The Green Zone
RNC Survey in Virginia Suggests Draft, Welfare Expansion on 'Obama Agenda'
By Garance Franke-Ruta
The Republican National Committee has sent some Virginia voters a questionnaire suggesting that the president and Congressional Democrats want to expand welfare benefits with "no time, education or work requirements" and reinstitute the military draft -- while raising the budget deficit well beyond what is projected by nonpartisan experts.
The fundraising survey, received this week by a Post reporter who lives in Northern Virginia, is called the "2009 Obama Agenda Survey" and comes as less than a month remains in the hard-fought gubernatorial race between Democrat Creigh Deeds and Republican Robert McDonnell for control of the swing-state.
The survey, touching on an array of divisive topics, is accompanied by a letter from GOP chairman Michael S. Steele describing the items in the survey questions as "Obama's top priorities" and declaring, "I want you to know that the Republican Party is not dead."
Some of the 15 questions:
1. Do you agree with Barack Obama's budget plan that will lead to a $23.1 trillion deficit over the next ten years?
3. Do you support amnesty for illegal immigrants?
4. Should English be the official language of the United States?
6. Are you in favor of expanded welfare benefits and unlimited eligibility (no time, education or work requirements) that Democrats are pushing to pass?
9. Do you support the creation of a national health insurance plan that would be administered by bureaucrats in Washington?
13. Are you in favor of reinstituting the military draft, as Democrats in Congress have proposed?"
Surveys designed to persuade rather than survey are a common though dirty tactic in the political arena, the text equivalent of telephone push-polls. The sending of polls for fundraising purposes is also widely considered unethical, a practice known as "frugging" -- fundraising under the guise of research. In August, the RNC suggested in a similarly formatted "Future of American Health Care Survey" that "GOP voters might be discriminated against for medical treatment in a Democrat-imposed health care rationing system." Following on outcry from Democrats, a Republican Party spokesperson called that survey "inartfully worded."
The reference in the Virginia survey to a "$23.1 trillion deficit over the next ten years" appears to confuse the deficit with the national debt and consequently massively overstates projected deficits over the next decade.
According to recent White House figures, the budget deficit in 2019 is projected to be $917 billion, not $23.1 trillion. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects the accumulated national debt from a decade of deficits approaching or exceeding $1 trillion each year under Obama spending plans could soar to nearly $23 trillion by 2019 from the $11.8 trillion public debt reported for August 2009.
Other charges in the survey are also overstated. Obama has made no moves as president in support of reinstituting the draft. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) has several times introduced a measure to bring it back, but his bill has little support among Democrats. And while the president has said that while he would prefer that a public option be offered as part of a health-care reform package, that provision did not emerge from the months of Senate Finance Committee negotiations that concluded Friday morning and Obama has said he does not view it as an essential component of reform.
"This isn't the first time that Republicans have used push polls in recent weeks to malign what the president is offering," said Democratic National Committee spokesman Hari Sevugan. "Dirty tricks and lies is what they are resorting to in lieu of any new ideas or plans to lower the cost of health insurance."
A GOP spokesperson declined to discus the poll. "Our policy is not to comment on fundraising," said Gail Gitcho.
Posted at 8:00 AM ET on Oct 3, 2009
The Green Zone
Share This: Technorati | Tag in Del.icio.us | Digg This
Previous: Obama: Health Insurance Reform Would Help Small Business | Next: Jones Chides McChrystal for Public Pressure
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: boski66 | October 6, 2009 5:25 AM
Posted by: islandhopper24 | October 5, 2009 2:39 PM
Posted by: islandhopper24 | October 5, 2009 2:29 PM
Posted by: zvelf | October 5, 2009 1:18 PM
Posted by: merf-1 | October 4, 2009 5:03 PM
Posted by: ceflynline | October 4, 2009 1:52 PM
Posted by: richyrich865 | October 4, 2009 10:38 AM
Posted by: newbeeboy | October 4, 2009 9:27 AM
Posted by: seemstome | October 3, 2009 9:10 PM
Posted by: dummypants | October 3, 2009 9:05 PM
Posted by: singleseatbiggermeat | October 3, 2009 8:56 PM
Posted by: MekhongKurt1 | October 3, 2009 6:38 PM
Posted by: MekhongKurt1 | October 3, 2009 6:35 PM
Posted by: MekhongKurt1 | October 3, 2009 6:13 PM
Posted by: crrobin | October 3, 2009 6:12 PM
Posted by: sshipman1 | October 3, 2009 5:56 PM
Posted by: donaldtucker | October 3, 2009 5:37 PM
Posted by: Fate1 | October 3, 2009 4:56 PM
Posted by: jaho | October 3, 2009 4:28 PM
Posted by: BlueTwo1 | October 3, 2009 4:10 PM
Posted by: HemiHead66 | October 3, 2009 3:25 PM
Posted by: merf-1 | October 3, 2009 3:19 PM
Posted by: jtmb | October 3, 2009 2:51 PM
Posted by: Patriot12 | October 3, 2009 2:19 PM
Posted by: davis_renee | October 3, 2009 2:14 PM
Posted by: THX1178 | October 3, 2009 2:13 PM
Posted by: seegeedubya | October 3, 2009 2:12 PM
Posted by: alvin1435 | October 3, 2009 2:10 PM
Posted by: danders5000 | October 3, 2009 2:08 PM
Posted by: Fate1 | October 3, 2009 1:59 PM
Posted by: Fate1 | October 3, 2009 1:55 PM
Posted by: nespo001 | October 3, 2009 1:37 PM
Posted by: lpryluck1 | October 3, 2009 1:30 PM
Posted by: geo82170 | October 3, 2009 1:20 PM
Posted by: A-Voter | October 3, 2009 1:17 PM
Posted by: br30 | October 3, 2009 12:53 PM
Posted by: B2O2 | October 3, 2009 12:52 PM
Posted by: capone1 | October 3, 2009 11:50 AM
Posted by: RealityBeatsPerception | October 3, 2009 11:37 AM
Posted by: fairfaxvoter | October 3, 2009 11:33 AM
Posted by: DwightCollins | October 3, 2009 11:27 AM
Posted by: georgejones5 | October 3, 2009 11:27 AM
Posted by: dfc102 | October 3, 2009 11:19 AM
Posted by: mytake1 | October 3, 2009 11:18 AM
Posted by: Carstonio | October 3, 2009 11:10 AM
Posted by: mikel7 | October 3, 2009 11:09 AM
Posted by: ripper368 | October 3, 2009 11:02 AM
Posted by: timscanlon | October 3, 2009 10:59 AM
Posted by: EnoughISEnough | October 3, 2009 10:58 AM
Posted by: Patriot12 | October 3, 2009 10:58 AM
Posted by: Patriot12 | October 3, 2009 10:55 AM
Posted by: blasmaic | October 3, 2009 10:54 AM
Posted by: jonweiss1 | October 3, 2009 10:50 AM
Posted by: coloradodog | October 3, 2009 10:45 AM
Posted by: clairevb | October 3, 2009 10:37 AM
Posted by: racam | October 3, 2009 10:30 AM
Posted by: mytake1 | October 3, 2009 10:22 AM
Posted by: A62k | October 3, 2009 10:04 AM
Posted by: khm53 | October 3, 2009 9:43 AM
Posted by: scon101 | October 3, 2009 9:37 AM
Posted by: alamo2 | October 3, 2009 9:33 AM
Posted by: onifadee | October 3, 2009 9:26 AM