Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

April 3, 2009

FUNNIEST. POLL QUESTIONS. EVER.... It's the beginning of the month, and you know what that means: Fox News released its new national poll (pdf).

Usually, the interesting part of a national poll is usually the results. As regular readers may recall, what makes Fox News polls entertaining are the questions. Most reputable news outlets try to maintain a degree of seriousness with their poll questions. Fox News, though, prefer to add a little panache to their surveys.

From the Republican network's latest poll (via Matt Corley):

"Do you think the federal government should increase taxes on the wealthiest individuals so that nobody gets to be too rich?"

Now, there's a reasonable policy debate to be had over the efficacy of raising the top marginal rate back to where it was when the economy was strong. But I can't recall anyone in a position of influence ever suggesting a tax policy to prevent Americans from becoming "too rich."

But the really funny part is that the question may have been too subtle for poll respondents -- 40% of Americans think it's a good idea to use the tax code to prevent people from getting "too rich." Better yet, nearly one in four Republicans agrees.

The same poll asked:

"Which one of the following do you think Barack Obama wants to happen? He wants the financial crisis to continue so government can take over more businesses and grow the federal government; [or] he wants the financial crisis to end so private businesses can succeed and get stronger without government assistance."

Oddly enough, 23% of those polled believe the president actively wants the crisis to continue as part of some nefarious scheme. Better yet, 44% of self-identified Republicans believe this about Obama.

Other gems include:

* "Would you be willing to join a symbolic tea party to protest excessive government spending on April 15?"

* "Do you think Barack Obama uses a teleprompter too often?"

* "Do you approve or disapprove of part of the White House grounds being dug up for a new, organic vegetable garden?

* "Do you think the United Nations should be in charge of the worldwide effort to combat climate change and the United States should report to the United Nations on this effort, or should it be up to individual countries and the United States would be allowed to make decisions on its own?

* "Which of the following descriptions do you think better describes the threat from terrorist attacks -- the word "terrorism" or the phrase "man-caused disasters"?

Steve M. concluded, "Keep your eye on Fox's polls -- they're going to get even crazier."

I can hardly wait.

Steve Benen 12:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (22)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Wow. For some reason this is my favorite, though: "Do you approve or disapprove of part of the White House grounds being dug up for a new, organic vegetable garden?"

I'm not sure why. It just seems so ... pure.

Posted by: gussie on April 3, 2009 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

"Would you be willing to join a symbolic tea party to protest excessive government spending on April 15?"

That depends. How much are they planning to spend on April 15? And what does symbolic tea taste like?

Posted by: clueless me on April 3, 2009 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Nice try, but April Fool's Day was Wednesday.

Posted by: kishin on April 3, 2009 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Fox News asked: "Do you think the federal government should increase taxes on the wealthiest individuals so that nobody gets to be too rich?"

Yes, absolutely. We should have a national maximum wage, set at 100 times the minimum wage. Any income above the maximum wage would be taxed at 100 percent.

Actually I would prefer to revive an idea that Richard Nixon proposed: a guaranteed minimum income. And then I would add to that a maximum income, set at 100 times the guaranteed minimum income, with all income -- not only wages, but income from returns on capital -- above that amount taxed at 100 percent.

Extreme income inequality and extreme concentration of wealth are bad things. And it is entirely appropriate for tax policy to seek to mitigate those bad things by redistributing wealth. A ratio of 100-to-1 for the richest to the poorest seems reasonable to me.

Further, the pursuit of extreme wealth is also a bad thing. It sickens people, mentally and physically, emotionally and spiritually. If high tax rates "discourage" the pursuit of wealth, that's good.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 3, 2009 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

"Nice try, but April Fool's Day was Wednesday."

So long as there are republicans, there will always be fools; every day in April, and every day of the fucking year.

Posted by: Hound on April 3, 2009 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

"Do you approve or disapprove of part of the White House grounds being dug up for a new, organic vegetable garden?"

