6, the Campaign Media Analysis Group estimated that Public Notice had spent $3 million running a single TV spot, "Stop Digging.” The ad urged viewers to "hold Congress accountable" for "unsustainable" spending, and it made the false claim that spending is "not creating jobs" — a theme repeated in many Republican campaign commercials.

    Public Notice runs a project it calls "Bankrupting America," dedicated to criticizing federal spending and the stimulus measure in particular. Its slick website contains an interactive "Spending Fail Map" of the U.S. listing supposedly wasteful stimulus projects, and a video spoof in which a woman with a microphone describes ridiculous-sounding spending projects and asks people on the street whether they are "real or fake." (Spoiler alert: They’re all real examples cited by Republican Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and John McCain of Arizona.) The website is bipartisan to this degree: It contains a page criticizing both President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush for their "unfortunate similarities," saying they both "love to spend."

    Hamel would tell us nothing about who gives to her organization, or even whether or not it accepts corporate funding. “We do not discuss our organization’s finances,” she said in a telephone interview on Oct. 5. The group says on its websites that it is organized as a Limited Liability Company with tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. That leaves it legally free to accept corporate funds, without disclosing its donors publicly.
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    Sep 13, 2011 1:22 AM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidReally?

    "The Tarrance Group is pleased to present Public Notice with the key findings from a survey of N=801 registered “likely” voters across the country. Interviews were conducted September 6-8, 2011, and, in 95 out of 100 cases, the margin of error on a sample of this type is 3.5%."

    http://www.tarrance.com/about/The Tarrance Group is one of the most widely respected and successful Republican strategic research and polling firms in the nation. The firm is run by Edward A. Goeas III, who serves as President and CEO.

    Our total commitment to quality has helped elect more than 80 Republican Governors, U.S. Senators and Members of Congress, as well as numerous state legislative candidates.


    And the "Public Notice"? This is, what, the 3rd item in a brand new Republican outfit? Nonpartisan, yeah right:

    http://www.factcheck.org/2010/10/public-notice-bankrupting-america/Public Notice is a group headed by Gretchen Hamel, who has a long history of working for Republicans. She was a press assistant for former GOP Rep. J.C. Watts of Oklahoma, then press secretary to GOP Rep. John Carter of Texas and later for the House Republican Conference. She was deputy assistant U.S. trade representative during the final years of the Bush administration.

    This group describes itself as "an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization." Hamel insists that the organization is "an education advocacy group" and not a "political group." Unlike some "super PACs" and overtly partisan groups, it does not attack specific candidates. But it does echo Republican campaign themes and attacks federal spending programs identified with Democrats.

    As of Oct. 6, the Campaign Media Analysis Group estimated that Public Notice had spent $3 million running a single TV spot, "Stop Digging.” The ad urged viewers to "hold Congress accountable" for "unsustainable" spending, and it made the false claim that spending is "not creating jobs" — a theme repeated in many Republican campaign commercials.

    Public Notice runs a project it calls "Bankrupting America," dedicated to criticizing federal spending and the stimulus measure in particular. Its slick website contains an interactive "Spending Fail Map" of the U.S. listing supposedly wasteful stimulus projects, and a video spoof in which a woman with a microphone describes ridiculous-sounding spending projects and asks people on the street whether they are "real or fake." (Spoiler alert: They’re all real examples cited by Republican Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and John McCain of Arizona.) The website is bipartisan to this degree: It contains a page criticizing both President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush for their "unfortunate similarities," saying they both "love to spend."

    Hamel would tell us nothing about who gives to her organization, or even whether or not it accepts corporate funding. “We do not discuss our organization’s finances,” she said in a telephone interview on Oct. 5. The group says on its websites that it is organized as a Limited Liability Company with tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. That leaves it legally free to accept corporate funds, without disclosing its donors publicly.


    Ah so you would attack the source rather than the data? Do you disagree that you think that many Americans think that they are becoming increasingly regulated - and that many if not most - as this polling suggests, believe that it is too regulated?
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    Sep 13, 2011 1:30 AM GMT
    Data is what you make of it. If polling were a science, it would be replicable. Replicate it, and you've got something. Coming from a partisan source, I'm not too keen on believing their scientific credentials. I'm sure you're familiar with the following case of scientific misconduct:
    http://www.economist.com/node/21528593

    The way the questions were asked, sure, Americans believe they are increasingly regulated.

