William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Democrats Received 42% More Donations Than Republicans, Even Including Koch Brothers

Meanwhile, at Democrat National Headquarters...

Meanwhile, at Democrat National Headquarters…

Open Secrets tracks donations made to political parties in the States, a difficult thing to do, particularly since Americans can give in many different ways.

Press reports on money are not reliable, as even a glance at the Open Secrets lists show, and which is all I want to prove here. One would guess, for instance, that because of Citizen’s United v. Federal Election Commission funds flow as from a gusher into Republican coffers. Add to that the vast wealth given by the only private individuals to be regularly mentioned in Congress, i.e. the nefarious or saintly, depending on your affiliation, Koch Brothers and you’d guess Democrats must be roving the land wearing used barrels.

Naturally, the press exaggerates. And in the direction it wishes truth to be. Is there any surprise at this?

Heavy Hitters

Because it is difficult to track money, Open Secrets breaks donations down several ways. One list is the Heavy Hitters: Top All-Time Donors, 1989-2014. They purposely kept this list to the top 150—thus there is a bias leaving off smaller donors. Another notable is that the funds on this list do not include transfers to Super PACS, but only “sums sent to candidates, parties and leadership PACs.”

The leading organization is Act Blue, which gave $103 million to Democrats, none to Republicans. Number two is American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, which gave $50 million to Democrats and only about $600 thousand to Republicans. Koch Industries makes the list at number 59 only, giving $1.5 million to Democrats (presumably, given the media coverage these Democrats returned the funds), and gave $17 million to Republicans.

Some donors play both sides of the street. Goldman Sachs split $45 million, giving 53% to Democrats and 44% to Republicans, the rest going to other groups more difficult to track (see Open Secrets’ notes).

I looked at various ways of plotting this data, none of which turned out very interesting. But I did one thing Open Secrets didn’t: I summed the amounts given to both parties.

Over these years, Democrats received $1.68 BILLION, while Republicans received only $1.18 BILLION. Thus Democrats received 42% more than Republicans. Given what I had heard from the press, I thought the balance would be the opposite.

Of course, over this time, leadership has switched back and forth between the parties, and this surely accounts for the ebb and flow of monies. People like to back a winner. But that is neither here nor there for the total—which is vast. The amount of money in the system is over $3 billion with just these sources. It’s no wonder ordinary citizens feel the system is corrupt.

Top Overall Donors

Another list is the top donors for the 2012 election cycle. This ends at 100 and not 150. “The numbers combine all PAC, soft money…individual contributions made by the organization…Not included is money spent independently on issue ads or donations to political party conventions…”

The breakdowns are thus less clear. For instance, leading the list was the Las Vegas Sands, which gave $53 million, but only 2% of this could be tracked to Republicans and none to Democrats, though the money came from Sheldon Adelson who is a conservative. Another example, the National Education Association, highly liberal, gave almost $15 million, but only 14$ could be tracked to Democrats, 1% to Republicans.

Summing just the money that could be tracked shows Democrats received $103 million, Republicans $109 million, a slight edge. But this is only $212 million from a total of $601 million, so there is substantial error.

The Koch brothers are only the 80th, giving $2.7 million mostly to Republicans. They barely edged out Harvard University, which somehow we never hear about, which gave $2.6 million mostly to Democrats. Public and private unions dwarf either of these sources.

Top PACS

Another way to count is monies given to PACs, which is limited by Federal law, but is thus also easier to track. Here Open Secrets only lists the top 20 (also 2012). Democrats received $29 million, a 30% advantage over Republicans with $23 million.

Top Individuals

Still another way to count is monies given by Individuals (no Koch brothers), which is somewhat difficult to track. Open Secrets lists the top 100 (also 2012). Democrats received $11 million, almost a third less than Republicans with $28 million.

Overall

There is some double counting, the Open Secrets data collection is likely imperfect, so summing the different sources is futile. But three things are clear. The amount of money in politics is enormous. The Koch Brothers are only minor players, way below the level of unions; for example, see this list. And the press cannot be trusted to tell you anything but that which they wish to believe.