Of course they don't want digging around the White House. Just no telling what's buried down there. Jimmy Hoffa? Who knows?

Posted by: MissMudd on April 3, 2009 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Hound, to paraphrase a quote that has long been attributed to Mark Twain:

April Fools Day is the one day of the year we remind ourselves of what Republicans are every day of the year.

Posted by: Michael W on April 3, 2009 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

It make perfect sense once you recognize that the real, yet unasked question behind these other questions is, which Republican talking point is the most effective.

Posted by: shadow on April 3, 2009 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK
Of course they don't want digging around the White House. Just no telling what's buried down there. Jimmy Hoffa? Who knows?
Dick Cheney's man-sized safe? I mean, you know ole Dick didn't have the heave-ho to move it before Inauguration, right?

:)

Posted by: Bernard HP Gilroy on April 3, 2009 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

FOX has given up even trying. Not satisfied to simply parrot threadbare republican talking points, they're now rushing to the rescue and test marketing new ones. But considering that FOX actually values the intellects of Beck, O'Reilly and Hannity, I don't think they're going to be much help steering the GOP off the crazy path.

Posted by: JoeW on April 3, 2009 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Most. Overused. Cliche. Ever.

Stop. It. Now.

Please?

Posted by: Dr Lemming on April 3, 2009 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Fair and balanced push-polling.

With the "Fox Nation" thing, Fox seems to be giving up on their thin pretense of impartiality. I guess right when the GOP is at their weakest, Fox is going all in.

Posted by: TG Chicago on April 3, 2009 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

"Do you approve or disapprove of part of the White House grounds being dug up for a new, organic vegetable garden?"

perhaps using pesticides and chemical fertilizers would make the garden acceptable to the folks at fox.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on April 3, 2009 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

I'm surprised there are no questions about the new one-world international currency that will shortly replace the U.S. dollar, according to Michelle Bachmann.

Posted by: commie atheist on April 3, 2009 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

"Which of the following descriptions do you think better describes the threat from terrorist attacks -- the word 'terrorism' or the phrase 'man-caused disasters'?"

Ah, this brings me back to one of my favorite Fox News disasters, when they decided to start referring to suicide bombers as "homicide bombers." Because, of course, what Ted Kaczynski did wasn't really homicide despite the dead people he left in his wake because he did the bombing remotely.

Sanity eventually prevailed and they went back to saying "suicide bomber," but they weren't happy about it.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on April 3, 2009 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Oddly enough, 23% of those polled believe the president actively wants the crisis to continue as part of some nefarious scheme.

23%? What are the numbers for self identified Republicans again? What was George Bush's last approval number?

They're all in the ball park. And nobody cares!

Posted by: TBone on April 3, 2009 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Please, please, please call me for the next poll, Fox News. I can always use a good laugh!

Posted by: Jason on April 3, 2009 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Amateurs:
Do you think William Ayers and Reverend Wright have an office in the White House and are secretly running the government?

Posted by: John R on April 3, 2009 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

I like the response to: Do you think union workers make more money because they are represented by a union, or do they make less because they pay dues to be represented by a union? They couldn't find anybody to go for that...

Posted by: jibeaux on April 3, 2009 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

It make perfect sense once you recognize that the real, yet unasked question behind these other questions is, which Republican talking point is the most effective.

Ding! Ding! Ding!

We have a winnah.

Posted by: lobbygow on April 3, 2009 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

* "Do you think Barack Obama uses a teleprompter too often?"

This has got to be one of the stupidest questions in the history of written language. Oh, wait... it's Fox.

I can't wait for the next Fox poll:

"Are Michelle Obama's exposed arms threatening your marriage?"

"Do Sasha and Malia have too much influence on policy?"

"Do you believe Barack Obama is trying to alter the orbit of the Earth around the Sun to favor Democrats?"

Absolute stupidity!

Posted by: electrolite on April 3, 2009 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Do you approve or disapprove of government subsidies to not grow tobacco in the organic garden?

Posted by: ml on April 3, 2009 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly