In Her New Book Congress And Us Veterans: From The Gi Bill To The Va Crisis Stevens Assistant Professor Lindsey Cormack Evaluates How The Parties Legislate And Communicate Veterans’ Policies
More than 18 million veterans live in the United States today, according to the latest census, and with worldwide presence and ongoing wars, the military enlists 1.2 million active and 800,000 reserve military personnel across the branches. As a nation, we look up to those who serve. It’s a uniting opinion, and 95% of Americans believe it’s the duty of government to support veterans when they return to the homefront.
The role of devising policies that benefit former soldiers now falls to Congress, and so the creation and communication of veterans’ policies, like most things in Washington, is subject to the realities of party politics. Republicans are viewed as the party of veterans, public opinion and voting data says so. But in her new book, Stevens Assistant Professor Lindsey Cormack questions how that came to be, as her research shows that congressional Democrats, more often than not, are the ones working to enhance veteran benefits.
“On a continuum of legislative behavior, we have one end populated by the dedicated workhorses who draft legislation, hammer out compromises, and get into the weeds of complicated policy questions,” Cormack writes in her book. “On the other end, there are show ponies that care more about pumping out media sound bites or trying to get the next ‘viral’ video on YouTube.”
“Moreover, there is a difference between Republican members of Congress expressing support for veterans’ benefits and actively legislating to accomplish it.”
Polling Data Shows Republican Party Affiliation Is Down As Independents Leaning Toward The Democratic Party Surge
Democrats have a nine-percentage-point affiliation advantage over Republicans at the moment.
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The GOP is losing its grip, according to the latest Gallup poll.
The number of Americans identifying as Republicans or as independents who lean toward the GOP dropped to 40% in the first quarter of 2021, compared with the number of Democrats or independents leaning toward the Democratic party hitting 49%. And that nine-percentage-point lead is the greatest Democratic advantage that Gallup has measured since the fourth quarter of 2012, when former President Barack Obama was re-elected.
Gallup routinely measures U.S. adults’ party identification and the political leanings of independents. The latest poll surveyed a random sample of 3,960 U.S. adults by phone between January and March of 2021. And while Democratic Party affiliation actually dropped by one point from the fourth quarter of 2020, to 30% — where it has hovered for most of the past eight years — the number of Americans identifying as independent rose to 44% from 38% last quarter. And this growing number of independents came at the expense of the Republican party, as 19% of independents said they lean Democrat, compared with 15% leaning Republican. Most of the remaining 11% of independents didn’t swing either way.
And several events have happened during those three months that could position the Democratic Party more favorably in voters’ eyes, the Gallup report noted.
Democratic Administrations Over The Last Century Have Delivered Far Faster Economic Growth What Explains That
In 2013, economists Alan Blinder and Mark Watson — no wild-eyed liberals, they — asked a very important question: Why has the U.S. economy performed better under Democratic than Republican presidents, “almost regardless of how one measures performance”?
Start with their “performed better” assertion: it’s uncontestable. While you can easily cherry-pick brief periods and economic measures that show superior economic performance under Republicans, over any lengthy comparison period , by pretty much any economic measure, Democrats have outperformed Republicans for a century. Even Tyler Cowen, director of the Koch-brothers-funded libertarian/conservative Mercatus Center, stipulates to that fact without demur.
Here’s just one bald picture of that relative performance, showing a very basic measure, GDP growth:
The difference is big. At those rates, over thirty years your $50,000 income compounds up to $105,000 under Republicans, $182,000 under Democrats — 73% higher.
Hundreds of similar pictures are easily assembled — different time periods, different measures, aggregate and per-capita, inflation-adjusted or not — all telling the same general story. No amount of hand-waving, smoke-blowing, and definition-quibbling will alter that reality.
Standing empty-handed after all their work, Blinder and Watson punt. They attribute Democrats’ consistently superior performance to…luck. Yes, really.
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Cross-posted at Asymptosis.
