You gotta know when to poll ’em

No Morgan poll this week, so I’ll instead relate the results of the latest semi-regular (about three times a year) Australian National University Social Research Centre phone survey of around 1200 respondents on a range of matters other than voting intention, conducted between April 27 and May 10. The special subject chosen for this survey was gambling, and it found 74 per cent support for mandatory pre-commitment measures as advocated by Andrew Wilkie, with 70 per cent expressing agreement that gambling should be more tightly controlled (so at least 4 per cent offered the counter-intuitive response that they favoured the former but not the latter). Against this, 42 per cent took the view that “the government has no right to restrict a person’s gambling”. There were slightly fewer supporters for mandatory pre-commitment among those who identified as regular gamblers, but they were still in a substantial majority.

As always, respondents were also asked to nominate the first and second most important problems facing Australia today, and to rate their satisfaction with how the country is heading on a five-point scale. The latter question produced almost identical results to the previous survey: 51 per cent satisfied and 12 per cent very satisfied, against only 20 per cent dissatisfied and 7 per cent very dissatisfied. The “most important problems” question is best examined from a long view: the following chart adds responses for “most important” to “second most important” for six of the issues canvassed, going back to the first such survey in early 2008.

By far the outstanding feature is a GFC-inspired spike in economy/jobs which washed out of the system at around the time Labor’s federal poll numbers began to tank. The scale of this obscures some of the trends in other categories: a steady descent in environment from 30 per cent to the high teens, an escalation in immigration from barely into double figures to its present place in the low thirties, and an apparently mounting concern – traceable, it seems, to the first half of last year – that government should be, in whatever sense, “better”.

Another recent poll result that has so far gone unmentioned here is from Essential Research, which occasionally holds back on questions from its regular polling for exclusive use by the Ten Network. This one is yet another humiliating leadership poll for Julia Gillard, who trails Kevin Rudd 37 per cent to 12 per cent on the question of preferred Labor leader. The commonly raised objection that such figures are skewed by mischievous Coalition supporters is dealt with by the fact that Rudd leads by 43 per cent to 31 per cent even among Labor supporters. Speaking of mischief, Malcolm Turnbull and Bob Brown were also thrown into the mix, respectively scoring 11 per cent and 3 per cent. However, it’s hard to say exactly what respondents were making of their inclusion: Turnbull was far behind Rudd among Coalition voters, and Brown was far behind both Rudd and Gillard among Greens voters. Of the Labor also-rans, Stephen Smith recorded 7 per cent, Greg Combet 2 per cent and Bill Shorten 1 per cent.

Besides which:

• The parliamentary library has published a paper by Murray Goot and Ian Watson with the self-explanatory title, “Population, immigration and asylum seekers: patterns in Australian public opinion”. Exhaustively reviewing public opinion measurement dating back to the late 1970s, they find that while opposition to immigration has increased since 2005, it is still lower than it was in the 1980s and the early 1990s. The fall in the intervening period is put down to declining unemployment, while the rise since has been driven by boat arrivals. Opposition to immigration is nonetheless found to be primarily environmentally rather than economically motivated – though racial motivation is, it seems, placed in pollsters’ too-hard baskets. The archetype of the immigration opponent is Australian-or-British born, of low income and education, and lives in public housing – though in defiance of other stereotypes, they are more likely to be female than male, and as likely to live in inner as outer metropolitan areas.

• Fairfax economics writer Peter Martin reviews the literature on that hottest of topics, the impact of media partisanship on voting behaviour. His broad conclusion is that while newspapers have very little impact, “television and radio are different”.

• Antony Green examines data on above-the-line voting patterns for the Legislative Council at the recent-ish New South Wales state election. The system here differs from the Senate in that voters can sequentially number as many parties as they choose above-the-line, after which their vote exhausts. Voters are thus spared the farce of having their preferences allocated in full by their one nominated party. The figures show that despite the different rules, voters continue to follow habits acquired from the Senate, with 82.2 per cent voting for one party above the line: 15.6 per cent numbered multiple parties above the line, with the remaining 2.2 per cent voting below the line. Antony reckons that if this system were adopted for the Senate, the high number of exhausted votes “would make the filling of the final Senate seat in each state a regular lottery rather than the occasional lottery under the current group ticket voting system”. However, I can’t see this myself: looking at the last two elections, each state elected four to five Senators off quotas derived from the primary vote, and after that major party and Greens candidates had easily enough in the way of surpluses to see off any micro-party chancers who might have been in the race for the final one or two seats (I await to hear where I’ve gone wrong here). However, double dissolution elections would be a different matter.

