Politify: Weigh Your Magic Beans on A Granular Scale!


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According to Paul Constant, at Seattle’s Stranger:

Use this site on your lunch break, and make sure to pass it along. Politify is a website that allows you to enter personal information—your income, your ZIP code, your state—and see which presidential candidate’s financial plans will work out better for you by 2015. Turns out, rural areas in red states would benefit the most from President Obama’s plans, and super-wealthy urban areas (like Mercer Island) would benefit the most from Mitt Romney’s plans. None of this is probably new information to you, but the research that went into this site provides the most accurate, granular information you’ve ever seen…

Constant also links to Ari Melber at the Nation, who reports some detail the site itself doesn’t cover:

According to a new analysis of tax and census data, Mitt Romney’s economic plan is heavily tilted towards big cities, but tough on the rural areas that comprise the GOP’s base. Barack Obama’s economic proposals lean the other way, offering little to wealthy urbanites, while delivering broad tax savings to the middle- and lower-class Americans spread across the South and Midwest.

The findings, released Thursday by a start-up called Politify, present a novel way to view the diverging economic promises in this recession election. In a race dominated by the rhetoric of deficits and the 99 percent, Politify says it offers unassailable data and objective answers for voters wondering how the candidates’ plans will affect their wallet, their neighborhood, or the whole country.

The most dramatic image—which organizers believe will spread quickly online—provides a geographic model of how the candidates’ plans for taxes and benefits will impact individual households. All the data is from the IRS and a US census survey. Nikita Bier, Politify’s founder, says this is the most granular model of campaign policy impact ever created. After he first ran the numbers, Bier recalls that he was “shocked” to see just how severely the results favored Obama’s plan…

I ran my family’s income numbers, and also looked up my zip code. The numbers say we’d do slightly better, personally and locally, under Romney’s “plan”… which, of course, means absolutely nothing to my voting calculations, because I don’t believe the Republicans have any intention of implementing what they’re offering. Which is, of course, the limiting factor in all rational-economics political arguments: I’m sure the Republicans in all those areas that would benefit under President Obama’s plans don’t believe us Democrats, either.






17 replies
  1. 1
    beltane says:

    See, the Republican base believes in altruism after all. But instead of compassion for the less fortunate, these people would be willing to starve their own kids in order to help out the wealthy meterosexual elitists in the big cities.

  2. 2
    piratedan says:

    nifty find AL, tyvm

  3. 3
    Yutsano says:

    The best thing any politician in DC could do for my economic situation is FUND MY DAMN JOB!! Anythinhg else is secondary.

  4. 4
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    The word “plan” is doing very heavy lifting here. I think we could use another term. Any suggestions?

  5. 5
    Mike E says:

    Geography has a well known liberal bias.

  6. 6
    amk says:

    Good find AL. Tweeted it.

  7. 7
    Anya says:

    I am really challenged when it comes to numbers but according to the Politify thing, my husband’s income changes by +$8,642 under the socialist president and +$14,436 under the bishop. I do not understand it.

  8. 8
    brashieel says:

    Cool analytical tool here. I’ve been punching various household finances in to see how friends, family, and myself fare under the two plans. Of course, I do keep in mind that the Romney “plan” is total nonsense, and that they refuse to talk about their actual agenda.

  9. 9
    Gangis Khan says:

    One thing to keep in mind with this tool is that it is hampered by the lack of specifics in Romney’s budget (written by underpants gnomes, by its form). The Romney number is thus underestimating the cost of his administration to most people.

  10. 10
    Ryan says:

    Looking at the DC local area, the line between Romney and the President looks very much like a dividing line between the black and white communities.

  11. 11
    hamletta says:

    The micro-town outside DC where I grew up is blood-red, but those people are a bunch of commies who will all vote for Obama.

  12. 12
    Chris T. says:

    One problem with this thing is that it claims I’d do better under Republican rule, but that doesn’t account for the fact that with the Democrats in charge, the economy does OK so that I have a job and my investments do well, but with the Republicans in charge, the economy collapses so that I have no income to tax and my investments all go bankrupt.

  13. 13
    👽 Martin says:

    Romney would put me $2K ahead than Obama. Looks like I’m about typical for my city, which is 53% Romney.

    Oh well, I’ll show solidarity with the south and vote against my economic interests. I can afford it.

  14. 14
    Nancy Irving says:

    Definition of a Republican: a person who is delighted when someone making twenty million dollars a year pays no federal income tax, and is outraged when someone making twenty thousand pays no federal income taxes.

  15. 15
    Nancy Irving says:

    @Nancy Irving: (This is why the map will have little effect on the election.)

  16. 16
    noabsolutes says:

    This is nonsense, Romney’s “plan” says nothing about how to make his Richie Rich tax cuts deficit neutral, which he’s more likely to try to do not because he cares about deficits but because he hates poor people, and he would put us into a horrible healthcare situation, whereas President Obama’s actual plan, the ACA, would almost definitely mean I pay less for healthcare I actually use– like what’s available via Planned Parenthood, which Romney would decimate. Also, the dividing line in my city is completely racial, too, and I live on the “white people benefit from Romney” side, but I’m black, and I work on the “Barack Obama will give all your hard-earned daughters dollars to black people” side.

    Also, if anything bad happens, like I become disabled or lose my job or get hit by a meteor, Romney would make it damn near impossible for me to get Medicaid. And then there’s trade policy and oil prices…

  17. 17
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    This is eerily consistent with Romney’s vote percentages in the GOP primaries. He won the nomination with votes from states that are more urban and vote Democratic. Romney’s con (I won’t dignify it with the word “plan”) has a evil-genius aspect to it. The people who are most screwed by it habitually vote GOP against their economic self-interest, or they will never vote for him. Either way, he loses no votes by it. Higher-income people might be bought off, however.

    I would come out ahead if Romney actually delivered what he promised, but he’s not buying me off.

    @Chris T.:

    One problem with this thing is that it claims I’d do better under Republican rule, but that doesn’t account for the fact that with the Democrats in charge, the economy does OK so that I have a job and my investments do well, but with the Republicans in charge, the economy collapses so that I have no income to tax and my investments all go bankrupt.

    When will the business and investor classes figure this out? They’re cutting off their bottom line to spite their tax rate, to borrow a saying.

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