Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Rice '08: A More Unsure Thing Than I Thought?

by Tom Bozzo

Following a link from Pandagon to look at yet another calculator designed to demonstrate the wonders of Social Security privatization, I came across former BC'04 webmaster Patrick Ruffini's '08 Republican presidential straw poll showing Secretary Rice with a large lead over Rudy Giuliani — evidently not so damaged over the Kerik affair — and with the rest of the prospects only registering collectively.

Another survey of residents of the right blogosphere gave our dissembling Secretary of State (see also here from the archives) a large lead, too, and showed plenty of hard feelings towards John McCain. Evidently, derailing the Straight Talk Express on behalf of BC'04 isn't enough sacrifice for the other side's taste.

Traditional polls either aren't measuring Rice, or aren't measuring any material support for her in the actual public, depending on methodology details that I don't care to investigate at this stage of the game. I still think Rice '08 is largely a right-blogosphere delusion, though I'll back off from a planned response to this JFW post to the effect that, regardless of my pseudo-legal skills, I'd managed to talk a lawyer into buying drinks for the local blogger group with near certainty. I'll just say high probability instead.

BTW, Ruffini's calculator has to take the award for Buggiest Social Security Calculator. It yields not-a-number errors when given a scenario with zero salary growth, zero years previously worked, and zero previous Social Security taxes paid. While the zero salary growth assumption is not meant to be realistic (hopefully), nothing about the scenario should return an error from a properly functioning calculator.

Of course, as with all such calculators I've seen to date, the results are rubbish as they assume that transition costs will be financed out of thin air.

Edited 3/17/05 to correct a long-standing error in the link to Ruffini's calculator, which BTW still has the error I mentioned. link error. Evidently, the hypertext content of this blog is ignored to a woeful extent.
Holy Water: Vampire: Externalities: Radical Right

Everyone has gotta flee from something.
I do see the wager as a matter of exorcising evil spirits.
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