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What are your politics?

1 of 16
Instructions: For each question, respond with the answer that you MOST agree with.

On

immigration policy

the government should...

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Background info

Immigrants today account for 13.6% of the U.S. population. Of those immigrants, 23% are undocumented.

More than 1 million immigrants arrive in the U.S. each year. In 2017, the top country of origin for new immigrants coming into the U.S. was India, with 126,000 people, followed by Mexico (124,000), China (121,000) and Cuba (41,000).

Pew Research Center

Before 1980, the odds of an undocumented Mexican migrant returning home was 50%. Today that number is 0%.

The transition from cyclical migration to permanent immigration coincided with a 10x increase in border security spending from the 1980s to 2010. If cyclical migration patters had remained the same, there would be an estimated 1/3 less undocumented immigrants from our southern border.

Mexican Migration Project, Princeton University

The positions

On

gun rights

the government should...

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Background info

30% of American adults say they personally own a gun, and an additional 11% say they live with someone who does.

67% of gun owners say protection is a major reason why they own a firearm. Considerably smaller shares say hunting (38%), sport shooting (30%), gun collecting (13%) or their job (8%) are major reasons.

Pew Research Center

States with higher gun ownership rates have higher gun murder rates than states with lower gun ownership rates.

For every one percent increase in a state’s gun ownership rate, there is a nearly one percent increase in its firearm homicide rate.

Mother Jones

The positions

On

marijuana

the government should...

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Background info

At the start of 2020, recreational marijuana is legal in 11 states for adults 21+, and legal for medical use in 33 states.

However, federal law, which supersedes state law, says that the sale, cultivation, and use of cannabis for any reason is illegal.

Business Insider

Marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug, indicating it is considered more dangerous than Schedule 2 cocaine and meth.

This classification means the government sees no medical value and high abuse potential. To date, no deaths have been tied directly to the use of marijuana.

Vox

The positions

On

abortion

the government should...

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Background info

In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled 7–2 that unrestrictive state regulation of abortion is unconstitutional in a case known as Roe v Wade.

The court decided that a set of Texas statutes criminalizing abortion in most instances violated a woman’s constitutional right of privacy, implied in the Fourteenth Amendment (“…nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”).

Britannica


The abortion rate in 2017 was 13.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44.

This is the lowest rate ever observed in the United States. In 1973, the year abortion became legal, the rate was 16.3. The number reached its peak of 29.3 in 1981 and has steadily declined ever since.

Guttmacher

The positions

On

healthcare coverage

the government should...

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Background info

The average cost of a 3-day hospital stay is around $30,000.

People without health coverage are exposed to these extreme costs. This can sometimes lead people without coverage into deep debt or even into bankruptcy.

Healthcare.gov

In 2011, the average healthcare cost for a family of four increased to $19,393.

By 2030, it is estimated that payroll taxes will only cover 38 percent of Medicare costs. The rest will contribute to the federal budget deficit.

The Balance

The positions

On

prison reform

the government should...

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Background info

America holds 1.5 million people in prison—2.2 million if you include jails.

56% of prisoners in state prison and 45% in federal prisons report having a mental illness. Although black people make up 13% of the American population, they make up 35% of the prison population.

Vera Institute of Justice

The cost of running our prison system in America is $182 billion a year.

Who profits off of our prison system? Almost half of the money spent on running the correctional system goes to paying staff. Private companies that supply goods to commissaries or provide phone services bring in $2.9 billion.

Prison Policy Initiative

The positions

On

same-sex marriage

the government should...

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Background info

On April 28, 2015, the US Supreme Court heard arguments on the question of the freedom to marry in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Michigan.

On June 26 the Supreme Court ruled 5-4, that states cannot ban same-sex marriage.

CNN

Though most Americans oppose discrimination against LGBT people, and many believe that it’s already illegal—it’s not.

Federal laws don’t ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity the way they do regarding sex and religion.

Time


The positions

On

foreign aid

the government should...

