Monday, March 13, 2023

rating the last seven presidents as a partisan, a partisan hack, or objective

P = partisan; PH = partisan hack

                  GOP-PH        GOP-P           Dem-P         Dem-PH

Reagan       awesome        great             ehh                bad

Bush I        very good        good              bad             terrible             

Clinton        terrible          ehh              good             good      

Bush II      very good         good              bad             terrible   

Obama           bad          terrible       very good            god 

Trump            god             ehh            terrible             1/6

Biden           terrible       terrible           good           very good

Objective (from a reasonably free-market view): 

-Reagan best since at least Coolidge. 

-Bush I ehh and should have known better. 

-Clinton very good (at least with the conservative GOP Congress he delivered in 1994). 

-Bush II range of terrible policies; should have known better; and the end of conservatism in the GOP. 

-Obama terrible combo of bad policies and treading water; and the end of liberalism among Dems. 

-Trump terrible: most of the good/significant policy moves of the 21st C, but utter disaster on style. 

-Biden terrible: inept in style and substance, continuing the lies and divisiveness.  

on "crowding out" with SS, FICA, and the poverty rate

Fun with FICA/SS, with Jim Ulaszek making a point I hadn't considered previously...

With respect to the most popular expression of "the poverty rate", Govt takes credit for the impact of SS benefits, but takes no blame for its FICA costs. (And overall, those are roughly equal per person.) They use *pre-tax* income when you're working to determine whether you're in poverty, so they ignore the role of the 12.4% FICA tax on every dollar earned. And when you start to receive SS, they treat it as an "income" (which may be sufficient to get you above the poverty line).

Found this useful resource to give some specifics on how SS benefits are calculated-- most notably, on "the bends" (which indicate that it is already a combo of retirement and redistribution).