Obama seems to be losing the economic debate right now. Apparently, blaming everything that’s wrong on Bush while simultaneously spending the national budget into even deeper black holes than it was in before isn’t a sound political strategy.
In Poll, Obama Is Seen as Ineffective on the Economy
A substantial majority of Americans say President Obama has not developed a strategy to deal with the budget deficit, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, which also found that support for his plans to overhaul health care, rescue the auto industry and close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, falls well below his job approval ratings.
A poll by the Wall Street Journal seems to reflect these same results:
WASHINGTON — After a fairly smooth opening, President Barack Obama faces new concerns among the American public about the budget deficit and government intervention in the economy as he works to enact ambitious health and energy legislation, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds.
These rising doubts threaten to overshadow the president’s personal popularity and his agenda, in what may be a new phase of the Obama presidency.
According to the Times’ poll, 52% of Americans think the government shouldn’t be trying to stimulate the economy by spending money and should instead be focusing on reducing deficits. A full 60% of Americans feel that Obama has no plan to reduce budget deficits.
Though overall Obama is still enjoying high approval ratings, as most Presidents have at this point in their first terms in office, this disapproval of his overall approach to the key economic issues he’s based so much of his campaign and first months in office on is going to come back and bite him. And, indeed, his party’s (allegedly temporary) retreat from the nationalized health care issue after a devastating CBO report on the cost in tax dollars of their plan would seem to indicate that he’s already taking a beating on economic and budgeting issues.
This also explains why Obama has, of late, suddenly been invoking tired of liberal talking points like pay-as-you-go budgeting, or “paygo.” Though invoking that oft-used and loophole-riddled bit of budget trickery – which allows big spending with only the promise of raising taxes/revenues at some point in the future to pay for it – isn’t likely to convince anyone.
Really, this illustrates just how smart it was for Republicans to resist the immense pressure from the liberals and their mouthpieces in the media to jump on board with the “stimulus” spending spree. That massive bit of spending, which will continue to happen even as Americans grow more and more dissatisfied with the Obama administration’s profligacy, is owned completely by the Democrats.
Though I certainly think that at some point the Republicans need to start offering Americans a distinct platform of ideas to vote for that contrast sharply with what the Democrats are offering if they ever want to get out of the wilderness, for now I think they can just keep feeding the Democrats rope.