    Put the questions in specific areas, and you get these:
    http://www.pollingreport.com/enviro.htm
    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-indiana-poll-voters-strongly-support-fda-regulation-of-tobacco-58349992.html
    http://www.ombwatch.org/node/10384
    http://www.gobankingrates.com/banking/checking-accounts/checking-account-customers-support-stronger-banking-regulations/

    etc.
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    Sep 13, 2011 1:37 AM GMT
    Case in point: As a nephrologist, I give Procrit for patients with anemia. Based on the literature, our group has spontaneously lowered the hemoglobin targets over the past few years. The FDA recently came out with a new guideline for an even lower target. This decreases the number of patients who're eligible for Procrit.
    Do I think we're overregulated in this respect even though it hurts our revenue? No, because it's the right thing to do based on the current science. Do our patients like it? No, they hate it and we have to explain to them why we're doing what we're doing.
    Are there exceptions? Of course. To every rule there's an exception. But the majority of patients should not have a higher hemoglobin artificially induced by erythropoietin, based on the current data.
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    Sep 13, 2011 1:41 AM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidData is what you make of it. If polling were a science, it would be replicable. Replicate it, and you've got something. Coming from a partisan source, I'm not too keen on believing their scientific credentials. I'm sure you're familiar with the following case of scientific misconduct:
    http://www.economist.com/node/21528593

    The way the questions were asked, sure, Americans believe they are increasingly regulated.

    Put the questions in specific areas, and you get these:
    http://www.pollingreport.com/enviro.htm
    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-indiana-poll-voters-strongly-support-fda-regulation-of-tobacco-58349992.html
    http://www.ombwatch.org/node/10384
    http://www.gobankingrates.com/banking/checking-accounts/checking-account-customers-support-stronger-banking-regulations/

    etc.


    I think you're right here - that this is not so much an emerging issue but after jobs, it is the issue - and I also think the two are linked.

    I suspect that we will see additional polling in this area being done. And while it does appear partisan, the issue I suspect is important enough that it will be taken up by others.

    That being said, depending on how the pollster is funded, at least many depend on "proving" their accuracy in political polls to get corporate contracts. Also I note that while the questions in the links you have here are general in nature, I also suspect that you would see much different responses if they were asked to make tradeoffs reflecting the burdens of regulation - which in the very least, I'm sure you would agree cost a significant amount of money for those attempting to comply.

    After all, even President Obama has called for repeal of regulations in his recent speeches (which is not to say all regulation is bad or wrong - I don't think anyone believes this) but that there needs to be oversight and balance - particularly since after a law is passed, it is passed down to various bureaucrats to write out the regulations that can balloon in size for practical purposes.
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    Sep 13, 2011 1:52 AM GMT
    riddler78 saidI also suspect that you would see much different responses if they were asked to make tradeoffs reflecting the burdens of regulation - which in the very least, I'm sure you would agree cost a significant amount of money for those attempting to comply.


    Whose money are you talking about?

    http://www.grist.org/politics/2011-06-15-epa-bashers-arent-protecting-jobs-theyre-protecting-pollutersThe first thing to note is that the macroeconomic effect of regulations has been wildly exaggerated. To hear Fox News tell it, Obama has issued a flood of new regs that are now crippling the economy and "killing jobs." But regulations simply don't have that large of a macroeconomic effect, positive or negative. This EPI briefing paper gets into it:

    This report also examines the most direct government data on the extent of job loss from regulations. Since 2007, the government has published information on how many "extended mass job layoffs" employers attribute to government regulations/intervention. Over this period, only a tiny fraction of such job layoffs (about 0.3% of the 1.5 million of these layoffs each year) were attributed by employers to government regulations/intervention. Similarly, a study that reviewed job layoffs due to environmental regulations in previous decades found that such regulations caused well below 1% of extended mass layoffs.
    ...
    Two broad conclusions emerge from this analysis. First, the dollar value of the benefits of the major rules finalized or proposed by the EPA so far during the Obama administration exceeds the rules costs by an exceptionally wide margin. Health benefits in terms of lives saved and illnesses avoided will be enormous. Expressed in 2010 dollars:

    The combined annual benefits from all final rules exceed their costs by $32 billion to $142 billion a year. The benefit/cost ratio ranges from 4-to-1 to 22-to-1.
    • The combined annual benefits from four proposed rules examined here exceed their costs by $160 billion to $440 billion a year. The benefit/cost ratio ranges from 12-to-1 to 32-to-1.

    Second, the costs of all the finalized and proposed rules total to a tiny sliver of the overall economy, suggesting that fears that these rules together will deter economic progress are unjustified.


    It's called "cost-shifting to the public" when you complain about the significant amounts of money to comply with these regulations.
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    Sep 13, 2011 2:05 AM GMT
    q1w2e3 said
    riddler78 saidI also suspect that you would see much different responses if they were asked to make tradeoffs reflecting the burdens of regulation - which in the very least, I'm sure you would agree cost a significant amount of money for those attempting to comply.


    Whose money are you talking about?

    http://www.grist.org/politics/2011-06-15-epa-bashers-arent-protecting-jobs-theyre-protecting-pollutersThe first thing to note is that the macroeconomic effect of regulations has been wildly exaggerated. To hear Fox News tell it, Obama has issued a flood of new regs that are now crippling the economy and "killing jobs." But regulations simply don't have that large of a macroeconomic effect, positive or negative. This EPI briefing paper gets into it:

    This report also examines the most direct government data on the extent of job loss from regulations. Since 2007, the government has published information on how many "extended mass job layoffs" employers attribute to government regulations/intervention. Over this period, only a tiny fraction of such job layoffs (about 0.3% of the 1.5 million of these layoffs each year) were attributed by employers to government regulations/intervention. Similarly, a study that reviewed job layoffs due to environmental regulations in previous decades found that such regulations caused well below 1% of extended mass layoffs.
    ...
    Two broad conclusions emerge from this analysis. First, the dollar value of the benefits of the major rules finalized or proposed by the EPA so far during the Obama administration exceeds the rules costs by an exceptionally wide margin. Health benefits in terms of lives saved and illnesses avoided will be enormous. Expressed in 2010 dollars:

    The combined annual benefits from all final rules exceed their costs by $32 billion to $142 billion a year. The benefit/cost ratio ranges from 4-to-1 to 22-to-1.
    • The combined annual benefits from four proposed rules examined here exceed their costs by $160 billion to $440 billion a year. The benefit/cost ratio ranges from 12-to-1 to 32-to-1.

    Second, the costs of all the finalized and proposed rules total to a tiny sliver of the overall economy, suggesting that fears that these rules together will deter economic progress are unjustified.


    It's called "cost-shifting to the public" when you complain about the significant amounts of money to comply with these regulations.


    Then why did the Obama Administration recently order hundreds of regulation cut in the name of job creation? Regulations are not always for the safety of the public - in fact quite the opposite.

    Compliance costs money. Look at the complexity of the tax code for instance. Have you seen the size of the tax act that businesses now have to follow? In 2010, the tax code was nearly 72000 pages long.
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    Sep 13, 2011 2:08 AM GMT
    Another example: a few years ago, my local hospital implemented a rule for mandatory handwashing before and after seeing patients with "invisible" (i.e. disguised) staff monitoring the handwashing. They made it as simple as it could be with alcohol dispensers all around the hospital. Some older doctors grumbled and fumed and complained to the higher ups, saying it's time consuming and invades their privacy. Nevertheless, the administration held their ground and actually introduced gown/glove wearing for isolated patients--even more time consuming.

    Well, guess what, after a year, the number of C. diff infections and the rates of MRSA/VRE colonization has gone down overall.

    A few minutes of staff time vs. some nasty infections costing hundreds of thousands of dollars--you do the math.
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    Sep 13, 2011 2:14 AM GMT
    You bring up the tax code. Guess to whom the majority of the exemptions and tax breaks go to? From a tax lawyer:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hale-stewart/why-our-tax-code-is-so-co_b_186439.htmlSo, there are plenty of reasons why the tax code is so complicated -- the length of time tax law has existed, special interest giveaways, and anti-avoidance laws implemented into code. Some of these situations can be dealt with through simple editorial changes -- making the code more clear. Other areas are far tougher because special interests specifically lobbied for specific code sections. And finally, anti-avoidance changes are possible, but would require a unified effort from the tax section of the bar.

    But for most people -- at least 90% of U.S. taxpayers -- it's not an issue you have to worry about because it really doesn't effect how you calculate your taxes.


    I'm all for simplifying the code and getting rid of those deductions. Just tell that to the special interests and the tax avoiders, i.e. those who can hire tax lawyers.

    I'm just now mailing my astronomically high quarterly payments (waited till the very last moment before 9/15), simply because I don't have any deductions.
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    Sep 13, 2011 2:17 AM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Then why did the Obama Administration recently order hundreds of regulation cut in the name of job creation? Regulations are not always for the safety of the public - in fact quite the opposite.


    It's because he's a wimp and has conceded the language war long ago with the Republicans. Viz. the EPA rules delayed for the "full 5 years."
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    Sep 13, 2011 2:25 AM GMT
    q1w2e3 said

    I'm all for simplifying the code and getting rid of those deductions. Just tell that to the special interests and the tax avoiders, i.e. those who can hire tax lawyers.

    Me too! You should have seen the squirming tonight at the debate when this question was asked.. Ehhh gads you could see the twisting going on when talking about a fair/flat tax and eliminating tax loopholes for corporations.. it was hysterical!
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    Sep 13, 2011 2:38 AM GMT
    Nothing in this world is free. Somebody has got to pay. The question is who and how much and is it fair to who's concerned.

    E.g. CAFE standards will benefit the consumer, the environment and the economy in general, but not oil companies and car manufacturers.
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    Sep 16, 2011 12:06 AM GMT
    Speaking of regulations, here are some onerous ones pushed by Republicans:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/15/virginia-strictest-abortion-regulations_n_964789.html