——————————————-

Thanks to our friend Willie Soon for alerting us to these lists.

33 Comments

  1. “Open Secrets brakes donations down”

    Just stop it already.

  2. Briggs

    June 12, 2014 at 9:17 am

    DAV.

    Ahhh! My enemies slipped by me due to jet lag.

  3. That’s what happens with big government. Lots of rent seekers buying favors or protection from politicians.

    “It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.” Mark Twain

  4. Ray,

    If con is the opposite of pro, what is the opposite of progress?

  5. Democrats spend more than Republicans overall, when all levels and races are totaled, because Democrats represent more urban areas, and it is more expensive to campaign in an urban area than a more rural area.

    JMJ

  6. Jersey: How do you figure it’s more costly to campaign in urban areas?

    Could be the Democrats suffer from the same problem global warming advocates do—they appear to be much less effective at money usage than their opponents. They complain incessantly that the opposition gets all this money, but in reality both groups get more than their opponents. Maybe a course in how money works or doesn’t would help them out?

  7. Brandon Gates

    June 12, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Open Secrets is a great website. My big issue is that it’s difficult to make high-level assessments of the motivations of donors from such a large dataset. Drilling into detail on that site is cumbersome, at least it was the last time I visited (~6 months ago).

    Trying to make an informed partisan argument out of the data is essentially futile unless one cherry picks details. Which is completely useless, even if done in relatively good-faith. What ends up happening is partisan sophistry with false legitimacy of truthiness because it’s backed by quantitative “facts”.

  8. Brandon Gates

    June 12, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Sheri,

    I do not believe that campaign contributions are demand-side driven, but rather supply-side.

    Some figures. Latest Gallup polls show 31% Democratic and 24% Republican party identification — not voter registration, self-identification when answering poll questions. That’s a 7% gap, and 7/24 is 29.2%. It’s a reasonable assumption that this significantly explains why Democratic coffers attract more money.

    Where the other 12ish percent? This article is dated 2009, but I trust Pew’s research for non-partisan objectivity. There is probably more recent material, but this was high on the list of hits from Google:

    http://www.people-press.org/2009/05/21/section-1-party-affiliation-and-composition/

    There’s a lot to absorb, but these are the section headers that jump out:

    The Bush Legacy in Perspective

    GOP Losing both Conservatives and Moderates

    GOP Continues to Lag in Racial & Ethnic Diversity

    The Republican Party’s Image

    This could go either way, it’s interesting in its own right: A Shift in Affiliation, but Not Ideology

    A contra-indicator is: Party by Income

    Higher up the economic ladder, the more disposable income. And also the more Republican. At the highest levels, rent-seeking and revolving doors come into play. But more importantly to the subject of this post, wealthy donors have more direct access to candidates which they pay a lot of money for getting.

  9. Brandon: “Higher up the economic ladder, the more disposable income. And also the more Republican.” Are you saying Republicans are wealthier, because everything I read says no, the Democrats are. If you look at the wealthiest in the US, it seems the majority are Democrats.

  10. Brandon Gates

    June 12, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Sheri: very very upper crust (0.1 percenters) is split down the middle, last I checked.

    I’m going by the charts in the link I already posted, granted it’s 2009 and things may have changed somewhat. I was surprised as well by those data. Maybe its making the wrong calculation though. Mutter mutter.

    Well the real way to do it would be per capita income by party … ah, you know, don’t Republicans tend to have more children per household than Democrats? That would free up discretionary income.

  11. Matt, is the Willie Soon you mention the same person who did the great work on sunspot cycles and global temperatures?

  12. Briggs

    June 12, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Bob,

    Yep.

  13. Brandon: It’s perhaps interesting to note that part of the reason Republicans may appear to by the more wealthy is there are two Koch brothers and four Waltons in the top 10. When you have two families covering six spots……..

  14. Would that alert list have come from none other than Willie ‘petro-dollars’ Soon?

  15. Also known as Willie ‘won’t someone at least in a fringe journal post my work’ Soon?

  16. Sheri, I’m sorry. Are you asking me whether something is more expensive in an urban area than in a rural area? (media markets, space, and pretty much everything all cost much more in urban areas.)