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Background info

At $39.2 billion for fiscal year 2019, foreign aid is less than 1% of the federal budget.

As the world’s wealthiest nation, the U.S. provides more assistance than any other country, but a smaller proportion of its GNP than most other wealthy nations.

Brookings

In 2018, 21% of U.S. financial aid went to governments, 20% to non-profits, 34% to multilateral organizations, and 25% elsewhere. 

Typically, when the U.S. wants to support a country that is ruled by a corrupt, uncooperative, or autocratic government, U.S. assistance goes through private, non-governmental organizations.

Brookings

The positions

On

the military

the government should...

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Background info

The most recent budget includes $989 billion for U.S. military spending—the second largest item in the budget after Social Security.

The United States spends more on defense than the next nine countries combined. The budget covers Oct. 1, 2019, through Sept. 30, 2020.

The Balance

The U.S. has roughly 200,000 troops and 800 military bases around the world.

U.S. Central Command says between 60,000 and 70,000 U.S. troops are in the Middle East.

Axios

The positions

On

foreign election interference

the government should...

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Background info

The wide variety of election systems across the country mean an election as a whole is almost impossible to hack. However, even localized attacks could question the credibility of an entire election.

U.S. intelligence agencies have increased security, but legislators have so far failed to agree on any legislation that would help dissuade foreign election interference.

NPR

The Senate Intelligence Committee found that election systems in all 50 states were targeted by Russia in 2016.

In Illinois, Russian cyberactors were in a position to delete or change voter data, though there is no evidence they did so.

New York Times

The positions

On

our environmental impact

the government should...

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Background info

97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree.

Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities.

Nasa

Climate change is altering temperature, precipitation, and sea levels.

It will adversely impact humans and natural systems, including water resources, human health, human settlements, ecosystems, and biodiversity.

Center for Sustainable Systems, University of Michigan

The positions

On

federal land usage

the government should...

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Background info

Of the 2.27 billion acres of land in the U.S., 640 million, or 28% is managed by the federal government.

Bureau of Land Management: 248 million acres or 10.5 percent of all land in the country
U.S. Forest Service: 193 million acres or 8.5 percent of the country
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: 89 million acres or 3.9 percent of the country
National Park Service: 84 million acres or 3.7 percent of the country

REI

41 million acres of federal land, both onshore and offshore, are under lease to oil and gas developers. Another 460,000 acres are under lease for coal production.

Emissions from fossil fuels extracted on federal land account for nearly 25 percent of the nation’s carbon footprint.

SEI

The positions

On

income tax

the government should...

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Background info

The Federal income tax is a progressive tax, meaning it charges a higher tax rate for people with higher income.

The rationale is that people with less usually have to spend a higher percentage of their income on basic living necessities than wealthier people.

Investopedia

In addition to raising revenue, Congress uses the tax system to influence social policy and deliver benefits for specific groups.

This attributes to the complexity of our tax code. Federal tax compliance overall consumes more than 6 billion hours of time each year.

Time

The positions

On

minimum wage

the government should...

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Background info

The U.S. current national minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. If it had kept up with inflation, it would now be $10.41 an hour.

If it had kept up with executive-level pay increases, it would be $23/hour. Current minimum wage translates to $15,080 a year.

The Balance

32 states have a higher minimum wage than the federal level.

Many states have annual increases based on cost of living. In total, 24 states and 48 cities and counties will raise their minimum wages sometime in 2020.

NELP

The positions

On

college tuition costs

the government should...

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Background info

The average cost of a 4-year public school degree for the 2018-19 school year was $21,370.

That's a 145% increase (including inflation adjustment) from 1971. Median household income has only increased 28% in the same time period.

Credit.com

In 2020, 65% of all jobs in the US will require college education and training beyond high school.

Some of the highest demand for that level of education is in 3 of the fastest growing occupations—STEM, healthcare professional, and community services.

Georgetown University

The positions

Lastly, I consider myself...

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