Many More Criminal Indictments Under Trump Reagan And Nixon Than Under Obama Clinton And Carter
A Facebook post claimed that there have been 317 criminal indictments in the administrations of three recent Republican presidents — Donald Trump, Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon — and only three indictments under three recent Democratic presidents — Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.
Here’s what the post said about those presidents, whose terms date back to 1969 when Nixon was in office:
“Recent administrations with the MOST criminal indictments:
Trump — 215
“Recent administrations with the LEAST criminal indictments:
Obama — 0
Clinton — 2
“Notice a pattern?”
Unless an administration official is charged with a crime for acts while in office, it’s not always easy to identify which indictments can be connected to a presidential administration; some administration officials have been indicted for acts in the private sector, some indicted people were involved in presidential campaigns but didn’t work in the administration, etc.
This claim exaggerates the number of indictments under Trump, in particular, by counting the number of criminal charges filed, rather than the number of people indicted; and it includes the indictments of people who are not part of his administration, such as 25 Russians.
On the whole, however, the indictments under the three GOP presidents do dwarf those under the three Democrats.
An indictment is essentially a two-step process in the federal system:
Only six of the 34 indicated are in Trump’s orbit:
Gallup: Democrats Now Outnumber Republicans By 9 Percentage Points Thanks To Independents
“I think what we have to do as a party is battle the damage to the Democratic brand,” Democratic National Committee Chairman Jamie Harrison said on The Daily Beast‘s . Gallup reported Wednesday that, at least relatively speaking, the Democratic brand is doing pretty good.
In the first quarter of 2021, 49 percent of U.S. adults identified as Democrats or independents with Democratic leanings, versus 40 percent for Republicans and GOP leaders, Gallup said. “The 9-percentage-point Democratic advantage is the largest Gallup has measured since the fourth quarter of 2012. In recent years, Democratic advantages have typically been between 4 and 6 percentage points.”
New Gallup polling finds that in the first quarter of 2021, an average of 49% of Americans identify with/lean toward the Democratic Party, versus 40 percent for Republicans.
— Greg Sargent April 7, 2021
Party identification, polled on every Gallup survey, is “something that we think is important to track to give a sense to the relevant strength of the two parties at any one point in time and how party preferences are responding to events,”Gallup senior editor Jeff Jones told USA Today.
More stories from theweek.com
Poll Finds Startling Difference In Vaccinations Among Us Republicans And Democrats
A Washington Post-ABC News poll has found a startling difference between Democrats and Republicans as it relates to COVID-19 vaccination. The poll found that while 86% of Democrats have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot, only 45% of Republicans have.
In addition, the survey found that while only 6% of Democrats said they would probably decline the vaccine, 47% of Republicans said they would probably not be inoculated.
The poll also found that 60% of unvaccinated Americans believe the U.S. is exaggerating the dangers of the COVID-19 delta variant, while 18% of the unvaccinated say the government is accurately describing the variant’s risks.
However, 64% of vaccinated Americans believe the government is accurately describing the dangers of the delta variant.
Iran fighting COVID 5th wave The variant is having a global impact. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has warned that the country is on the brink of a “fifth wave” of a COVID-19 outbreak. The delta variant of the virus, first identified in India, is largely responsible for the rising number of hospitalizations and deaths in Iran, officials say.
All non-essential businesses have been ordered closed in 275 cities, including Tehran, the capital. Travel has also been restricted between cities that are experiencing high infection rates.
Reports say only about 5% of Iranians have been vaccinated.
Democrats Used Filibuster 327 Times Compared To Only Once By Gop In 2020: Report
President Joe Biden has been increasingly critical of the Senate filibuster, calling it a Jim Crow relic and saying it has been widely abused despite Democrats using it over 300 times in 2020, compared to once by Republicans.
“After @POTUS @JoeBiden denounced the rampant abuse of the filibuster last year, we did some digging,” Fox News anchor John Roberts tweeted Friday. “Republicans used it once. Democrats used it 327 times.”
— John Roberts March 26, 2021
Biden also expressed frustration with how often the filibuster has been used and specifically took issue with how it was “abused” last year.
“I was going to give you the statistics, but you probably know them, that it used to be that — that from between 1917 to 1971, the filibuster existed, there was a total of 58 motions to break a filibuster that whole time,” Biden said in the press conference. “Last year alone, there were 5 times that many. So it’s being abused in a gigantic way.”
In 2005, Biden argued against the elimination of the filibuster, which many Democrats are encouraging now in order to push legislation through the 50-50 split in the Senate.
The Top Tax Rate Has Been Cut Six Times Since 1980 Usually With Democrats Help
Many economists say decades of cuts to income tax rates on the highest earners are one of the drivers of the runaway inequality that’s come to characterize the modern U.S. economy. Lawmakers in Washington are debating the merits of a number of proposals, such as a plan from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez back to 70 percent for people earning more than $10 million a year, a move that would redistribute a portion of the nation’s riches from the wealthiest to everyone else.
At a time like the present, it’s worth asking: Who decided to lower tax rates at the top to begin with?
As the chart at the top of this article shows, following World War II, the top marginal tax rate was set at 70 percent or higher all the way up to the 1980s. That decade is often seen as the dawn of conservative economic policymaking ushered in by President Ronald Reagan: Taxes went down, regulations were rolled back, unions were busted.
But it wasn’t just Republicans driving these policies. An analysis of the roll-call votes on the bills cutting the top income tax rate shows, for instance, that many Democratic lawmakers supported these changes.
House and Senate Democrats provided 40 percent of the votes in favor of Reagan’s 1981 tax cut, which lowered the top rate from 70 percent to 50 percent. They then made up a majority of the votes behind Reagan’s second wave of tax cuts in 1986, which further lowered the top rate down to its nadir of 28 percent by 1988.
Gop Admins Had 38 Times More Criminal Convictions Than Democrats 1961
Democrats top row: President Obama, Clinton, Carter, Johnson, Kennedy. Republicans bottom row: President W. Bush, Bush, Reagan, Ford, Nixon.
This is the first in a five-part series on government corruption and how that corruption is investigated.
Republican administrations have vastly more corruption than Democratic administrations. We provide new research on the numbers to make the case.
We compared 28 years each of Democratic and Republican administrations, 1961-2016, five Presidents from each party. During that period Republicans scored eighteen times more individuals and entities indicted, thirty-eight times more convictions, and thirty-nine times more individuals who had prison time.
Given the at least 17 active investigations plaguing President Trump, he is on a path to exceed previous administrations, though the effects of White House obstruction, potential pardons, and the as-yet unknown impact of the GOP’s selection of judges may limit investigations, subpoenas, prosecutions, etc. Of course, as we are comparing equal numbers of Presidents and years in office from the Democratic and Republican parties, the current President is not included.
We’re aware some of our numbers differ from other totals, but we explain our criteria below.
Figure 1. Presidential administrations corruption comparison
Us Economic Performance Under Democratic And Republican Presidents
Historically, the United States economy has performed better on average under the administration of Democratic presidents than Republican presidents since World War II. The reasons for this are debated, and the observation applies to economic variables including job creation, GDP growth, and stock market returns. The unemployment rate has fallen on average under Democratic presidents, while it has risen on average under Republican presidents. Budget deficits relative to the size of the economy were lower on average for Democratic presidents. Ten of the 11 U.S. recessions between 1953 and 2020 began under Republican presidents.
In The Us Have There Been More Democrat Or Republican Presidents
There have been more Republican presidents than Democratic presidents. Between 1789 and 2013, 43 people have been sworn into office as the president of the United States of America. Of these, a larger number have belonged to the Republican Party than have belonged to the Democratic Party. There have been 18 Republican presidents and 15 Democratic presidents. Actually, while the Democratic Party tends to claim Andrew Johnson as their own, he was sworn into office in 1865 while he was a member of the National Union Party. This would technically make it 18 Republicans to 14 Democrats. Since the first presidency in 1789, and until 2013, there have been 44 total presidencies in the United States. This includes only those presidents who were sworn into office, not acting presidents.
Of course, not all of those who held office have been Democrats or Republicans. The presidency of the United States has also been held by Whigs, Democratic-Republicans, and those with no party affiliation. Most have been either Democrat or Republican presidents, however. It is important to note that, while presidents centuries ago may have been identified as Democrat or Republican, these definitions have changed over time; what a Democrat was in the 19th century is not the exact same thing that people think of a Democrat today.
Republicans Vs Democrats In Launching Wars: We Have The Numbers
If one were to compare the US political system to a dystopian society divided into distinct factions based on how many wars they have started, an interesting outcome rebuking conventional perceptions would have been observed.
It is not about the strong on defense, hawkish Republicans juxtaposed with peace-loving dovish Democrats anymore. Looking back at the past 118 years, there have been some ‘divergents’ — warmongering Democrats and amicable Republicans. However, more interestingly and surprising for the conventional-minded — the number of the XX century Democratic presidents who kept from starting wars is actually zero.
According to the research conducted by Sputnik, since the turn of the 20th century — out of 8 US presidents none have managed to stay away from initiating military aggression.
In turn, out of 12 Republican leaders, two — Warren Harding and Gerald Ford — have deviated from the generally accepted party reputation.
Since 1900, 35 conflicts have been launched by Republican administrations compared to 23 by Democrats, with 10 GOP presidents launching one or more conflicts, compared to 8 Democrats.
Values and Wars
Rooted in American conservatism, the US Republican party — commonly referred to as the GOP — has always viewed strong national defense as one of its core principles.
“Democrats believe that cooperation is better than conflict,” the party’s online platform says.
So who started them, and who ended them?
Why Is The President Almost Always A Democrat Or A Republican
Nov. 2, 2020 11:45 am
You hear a lot about political parties in a presidential election year. Mostly you hear about the two major ones: the Democrats and the Republicans. Together they have held on to the White House for all but a few years in our nation’s long history.
We didn’t start out this way. George Washington did not belong to a political party, unlike each president who has followed him. In his 1796 ‘farewell address,” Washington warned that political parties were a danger to the new nation because they divided people rather than united them. He feared splits based on where people lived or how much money they had. And he said that parties would seek more and more power to advance their own interests and punish their opponents.
Washington’s warning went unheeded. The nation’s first two political parties, the Democratic-Republicans and the Federalists, were already heatedly debating the merits of a strong national government versus individual and states’ rights .
Two of Washington’s Cabinet members led this division. Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton and his supporters pushed for a strong central government that was pro-business. Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and his allies favored limited government and protections for the working class.
The Federalists faded from view in the early 1800s, having elected just one president, John Adams. Power was now in the hands of the Democratic-Republicans.
Democrats Vs Republicans Gas Prices Of The Last 100 Years
We’re seeing a lot more electric vehicles today, but they’re still a small fraction of automobiles that are on the road. Our society is still heavily dependent on gas-driven vehicles, which means the price at the pump is still a topic of interest.
There are two truths to gas prices. 1.) They are volatile. The price of gas goes up and down all the time for a number of reasons. 2.) Overall the price for gasoline is going up.
But if you’re the type that’s into politics you probably aren’t just paying attention to the price per gallon at the gas station. You’re probably looking for a reason behind the price increases. With both parties pointing a finger at each other for the rising cost of a gallon of gas, we wanted to know:
“Have gas prices traditionally been higher under Democratic or Republican presidents?”
