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Wed Mar 13, 2013, 05:07 PM

 

The gross obsession with White House tours

Of late, Republicans have been pretty unimpressed by the sequester. It wasn’t always so, of course. Back when it was first announced, House Speaker John Boehner called the cuts “devastating” and said they were never going to happen. During the election, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan criss-crossed the nation warning that the sequester would be, again, devastating and would cost hundreds of thousands of jobs.


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Some of the scariest political science research I’ve ever read comes from Princeton’s Marty Gilens, who found that the political system is very responsive to the rich and utterly uninterested in the poor:
If Americans at different income levels agree on a policy, they are equally likely to get what they want. But what about the other half of the time? What happens when preferences across income levels diverge?
When preferences diverge, the views of the affluent make a big difference, while support among the middle class and the poor has almost no relationship to policy outcomes. Policies favored by 20 percent of affluent Americans, for example, have about a one-in-five chance of being adopted, while policies favored by 80 percent of affluent Americans are adopted about half the time. In contrast, the support or opposition of the poor or the middle class has no impact on a policy’s prospects of being adopted.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/03/13/the-gross-obsession-with-white-house-tours/

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