    JMJ

  17. The Realist: Your name stands for “really, really clueless and lacking in cogent arguments”, right?

    JMJ: I am wondering why it costs more in urban spaces to campaign, because while media markets, spaces, etc cost more, rural areas usually require their politicians to actually go from small town to small town and meet and greet. The transportation costs in a rural area are much, much higher than an urban one I was wondering if that makes it pretty much even. (Of course, in the case of Eric Cantor, it seems an urban population actually expected their guy to be in the state for the primary…..)

  18. Sylvain Allard

    June 13, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Briggs,

    Actually, the picture is pretty what I heard from MSNBC.

    The Koch brother main operation are through American for prosperity of which they are the main contributor.

    ”It’s also important to note that we aren’t including donations to politically active dark money groups, like Americans for Prosperity, a group linked to the Koch brothers, or the liberal group Patriot Majority — because these groups hide their donors; see a list of top donors that we’ve been able to identify to such groups”

    During the last election MSNBSC always reported that the total amount of money were comparable. Though Reps dominated in the Superpacs and Dems in direct donation. The average donation was much higher for republican then for dems.

  19. Brandon Gates

    June 14, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Sheri,

    It’s perhaps interesting to note that part of the reason Republicans may appear to by the more wealthy is there are two Koch brothers and four Waltons in the top 10. When you have two families covering six spots……..

    Interesting yes, and likely overly focused upon. Journalists love anecdotes. The more comprehensive data I provided suggest otherwise:

    http://www.people-press.org/2009/05/21/section-1-party-affiliation-and-composition/

    See the chart labeld “Party Identification Within Income Quintiles” near the bottom of the page. Not only are the differences between income buckets themselves interesting, the trends over time within each bucket is quite interesting. From 2000-2009, the highest bucket shows a dramatic drop in Republican identification, mostly offset by a rise in independents. Democratic alignment increases slightly.

    All five buckets show a clear rising trend in independent alignment as well.

  20. I’m not sure what you mean by “overly focused on”. It was just an interesting factoid, not meant to “prove” anything.

    The one thing the Pew center clearly shows is a reduction in those calling themselves republicans. You don’t need a survey to know this—republicans are tired of their party looking exactly like the democrats. Of course the change in party affiliation is then reflected in income levels in each party. (The entire question of party affiliation is interesting in that Jack Kennedy would today be considered a republican and probably a fairly conservative one. The party lines bale in and out of philosophies all the time. So it’s a fun statistical study, but pretty much meaningless in the long run.)

  21. Brandon Gates

    June 15, 2014 at 2:05 am

    Sheri,

    I’m not sure what you mean by “overly focused on”.

    As alluded to by the title of the post, the Kochs are the left’s boogeymen. That’s the overfocus I’m referring to.

    The one thing the Pew center clearly shows is a reduction in those calling themselves republicans.

    It’s true that reading the daily tea leaves does give some sense into what’s going on, but I find polls quite useful for quantifying it.

    You don’t need a survey to know this—republicans are tired of their party looking exactly like the democrats.

    That’s sort of the bind of politics and political parties, isn’t it. I’m tired of the country not working properly, and could care less what voters think they look like. We the People, not We the Political Party.

    Of course the change in party affiliation is then reflected in income levels in each party.

    Well again, I was quite surprised with what the data said. It doesn’t fit the narrative of a rich liberal elite. Silly me for having put any stock in it.

    The entire question of party affiliation is interesting in that Jack Kennedy would today be considered a republican and probably a fairly conservative one.

    And the Rockefeller Republicans would be branded RINOs and run out of town on a rail.

    The party lines bale in and out of philosophies all the time. So it’s a fun statistical study, but pretty much meaningless in the long run.

    Pols follow polls. If I were a Republican strategist, I’d either be fixing my product, or changing how I’m trying to sell it. Both, probably. Carping about Democrats outfundraising me wouldn’t be on my short list of talking points.

  22. If the Republican party has any sense, they’ll go back to being conservative. Otherwise, the party will not survive. Having two parties that look pretty much the same is not going to fly. I know all the DC politicians think this is wrong, but it’s probably not. Plus, expect a lot of politicians out of work because people are fed up.

  23. Brandon Gates

    June 15, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Sheri, I tried to keep this short, but there are a lot of moving parts.

    So here’s the problem:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/169091/democratic-party-seen-favorably-gop.aspx

    Americans view the Democratic Party more favorably than the Republican Party, even though both parties have a net unfavorable rating …

    Overall, the GOP has a net favorability rating of -25 (34% favorable and 59% unfavorable), and this score has been negative since April 2011, averaging -15 percentage points. More broadly, the GOP has suffered from mostly negative or low positive scores since October 2005, about a year into President George W. Bush’s second term, when his approval rating began to sink.

    I assume you mean “looking more conservative” does not mean looking more Neocon. And then there’s this:

    The GOP boasted mostly positive net favorable scores prior to that, except for late 1998 and early 1999 during the Clinton impeachment vote and subsequent Senate trial.

    Republican strategists might want to think hard about that for general elections. And harder about it for primaries as Eric Cantor has just learned.

    The Democrats’ net favorable rating stands at -6 (44% favorable and 50% unfavorable), marking the fifth consecutive poll, dating to June 2013, in which Americans have viewed this party more unfavorably than favorably.

    So that’s -6 net favorability for the Dems to the -25 for the Repubs .. a 19 point swing. Yeow. But Dems have an uncanny ability to shoot themselves in the foot sometimes.

    Next issue, taxes:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/168521/taxes-rise-half-say-middle-income-pay.aspx

    A robust majority, 61%, believe that upper-income people pay too little [in taxes] …

    Nearly half of Americans, 49%, believe middle-income people … pay too much in taxes, up from 42% a year ago and the highest Gallup has found since 1999.

    … a plurality of Americans, 41%, say lower-income people pay too much in taxes.

    So, if being conservative means reducing taxes on the rich, Republicans would do well to not talk about it. That’s a big bind to be in, and a big issue to leave on the table.

    … most Americans say corporations pay too little in taxes (66%). Fewer than one in 10 say corporations pay too much (8%). Despite this broad consensus, prominent Republicans and Democrats, including Obama and Republican Dave Camp, chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, have offered separate proposals to reduce the corporate tax rate.

    Here is where Dems and Repubs look very similar. Thank you Citizens United for bringing the parties together. Too bad it went the pols’ way, not the voters’.

    What about spending you ask? I couldn’t dig up specifics, but this link talks about some generalities:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/170741/conservative-lead-social-economic-ideology-shrinking.aspx

    Basically, conservative ideology still has the lead on social and economic issues over liberal ideology, but that lead is shrinking. And Republicans are out of favor. I’m not sure where they could run except to the center where the Dems seem to be picking up moderates and independents.

  24. Brandon: Try this experiment: ask a person who says there are too many taxes on low income people what percentage of their income goes to income taxes. Do not include SS and Medicare as those are supposed to be retirement plans and health insurance. First, 40% plus pay no income tax at all and many get EIC which is basically a form of welfare. Second, at one point under Obama our income tax rate was under 5% of our income. So I can’t see how that means the middle class pay too much. (Have you noticed that Democrats talk about raising taxes on the rich while taking advantage of every tax loophole out there. If one more person says they are willing to pay more taxes and then fails to mail a check to the IRS….)

    Part of the reason there is a proposal to reduce corporate income tax is the US has one of the highest rates in the world, or so I have read.

    Actually, the Republicans have no need to run–they just need to behave like Repulicans again and stop taking advice from Democrats on where they need to run. Their base is conservative and the politicians are viewed as sell-outs when they move center. They need to stop listening to political advisors, the Democrats and the media and do what their votes want. Ridiculously simple, actually. (In 2012, Republicans simply stayed home and did note vote. Had they voted, there is a real chance the election would have turned out differently. But Romney was too moderate and viewed as not worth voting for. Plus, I really think they wanted Obama elected again.)

    The above paragraph also explains the negative view voters have of Republicans–they don’t consider said party any different than the Dems and that is not what they want in their party.