The Economy Under Democratic Vs Republican Presidents
It has often been suggested that Republicans are better at overseeing the economy than Democrats. However, an analysis of economic performance since World War II under Democratic versus Republican presidents shows that claims that Republicans are better at managing the economy are simply not true. While the reasons are neither fully understood nor completely attributable to policy choices, data show that the economy has performed much better during Democratic administrations. Economic growth, job creation and industrial production have all been stronger.
In fact, a recent paper by economists Alan Blinder and Mark Watson states: “The superiority of economic performance under Democrats rather than Republicans is nearly ubiquitous; it holds almost regardless of how you define success.” Fact-checking groups have investigated similar statements and have found time and time again that they are true. Moreover, past research shows that stock market returns are also higher under Democrats.
The charts in this document update and expand upon the analysis in the Blinder and Watson paper. They include more recent data for both gross domestic product and employment, as well as revisions to past data that have occurred since their paper was written. The charts also go back further to include all available data for the Truman presidency, though GDP data are only available beginning in 1947.
Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad For The Economy
G.D.P., jobs and other indicators have all risen faster under Democrats for nearly the past century.
Graphics by Yaryna Serkez
Mr. Leonhardt is a senior writer at The Times. Ms. Serkez is a writer and graphics editor for Opinion.
Annual growth rate
Annual growth rate from highest to lowest
Annual growth rate from highest to lowest
A president has only limited control over the economy. And yet there has been a stark pattern in the United States for nearly a century. The economy has grown significantly faster under Democratic presidents than Republican ones.
It’s true about almost any major indicator: gross domestic product, employment, incomes, productivity, even stock prices. It’s true if you examine only the precise period when a president is in office, or instead assume that a president’s policies affect the economy only after a lag and don’t start his economic clock until months after he takes office. The gap “holds almost regardless of how you define success,” two economics professors at Princeton, Alan Blinder and Mark Watson, write. They describe it as “startlingly large.”
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Interesting Insights Into Presidents And Gas Prices
To answer that question we took a look at every presidential term since vehicles became mainstream. Then to make a completely fair assessment, we took note of the actual price paid for a gallon of gas at the time and what the price would be if it was adjusted for 2020 inflation. Each gas price listed is an average for the length of that president’s term.
We’ve also taken note of any major world events that might have affected the price of oil during that president’s term. Because all it takes is a large hurricane or signs of a recession to throw the numbers way off from the average.
The infograph here provides an overview of how gas prices have fluctuated from one President to the next. A few interesting insights include:
The very clear takeaway is that which party wins the presidency has less of an impact on gasoline prices than supply and demand. That usually isn’t dictated by who is president but rather world events that either negatively/positively affect the supply chain or increase/decrease demand for gasoline.
Want some tips on how to save gas? Check out our post here to learn more!
*This article was updated on 7/21/2021.
How Republican And Democratic Sex Scandals Differ
Over at The Fix, Scott Clement just posted a fascinating analysis of federal sex scandals going back to 1974. He concludes that “suffering a personal scandal cuts an officeholder’s reelection chances in half,” and surmises that this bodes poorly for Louisiana’s Rep. Vance McAllister , currently in hot water over some on-camera shenanigans with a female staffer.
Since 1974 there have been at least 39 sex scandals involving sitting congressmen, senators, or presidents . Granted, 39 cases don’t make for a large sample. But nonetheless some interesting observations do emerge. All of the elected officials involved have been male. Sex scandals have been slightly more prevalent among Republican lawmakers than Democratic ones , although historically speaking this is largely due to the Republicans’ very strong recent showing – three quarters of sex scandals since the year 2000 have involved Republicans.
Republican sex scandals have also been more likely to involve adultery than Democratic ones: 86 percent of the GOP scandals involved an elected official cheating on his wife, compared to only 65 percent of Democratic scandals. The remaining scandals all dealt with other types of sexual indiscretion.
Democratic officials, on the other hand, were twice as likely to bring their bad behavior into the workplace – 53 percent of Democratic scandals involved some sort of workplace harassment or dalliance, compared to 27 percent among Republicans.