Ben Raue at New Matilda and Peter Brent at Mumble review the Mike Rann situation. The timing may remain farcically up in the air, but the smart money says that South Australia will sooner or later be looking at simultaneous by-elections for Rann’s seat of Ramsay and his former deputy Kevin Foley’s seat of Port Adelaide. Defeat in both would cut the government’s majority from five seats to one: luckily for them, the respective margins are 18.0 per cent and 12.8 per cent. However, safe seats often prove the most vulnerable to high-profile independents, and Antony points to Max James (who polled 11.0 per cent at the election last year) and Port Adelaide-Enfield mayor Gary Johanson as possible contenders in Port Adelaide. A Liberal strategy of boosting independent challengers by declining to field a candidate is complicated by the fact that the swing they require there is not quite beyond the realms of possibility.

• If having the government’s majority chipped away through by-election defeats doesn’t do it for you, Family First MLC Robert Brokenshire is introducing a bill to the South Australian parliament allowing for early “recall” elections in the event that a petition calling for one is signed by 150,000 people within 30 days of its initiation.

• Malcolm Mackerras reviews some election timing history in Crikey. Also from Mackerras: a month or two ago I raised an eyebrow when he professed himself “quite confident in predicting there will be no by-elections during the current term”, since “Members of Parliament do not die these days”. On July 6 he offered a follow-up in the Canberra Times, which fleshed out the point that deaths of sitting parliamentarians have become a lot less common:

The essential reason is the generosity these days of parliamentary superannuation schemes and the ease with which former politicians get good jobs post-politics. In the past the typical politician expected to fail in the employment market post-politics. Since parliamentary salaries were good there was a great incentive for the politician to stay in his seat for as long as possible. Also medical advances mean that longer lives are now normal. A current Labor member in any of about 30 marginal seats killed in a car crash would, of course, wreck the Gillard Government. Surely Labor could not win a by-election in such a circumstance. However, such an occurrence is very unlikely.

UPDATE (8/7/11): Bernard Keane at Crikey reports Essential Research has the Coalition gaining a point on two-party preferred for the second week in a row, now leading 57-43. On the primary vote the Coalition has gained a point to 50 per cent and Labor is down one to 30 per cent. In the event of “another global financial crisis”, 43 per cent would more trust the Coalition to handle it against 27 per cent for Labor. Also:

The survey also revealed remarkable levels of ignorance about the numbers of asylum seekers coming to Australia. 36% of voters believe that the number of asylum seekers arriving by boat has “increased a lot” in the past 12 months, and 26% say it has “increased a little”, with 20% saying numbers have stayed the same. Only 7% of voters believe the number of asylum seekers has fallen. When told that the number of asylum seekers arriving by boat has fallen by more than half this year, the proportion of people “very concerned” about asylum seekers falls from 43% to 33% and those “a little” or “not at all” concerned goes from from 30% to 39%.

UPDATE 2: Full Essential Research report here.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

2,600 comments on “You gotta know when to poll ’em”

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  1. [If having the government’s majority chipped away through by-election defeats doesn’t do it for you, Family First MLC Robert Brokenshire is introducing a bill to the South Australian parliament allowing for early “recall” elections in the event that a petition calling for one is signed by 150,000 people within 30 days of its initiation.]

    😆 well that’s just brilliant.

  2. [One Comment



    Posted Saturday, August 6, 2011 at 2:40 am | Permalink

    If having the government’s majority chipped away through by-election defeats doesn’t do it for you, Family First MLC Robert Brokenshire is introducing a bill to the South Australian parliament allowing for early “recall” elections in the event that a petition calling for one is signed by 150,000 people within 30 days of its initiation.

    well that’s just brilliant.


    Shh, don’t tell the mothertruckers 🙂

  3. Good morning, Bludgers.

    OT (at present) but long overdue and needing great political will to regard all new household chemicals in the same light as pharmaceuticals. For decades, household cleaning and pest control chemicals have been known to damage human immune systems, thereby increasing incidence of autoimmune disease, and organochloride insecticides (esp DDT & Chlordane, the latter used in Australia into the 1990s) been identified as critical factors in a range of diseases including cancers, diabetes, birth defects. The list does not seem to include artificial scents/ perfumes, now identifed, in rigorous replicated European research studies, as a cause of declining male fertility (sperm production). Now:

    [A landmark health study being launched today will examine the link between household chemicals and burgeoning childhood diseases such as ADHD and asthma.

    The World Health Organisation estimates up to a quarter of global disease is due to preventable environmental factors, of which 40 per cent falls on children under the age of five.

    The Children’s Health and Environment Program (CHEP) will explore just how those environmental factors – like household chemicals and pesticides – contribute to childhood diseases like ADHD, asthma and obesity.

    Professor Peter Sly, who leads the research team, says the Australian-first study aims to find ways to prevent the diseases taking hold in children.

    “Unfortunately our environment now is full of chemicals. We have plasticides, we have flame retardants, and many other chemicals which remain in the environment for a long time. And mostly we’ve ignored them,” he told ABC radio…

    Professor Sly says most chemical products reach Australian shelves without ever being tested for how they will impact the health of children…

    “There’s 40,000 new chemical entities that come onto the market every year and the number of those that have actually undergone testing is very few.]

    Study examines household chemical link to disease

    If you think producer opposition to tobacco product advertising was way over the top, just imagine what the reactions will be to government regulations requiring rigorous testing of chemicals in household products!

  4. [A mystery company that pumped $1 million into a political committee backing Mitt Romney has been dissolved just months after it was formed, leaving few clues as to who was behind one of the biggest contributions yet of the 2012 presidential campaign.

    The existence of the million-dollar donation — as gleaned from campaign and corporate records obtained by NBC News — provides a vivid example of how secret campaign cash is being funneled in ever more circuitous ways into the political system.]
    No. Never the Republicans!!

  5. Thefinnigans TheFinnigans
    I see all the Govts in trouble are now scrambling to “balance” their budget as a MUST. So who is laughing now at @SwannyDPM surplus #auspol
    4 minutes ago

  6. BK,

    I don’t know why they just don’t openly declare big money sponsorships for sale to vested interests. In a strange way it would be more honest than the underhanded deals that are going on now.

  7. Carney comes out of his timorous shell and actually says something relatively unequivocal:

    [The polls tell us that the government is unpopular and the opposition is popular. Little wonder. The opposition is promising everything to everyone and does not advocate a single difficult decision.

    No matter how bad things get with the international economy, there’ll never be a need to borrow an extra dollar. Carbon emissions can be reduced and it won’t hurt a bit. (In any case, wink, wink, the ”science” is dodgy.) There’ll be massive spending cuts but no one will notice them or feel any pain. And there’ll be big tax cuts that won’t touch the bottom line. As the economic times get more challenging with this new financial crisis, will the public keep buying all this, or will it look for something more robust, less fantastic?]

    Of course, he’s only a commentator, one who sits beside the rails, notebook in hand, as the train careens off them.

    Hmmm… 8.10.26 am: wheels off.
    Yes… 8.12.32 am: Lib stooge calls Gillard liar to face (…
    Ah ha… 8.14.11 am: Abbott sets fire to economy (boys=boys)…
    Yep… 8.15.15 am: Libs have no policies (
    Ouch!!!… 8.16.21 am: Stubbed my toe on bleedin’ obvious… Coalition scaremongering (BLAME.GILLARD)

    Shaun’s job is not to explain, or (God forbid) correct the record on the stupidity of the Abbott-Hockey portfolio of magic pudding promises. Shaun loves a train wreck. The sounds, the smells, the screams… you could say it was all a bit tacky, and sometimes Shaun gets a little squeamish, but if a Labor government is in the driver’s seat, he settles himself down and tells it like it is.

    Carney blames the punters:

    [Paradoxically, it’s possible that Labor’s story might have turned out differently if the effect of the global financial crisis here had been more profound, to give this unhappy, entitled society a bit more context.]

    What about the “entitlement mentality” among journalists and commentators?

    One of the hallmarks of the last couple of surreal years has been how supposedly serious writers on politics have allowed themselves to join in the head-kicking of the government with abandoned gusto.

    They take up, say, the fake challenge of “Boat People” – a miniscule and manageable problem on the national scale – and for all the world like the producers of those Japanese game shows that force contestants into bizarre situations like wading through a pool full of rotting fish guts, they cheer from the sidelines. The more ridiculous and confected the “test” the better.

    So the government changes the policy, toughening it up, and the commentators start to whinge about that too! Suddenly it’s all the government’s fault that they can’t perform to the expectations of the very people who set the test (and who change it according to whim).

    A society can only afford this kind of indulgence if it is sailing along pretty well. A sense of entitlement infects both the participants and the commentators, who see no really serious consequences if they’re wrong. Conjuring scenarios of doom and gloom and then writing them up, right off the top of your head can be fun.

  8. Good morning Bludgers. I can’t stick around for long this morning as I’m off to the Barossa for a full day of training (fire tanker driving under operational conditions).
    Kudelka gives us a very funny cartoon this morning,

    Great cartoon, BK. Have a good day. HUGE pat-on-the-back for what you’re doing.

    In 2002, thanks to local bush fire brigades and other volunteer and professional contingents, this whole area survived a firestorm which, because of its geography, was as potentially destructive as Kingslake’s. This year, local fire & SES volunteers on the ground saved many lives during the floods & “inland tsunami” – many of those rescues captured on videos, shown on TV, now on You Tube.To say they grabbed their gear & hit-the-ground-running as soon as they suspected there might be an emergency is an understatement. Many have several sets of gear – at home, in the car, at work.

    IMO, often stated, the true Anzac spirit lives on, in both nations, in its volunteer (& professional) fire and rescue teams. Internationally, they’re recognised (& much in demand) as among the world’s best – this year in Christchurch and Japan as well as Oz. PM Gillard’s return of a 9/11 rescuer’s helmet during her Congressional address – her only such gesture – was testament to them.

  9. [

    ABC News
    On Insiders this Sunday (9am ABC1), Barrie Cassidy interviews Shadow Immigration Minister Scott Morrison. On the panel: ABC Online’s Annabel Crabb, the Advertiser’s Mark Kenny and the Financial Review’s Brian Toohey. And freelance cartoonist Fiona Katauskas talks pictures with blogger for The Australian, Jack the Insiders.
    3 minutes ago · 2 · Like ·

  10. One for the Only in America (we hope) file.

    ‘Jesus loves nukes’: US Air Force taught the Christian Just War Theory To the men and women burdened with the ultimate responsibility of launching America’s nuclear missiles it was known as the “Jesus loves nukes” lesson.

    Whatever happened to the Jesus of If an enemy strikes thy cheek, turn the other cheek and Blessed are the peacemakers? Oh. That’s right. In the Great US of A, The Peacemaker is a Colt Single Action Army revolver.

  11. Morning all. Looks like US markets settled down overnight on better jobs figures.

    And Ross Gittins points out that the panic here was certainly exaggerated:

    Joe Hockey’s comparison of Australia to Greece was unforgivably false and reckless:
    [Meanwhile, opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey enraged the government when he referred to debt-stricken Greece after being challenged on a claim that Australia’s debt level was ”significant”. Although he clarified that Australia could pay its debt, Mr Hockey said the country’s reliance on foreign funds was a key vulnerability.

    ”Australia is a massive importer of money, and just as the financial crisis hit our banks last time, there is the capacity for similar events to hit us again,” Mr Hockey said.]

    But looking longer term the USA is still seriously stuffed, as Paul Krugman points out:
    [Consider one crucial measure, the ratio of employment to population. In June 2007, around 63 percent of adults were employed. In June 2009, the official end of the recession, that number was down to 59.4. As of June 2011, two years into the alleged recovery, the number was: 58.2. ]

    So the satire piece in The Onion was right; real US unemployment is more like 15-165 of what should be their workforce. If Obama doesn’t get more serious about solving unemployment, I almost don’t care whether or not he gets re-elected. solving unemployment is an issue too important to wait till a second term. He has manifestly failed to solve it, and he can’t blame the GOP alone for that one.

    Lessons for us? First, reminds me once more why Ken Henry and Glen Stevens deserved knighthoods, if we still dished them out. Second, the engagement with Asia policy is a must; Europe and North America will take years to recover from this, if ever. Third, emphasise the new jobs aspect of the Carbon tax and NBN. Turn a crisis into opportunity.

    Have a nice day all.

  12. Oops, I meant to say real US unemployment was more like 15-16% of the workforce. Still a terrible figure, and an indictment of Obama for not making it his top priority. He appointed bankers to save the economy, who saved the banks, not the people. No point electing a democrat president like that.

  13. Oz Pol

    I think they missed the commandments about bearing false witness, and misusing scriptures.

    Lots of fundamentalists get selective amnesia. That quote from Jesus about the rich man and the eye of the needle doesn’t get much air time in the USA either 😉

    Off to do the shopping.

  14. Talking of ‘leg’ men – as we were on the previous thread – my sister has a theory (tested exhaustively at parties) that bottle fed boys grow up to be leg men and breast fed ones grow up to be tit men.


  15. New Statesman (UK’s) take on the US job figures Only 58.1 per cent of the US adult population is in work, the lowest level since 1983.

    More interesting (imo) is Labour shouldn’t apologize which comes with an interesting graph and a well-developed argument of the sort we should see more often in our press, but is usually confined to blogs and Alan Kohler’s TV segments:

    Now, I’m no fan of Gordon Brown. But if there’s one thing he shouldn’t apologize for, it’s “fiscal irresponsibility.” My chart shows the story*.

    The crux of the argument is:

    The fiscal deficits of the mid-00s were, then, counterparts of a corporate surplus. And – I would add – the result of them. Companies’ reluctance to invest meant there was a tendency towards weak economic activity generally, which in turn added to government borrowing.

    I say that the causality runs from the corporate surplus to government deficit, rather than vice versa, for two reasons.

    First, the 00s were, generally, a time of low and falling real government bond yields. This is the exact opposite of what would have happened if high government borrowing had crowded out corporate spending. It is, though, consistent with a lack of demand to borrow – a lack of investment.

    Secondly, the weakness of capital spending was not a UK phenomenon but a global one …

    Faced with firms’ reluctance to invest, budget deficits were pretty much inevitable. Had Labour tried to be “fiscally responsible” and cut spending or raised taxes, we’d have just had higher unemployment.

    Labour, then, shouldn’t apologize for the budget deficits.

  16. If the the Coalition of the lies just STF*U the country should sail through this possible “GFC2”, however it does not follow their agenda of forward to the Lodge occupancy and not give a rats for who you trample to death in the rush. Ross Gittens is on the nose I just wish he and the rest of his mob fired their arrows into the right “budgie smugglers” direction.

  17. On Obama:

    I always thought the downside of “I’m not a Washington insider” was that it meant “I don’t know how the place works”.

    A bit like a politician saying they’re not REALLY a politician, or that they don’t do deals, or they don’t work with factions – all of those things mean they have no idea about how to get things done.

  18. dave (from previous thread):


    [Just feeling I had buy the tone of some of your posts tonight,

    I have *feelings* about the tone of your posts on an ongoing basis]


  19. poroti (from previous thread):


    I can’t recall whether is was an off the cuff remark but the dry-ice falls on foot line cut to the bone in my view.

    It was an off the cuff remark and yes it really did cut through in a way even the flattest of flat earthers could see.]

    Either he didn’t mean to quite say what he did or he knew such a question would be coming & was prepared for it.

    Labor, among all the other gaffs, will at the right time no doubt join Abbott’s no weight idiocy with Turnbull’s dry-ice metaphor.

    Anyway, off for the day on this most beautiful Goldie day.

  20. Thefinnigans TheFinnigans
    Classic American fuackup, fight between S&P and White House on #downgrade – SP citing huge political risk, not just debts
    2 minutes ago

  21. Thefinnigans TheFinnigans
    You can kiss #Obama goodbye in 2012 if he cant fix AAA and Unemployment #downgrade
    30 seconds ago

  22. [SpaceKidette Space Kidette
    Another #TeaPartyTriumph RT @BreakingNews More: S&P downgrade of US credit is 1 notch to AA-plus from AAA ]

  23. Reading Ross Gittins’ and Peter Hartcher this morning, you get the feeling that someone needs to start telling this country to harden up a bit, that all this navel gazing and feeling sorry for ourselves rubbish is capable of doing a great deal of harm to us in the long run. Of course, if Wayne Swan were to tell the electorate to stop being such pussies, then Tony Abbott would be right there with a consoling shoulder telling them that he understands how tough things are, how we’re really all so poor and this country is going to the dogs.

    Much the same as Kevin Rudd did to John Howard just before the 2010 election really. He may have well and truly snookered us a bit after slamming Howard for his “we’ve never been better off” statement in parliament. Both sides have really lead us down the path to marshmallow spines, right when this country needs to drink a cup of concrete.

    I wonder if the electorate could stand a bit of truth-telling right now? Who could deliver the truth most directly and have people listen, rather than switch off and keep wallowing in Poor Me status?

