How Public Policy Polling Hilariously Proved That People Lie To Pollsters

CIA Director Leon Panetta

Public Policy Polling, the firm that consistently asks the quirkiest and most provocative questions, offered in its latest national survey a revealing way to prove that, well, people will lie to make themselves seem more knowledgeable. 

PPP tested people’s reaction to the Simpson-Bowles plan to reduce the national deficit. It found that overall, respondents had a positive view of the plan, despite an overwhelming 60 per cent that did not offer an opinion. 

To compare, the firm also gau ged the reaction to the so-called “Panetta-Burns plan,” which isn’t a real plan. It’s based on a mythical combination of Leon Panetta, the current Secretary of defence and former chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, and Conrad Burns, a former Republican Senator from Montana.

Despite the fact that there is no such thing as the “Panetta-Burns” plan, 25 per cent of respondents offered an opinion on it. Eight per cent said they view it favourably, while 17 per cent said they do not have a favourable opinion of the “plan.”

This has led to a snarky Twitter hashtag, in which users speculate on the mythical proposals in “Panetta-Burns.”

Panetta Burns

Photo: Twitter/@ezraklein

Panetta Burns

Photo: Twitter/@joshgreenman

Panetta Burns

Photo: Twitter/@jbarro

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