  25. Sheri,

    Have you noticed that Democrats talk about raising taxes on the rich while taking advantage of every tax loophole out there.

    Well of course. Everyone thinks someone else should haul their dead weight around …. 🙂

    Part of the reason there is a proposal to reduce corporate income tax is the US has one of the highest rates in the world, or so I have read.

    The top marginal corporate income tax rate is 35%. Between $335,000 and $10,000,000 it’s 34%. Under $50,000 it’s 15%. I don’t know where that ranks in the world, but ….

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_tax_in_the_United_States#mediaviewer/File:US_Effective_Corporate_Tax_Rate_1947-2011_v2.jpg

    …. crocodile tears. And profits to taxes are quite healthy as well ….

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_tax_in_the_United_States#mediaviewer/File:U.S._Federal_Corporate_Income_Tax_Receipts_and_Pre-Tax_Profits.png

    …. which ties it altogether. Boo hoo. Seriously. I like corporations, they make Job$ Job$ Job$. But the tax man is not hurting them so much as they’d like us to believe.

    Actually, the Republicans have no need to run–they just need to behave like Repulicans again and stop taking advice from Democrats on where they need to run.

    I seriously doubt they hole up with Democrats and ask for advice.

    Their base is conservative and the politicians are viewed as sell-outs when they move center.

    Which is what Eric Cantor found out when he ran for next Speaker instead of running for his constituents. I guarantee you, this is just more writing on the wall for the bind the RNC finds itself in. Whether you like it or not, the Republican base is moving center on social issues, slowly, but it’s happening. For the midterms, the Republicans have the state of the economy and dissatisfaction with the ACA as their two main talking points. Here’s a good write up with very recent poll numbers and analysis:

    http://www.people-press.org/2014/05/05/midterm-election-indicators-daunting-for-democrats/

    The above paragraph also explains the negative view voters have of Republicans–they don’t consider said party any different than the Dems and that is not what they want in their party.

    The establishment are having a terrible time not being branded RINOs. It’s a real problem for the RNC. The kind of conservative I think you’re talking about is something they probably think can’t be sold in 2016. Especially if Romney was too moderate for your tastes. He’s actually a perfect example of the bind the GOP is in.

  26. Brandon: Corporations do not pay taxes. Their customers do. So raising corporate taxes is raising consumer taxes.

    Enough with the sarcasm on corporate taxation. Besides, as noted above, you’re paying the taxes so if you want your taxes increased, keep right on saying to raise corporate taxes.

    Republicans don’t “hole up”–they’re stupid and listen to polls and the media (since the media are the Democrats pretty much, that equals listening to the Dems).

    No, the Republican base is not moving center–the Dems want everyone to think that. The person who beat Cantor was much further to the right. So unless your implication is that Republicans are stupid and voting for people they don’t want, your assertion does not stand.

    I truly care nothing about polls and I think you will find that most conservatives care nothing about polls. It’s Dems and RINO’s that follow polls. Following polls is a great way for republicans to lose elections actually. (But if polls give the opposition a false sense of security, I’m good with that.)

    No argument whatsoever on Republicans being totally and completely out of love with their current “representatives”. The simple idea that they could not understand Romney was too moderate is a neon sign. Until the “establishment” realizes Republicans don’t want to elect Democrats or they’d vote that way and do not have a Rodney King “Can’t we all just get along (which in reality means do it the way the Dems want it) attitude, they party is not going to win elections. New candidates with more conservative viewpoints will. Until then, my guess is letting Dems run wild and tank the economy, destroy the environment and try to make everyone hate America is the best choice for now. After all, illegal aliens are the best hope for America–Obama just made that very, very clear. Americans are just a waste of time to him. (I’m still curious how they got 60.000 kids suddenly to arrive in America almost on sue……..)

  27. Brandon Gates

    June 16, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Sheri,

    Corporations do not pay taxes. Their customers do. So raising corporate taxes is raising consumer taxes.

    It’s an arguable point. It’s also a long argument, quite OT for this thread.

    Enough with the sarcasm on corporate taxation.