  24. Why on earth would Crabbe retweet this piece of inanity by Barry O’Farrell?
    [barryofarrell Barry O’Farrell retweeted by annabelcrabb
    just got a quick haircut at Elliott’s barbershop, Wagga Wagga
    15 minutes ago]

  25. [Why on earth would Crabbe retweet this piece of inanity by Barry O’Farrell?]


    Thefinnigans TheFinnigans
    @barryofarrell @annabelcrabb goodness me. USA downgrade and stock markets collapsing, WGAF about Barry haircut. Dont tweet CRAB #auspol
    10 seconds ago

  26. [Oops, I meant to say real US unemployment was more like 15-16% of the workforce. Still a terrible figure, and an indictment of Obama for not making it his top priority. He appointed bankers to save the economy, who saved the banks, not the people. No point electing a democrat president like that.]
    So by letting the banks go the people benefit how?

  27. [Professor Sly says most chemical products reach Australian shelves without ever being tested for how they will impact the health of children…]

    That is scary, OzPol. Will this spawn another batch of deniers?

  28. [thinkprogress ThinkProgress retweeted by GrogsGamut
    S+P: “The effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened.” #teaparty]
    I wonder if there are business quarters here quietly wondering about Tony Abbott’s direction. If they are, they should not be so quiet about it. They might get a nasty surprise if the world is up to its neck in another global recession at the same time as perhaps getting a policy devoid and unprepared Coalition who have electioneered on low debt, minimal spending and job lay-offs.

    Swan needs to get out his mighty megaphone and really start explaining exactly what it was this govt did to keep Australia out of trouble. He needs to just repeat it over, and over, and over, and over.

  29. Fiz,

    No need for Swan calling for the voters to harden up, this downgrade of US credit rating is about to cause a whole lot of pain throughout the world.

    It seems rescue packages are out and paying for the consequences of stupidity is in.

  30. The Finnigans@29

    Thefinnigans TheFinnigans
    Classic American fuackup, fight between S&P and White House on #downgrade – SP citing huge political risk, not just debts
    2 minutes ago

    S&P Downgrades US To AA+, Outlook Negative

    United States of America Long-Term Rating Lowered To ‘AA+’ On Political Risks And Rising Debt Burden; Outlook Negative

    We have lowered our long-term sovereign credit rating on the United States of America to ‘AA+’ from ‘AAA’ and affirmed the ‘A-1+’ short-term rating.

    We have also removed both the short- and long-term ratings from CreditWatch negative.

    The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics.

  31. Finns:
    A good tweet from you there. I can’t figure out if Crabbe was trying to be ironic or if she just let the bubblehead out again. Whoever told her she was witty back in her journalism university days has a lot to answer for.

  32. Thefinnigans TheFinnigans
    Make no mistake, this USA #downgrade is HUUUUGEEEEEE, especially for USD as the world currency
    8 seconds ago

  33. [Julia gets message from centre]

    Is the headline of the OO’s editorial today. ‘Julia’, not Gillard, not Prime Minister, but ‘Julia’.


  34. GG:
    I wonder what’s going on in govt and Treasury at the moment as they size up what’s happening globally. If the govt are required to use stimulus again they will find it a very difficult political fight with Abbott in the low debt corner. Unfortunately I think most of the population thinks a nation’s economy should work along the same principals as their household budget, and with households now undertaking serious savings they will think the govt needs to do the same thing. This could get very, very difficult.

  35. Thefinnigans TheFinnigans
    Where are those now who trumpeted “‘political brinksmanship of recent months” as the triumph of America’s democracy. #downgrade
    57 seconds ago

  36. The Finnigans@43

    Thefinnigans TheFinnigans
    Make no mistake, this USA #downgrade is HUUUUGEEEEEE, especially for USD as the world currency
    8 seconds ago

    Exactly. The other agencies will pile in now. But markets in more grief next week and beyond, even without this.

    The White House & Wall Street will come out saying these are the same agencies who rated toxic mortgages as AAA.

    An earlier story about the White House trying to stop the downgrade.

    USSAAA – S&P Reconsiders Downgrade After White House Challenge

    Indeed, again according to CNN, S&P acknowledged some errors in its analysis.

    Isn’t it amazing what being threatened with having your NRSRO license can do for motivation to double check your work, eh you pathetic sellouts?

    Who would have thought that last week’s farce debt ceiling would continue and develop into a national pastime.

    “a senior official involved in the discussions, said the agency was off by “trillions” in its economic model and was now working to revise its analysis.

    S&P did not return repeated calls for comment. ”

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