Federal Tax Code and Regulations Now Exceed 10 Million Words in Length 

In 1955, the federal tax code and regulations together totaled 1.4 million words. Since then, the combined length has increased more than seven fold, growing at a pace of 144,500 words per year.

 reports: The length of the federal tax code and regulations now exceed 10 million words, according to a report from the Tax Foundation.

“The American tax code is intentionally complex—it’s Washington’s safe haven for carve-outs, loopholes, and subsidies for special interests.”

According to the report, the federal tax code is 2,412,000 words long, and federal tax regulations are 7,655,000 words long.

“America’s tax code will continue to impede growth and opportunity until policy leaders prioritize reform and face cronyism head-on.”

— Andy Koenig, Freedom Partners’ senior policy analyst

In 1955, the federal tax code and regulations together totaled 1.4 million words. Since then, the combined length has increased more than seven fold, growing at a pace of 144,500 words per year.

tax-dollars-heritage

According to the Tax Foundation, the length of the tax code correlates with the complexity of the federal tax system and the difficulties faced by Americans trying to file their taxes.

“The American tax code is intentionally complex—it’s Washington’s safe haven for carve-outs, loopholes, and subsidies for special interests,” said Andy Koenig, Freedom Partners’ senior policy analyst.  Read the rest of this entry »


75% in U.S. See Widespread Government Corruption

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 13: In this handout from the White House, U.S. President Barack Obama talks on the phone while in the Oval Office with British Prime Minister David Cameron on February 13, 2012 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images)

While the numbers have fluctuated slightly since 2007, the trend has been largely stable since 2010. However, the percentage of U.S. adults who see corruption as pervasive has never been less than a majority in the past decade, which has had no shortage of controversies from the U.S. Justice Department’s firings of U.S. attorneys to the IRS scandal.

These figures are higher than some might expect, and while the lack of improvement is somewhat disconcerting, the positive takeaway is that Americans still feel fairly free to criticize their government. This is not the case in some parts of the world. Questions about corruption are so sensitive in some countries that even if Gallup is allowed to ask them, the results may reflect residents’ reluctance to disparage their government. This is particularly true in countries where media freedom is restricted.

Speaker of the House John Boehner arrives at the Capitol

This is why it is most appropriate to look at perceptions of corruption through such lenses as the Freedom House‘s Press Freedom rankings. Ratings vary among countries with a “free press,” including the U.S., and range from a high of 90% in Lithuania to a low of 14% in Sweden. The U.S. does not make the top 10 list, but notably, it is not far from it.

These data are available in Gallup Analytics.

Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews with approximately 1,000 U.S. adults each year, aged 15 and older, conducted between 2007 and 2014. For results based on the total sample of national adults in the U.S., the margin of sampling error has typically been ±4.0 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

For results based on the total sample of national adults across the 134 countries surveyed in 2014, the margin of sampling error ranged from ±2.1 percentage points to ±5.6 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. Read the rest of this entry »


Pollsters: ‘Everything is Terrible’

 John Shinkle/POLITICO

John Shinkle/POLITICO

Polls from major networks, researchers and newspapers agree: America’s in a bad mood.

For PoliticoLucy McCalmont reports: In just one week, polls found politicians of all stripes are hitting approval numbers with record lows. The president finds himself roughly as popular as a trip to the dentist. The entire Democratic Party gets the thumbs down. Oh, and so does the Republican Party.

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

But it doesn’t stop there. Americans are also bummed out about the future in general, especially the economy. Things are so low that even an old gpoj-approved-panicfavorite, sugar, polled poorly.

“What we’re really seeing in an unprecedented way, especially in the key Senate races, is that voters don’t like either of the major candidates.”

— Tom Jensen, the director of Public Policy Polling

Pollsters say it all adds up to a country that feels “everything is terrible,” as one put it, a mood that campaigns should consider as they head into the midterm homestretch, when turnout should be all about enthusiasm — not pessimism.

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 13: In this handout from the White House, U.S. President Barack Obama talks on the phone while in the Oval Office with British Prime Minister David Cameron on February 13, 2012 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images)

(Photo by Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images)

“With an ‘everything is terrible’ mindset, I’m mostly thinking about how after several years of cantankerous and unproductive lawmaking in Washington, there are very few political figures or institutions who the public trusts anymore,” Scott Clement, The Washington Post’s polling analyst, said in an interview.

When it comes to candidates, voters are also less than thrilled with both incumbents and their challengers. Read the rest of this entry »


Good News: D.C. ‘Boomtown’ Only Place in America with Positive Economic Outlook

reuters

Tony Lee  reports:  Though Gallup’s economic confidence index is negative in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., also known as the nation’s preeminent “Boomtown,” is the clear outlier, with the only positive index. In fact, it’s not even close.

Joker-billionaire-burning-money

Gallup conducted daily tracking interviews with 178,071 adults nationally from January through December 2013, and the polling organization said it interviewed “at least 500 residents in every state and interviewed 1,000 or more in 41 states. In the District of Columbia, 462 interviews were conducted.”

[Order Peter Schweizer‘s book: Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets from Amazon]

Read the rest of this entry »


Poll: Hispanics, Young Voters Abandoning Obama

obamacare_hazardous_reuters

contributor-80x100-tleeTony Lee reports:  A new national poll has found President Barack Obama’s support among young voters and Hispanics has plummeted.

In an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, “nearly half—49%—of adults aged 18-34 disapprove” of Obama’s job performance while 45% approve. Obama’s disapproval among young voters has jumped three points since last month and 12 points since the same time last year.

Read the rest of this entry »


Red Lines, Threats, Sharp Turns

Red Lines and Sharp Turns


Gallup: Unemployment Rate Jumps from 7.7% to 8.9% In 30 Days

`Outside of the federal government’s Bureau of Labor statistics, the Gallup polling organization also tracks the nation’s unemployment rate. While the BLS and Gallup findings might not always perfectly align, the trends almost always do and the small statistical differences just haven’t been worthy of note. But now Gallup is showing a sizable 30 day jump in the unemployment rate, from 7.7% on July 21 to 8.9% today.

This is an 18-month high.

At the end of July, the BLS showed a 7.4% unemployment rate, compared to Gallup’s 7.8%. Again, a difference not worthy of note. But Gallup’s upward trend to almost 9% in just the last three weeks is alarming, especially because this is not a poll with a history of wild swings due to statistical anomalies. Gallup’s sample size is a massive 30,000 adults and the rolling average is taken over a full 30 day period.

Gallup also shows an alarming increase in the number of underemployed (those with some work seeking more). During the same 30-day period, that number has jumped from 17.1% to 17.9%.

via Gallup: Unemployment Rate Jumps