    I’ll drop the sarcasm, but the critique stands. This chart shows corporate tax as a share of GDP being essentially flat since 1982, and in 2009 it was 1% of GDP vs. 6% in 1955:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_tax_in_the_United_States#mediaviewer/File:Corporate_Income_Tax_as_a_Share_of_GDP,_1946_-_2009.gif

    This is a repeat, but it shows the effective corporate tax rate steadily declining from 50% (ONE HALF) in 1951 to ~17% in 2011.

    Here’s one that addresses your earlier point about US corporate taxes being the highest in the world. It may be true of the marginal rate, but the effective rate, we’re right on the bottom quartile for OECD countries:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_tax_in_the_United_States#mediaviewer/File:Effective_Corporate_Tax_Rate_OECD_Countries,_2000-2005_Average.jpg

    Besides, as noted above, you’re paying the taxes so if you want your taxes increased, keep right on saying to raise corporate taxes.

    I’m undecided about where I think corporate tax rates should go. I’ve posed the question to others whether they should be done away with altogether.

    From a political strategy standpoint, either party wanting to eliminate corporate tax altogether would get hammered for doing it because 66% of Americans across all party lines think that corporations aren’t paying enough taxes.

    Republicans don’t “hole up”–they’re stupid and listen to polls and the media (since the media are the Democrats pretty much, that equals listening to the Dems).

    Most politicians are anything but stupid. Unfortunately they do seem to enjoy playing the fool on tee vee, so it’s often difficult to know.

    Party leaders, both parties, do their own polls. They have focus groups to figure out which slogans and talking points best resonate with their constituencies. The only time we see those in the MSM, liberal rag or no, is when the stuff leaks, or a disgruntled and ostracised insider writes a tell-all book. At which point the information becomes quite a lot more suspect than what public opinion pollsters like Gallup and Pew gather and publish.

    No, the Republican base is not moving center–the Dems want everyone to think that.

    Of course the Dems want the public to think so. No dispute. But just because they want it does not mean that it isn’t true.

    The person who beat Cantor was much further to the right. So unless your implication is that Republicans are stupid and voting for people they don’t want, your assertion does not stand.

    I know David Brat is much further right than Cantor, and that the VA Republicans voted for Brat for the very reason they thought Cantor is too far center.

    My assertion is that the Republican Party leadership is not at all comfortable with it, not “Republicans are stupid and voting for people they don’t want”.

    That’s putting words in my mouth which are not there.

    I truly care nothing about polls and I think you will find that most conservatives care nothing about polls.

    I clearly understand that you don’t care about polls, not so sure that conservatives in general don’t care about them. I’d need a poll about polls to know with certainty …. 🙂

    It’s Dems and RINO’s that follow polls.

    I can will my sarcasm away, but not my sense of irony.

    Following polls is a great way for republicans to lose elections actually. (But if polls give the opposition a false sense of security, I’m good with that.)

    Cantor’s camp completely blew it. Hardly anyone took Dave Brat seriously. So there’s much justification for what you say on this point.

    No argument whatsoever on Republicans being totally and completely out of love with their current “representatives”. The simple idea that they could not understand Romney was too moderate is a neon sign.

    It really depends on where you’re sitting, Sheri. If you see yourself as a Republican bouncer ready to toss RINOs through the saloon doors and into the street, the EXIT sign is going to be very bright neon for anyone more than an inch left of you.

    Republican leadership is entrenched, and that’s how they want it to stay. Their problem is how to maintain the Tea Party energy and activism — which I think is quite admirable by the way — but not lose the whole shooting match in the process. And hang onto their jobs at the same time. Like I said, they’re in quite a bind about how to do it, and it shows.

  28. Brandon Gates

    June 16, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Sheri, errata: This is a repeat, but it shows the effective corporate tax rate steadily declining from 50% (ONE HALF) in 1951 to ~17% in 2011:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_tax_in_the_United_States#mediaviewer/File:US_Effective_Corporate_Tax_Rate_1947-2011_v2.jpg

    [forgot the linkage]

  29. Dueling statistics: //taxfoundation.org/blog/another-study-confirms-us-has-one-highest-effective-corporate-tax-rates-world

    We could do this dueling statistics and polls this forever and still not come to a conclusion. I think waiting for the election in November will tell us more than any poll do, including exit polls. 🙂

  30. Brandon Gates

    June 16, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Sheri,

    Cherry-picking alert: “Although this study looks at a narrow set of industries and countries, it still shed light on the tax burden of U.S. corporations compared internationally.”

    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/26/effective-corporate-tax-rates/

    The independent economist Martin A. Sullivan concluded that the truth is somewhere in between, with the effective corporate tax rate in the mid to upper 20 percent range … The debate is highly technical, involving accounting concepts on which there is legitimate discussion. There is also a data problem, because corporate tax returns are private, just as individual returns are.

    Sullivan’s analysis is here:
    http://taxprof.typepad.com/files/140tn0197.pdf

    Have fun with that one, hey?

    Yes, we could duel statistics forever, and it would do neither of us any good in predicting the outcome of the November elections. I’ve barely started figuring out the primaries to watch out for. Of course, the real thing to wonder about is 2016, at which point both you and I will be looking back at today claiming that we had been right all along, and the other one is such as loser …..

    Truth is, you’re one of the few anti-RINOs out there I like talking to. You make me want to look stuff up, and don’t get too shouty when I completely trash your arguments. I appreciate it. 😀

    [puts away the butter, but still has the giggles]

    Cheers.

  31. Actually, concerning November 2016, we may actually be predicting the same winner. I knew with 100% certainty (I’d have the house on it) that Obama would win in 2008. I knew Hillary would not make it to be nominee in 2012 (another I’d have bet the house one). I couldn’t call the 2012 election with that certainty, but unfortunately was again leaning toward an Obama win. I didn’t, however, see all the conservatives staying home as they did. So by 2016, I may be predicting another Democrat win. Of course, that does not mean we’ll both like the outcome of the predictions. 🙂

  32. Brandon: I should not type early in the AM. I meant 2008 for Hillary versus Obama. I suppose since I was sure on Obama, his being the nominee was self-evident and the Hillary comment extra baggage? Anyways, I do know Hillary was running in 2008. Will she run in 2016? We’ll see.

  33. Brandon Gates

    June 17, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Sheri, I’m with you on typing first thing in the AM. And last thing in the AM. It’s when I make my most precious mistakes.

    It’s strange that Hillary is being so coy about 2016. She’s the presumptive nominee in every — wait for it — poll out there.

    The Dems have been such let-downs in the past 10 years, pretty much every election outcome turns out a disappointment for me in the end. I’m not as gloomy-doomy as I was in 2008, so I don’t feel like we’re circling the drain as a country any longer. But it still sometimes seems to me that both parties are still only rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    I suspect our reasons are different, but like you, I think the Republicans have also lost their way. Most elections for me come down to “anything but GOP” which is a sad sad sad thing to cheer for. I blame it on William F. Buckley, Jr. for dying. 🙂

    I was not happy when Obama beat Hillary. I thought it was an amazing story that he did, but it was a nasty and divisive fight, and it put the wrong woman in the White House. [giggle] On that note, I don’t think I’d have been sorry if McCain had won, but I likely would have found God and prayed every night for him not to die to keep Palin from becoming president.

    In retrospect, Romney may have been a better President than either you or I give him credit for. My main bias against him is the Mormonism. He’s a direct descendent of Parley P. Pratt, one of the most famous founders after Smith and Young, which puts him in the innermost of inner circles. In their heart of hearts, Mormons want a theocracy, and have wanted it from the beginning.

    But if Romney had won, and hadn’t immediately gone hard-right LDS on social issues and stayed more with his Mass. Gov. persona in that respect … I think he might have done a good job. He has more spine than Obama, and that’s what I think this country needs most right now. Not stubborn GWB “you’re with us or your against us because I’m the Decider” bluster. But conviction and ability to persuade without having to bully.

    Of course, spine also means having strength to say, “I was wrong”. And then fix it. Obama singularly stinks at this, and Romney is just as bad a lying sack of cow poo.

    There is no point to this, just musings. Cheers.

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