Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Obama Slide

Obama's popularity is plunging. President Obama is proving himself to be relatively incompetent. And, after eight years of George Bush, the bar for competency was set quite low. Obama is proving he can do more damage to the economy than Bush, can spend more than Bush, can create bigger deficits than Bush, can expand the Afghan war beyond Bush, ad nauseam. Add in his bungling appointments and his clear cut radical agenda regarding the economy and Obama is earning his decline in support.

It isn't that I'm opposed to a radical change in the economy. But Obama's radicalism is to magnify all the bad things that Bush did several fold over.

Rasmussen polls have charted the plummeting support for Obama. As Obama pushes more radical expansions of government control over the economy his support is declining. As this blog argued last year, during the election, support for Obama was not support for his inane economic policies. People supported Obama because he was NOT George Bush. I argued that there was no significant support for Obama's economic agenda but that the Democrats were too stupid to realize this. That stupidity still abounds.

While the Obama regime is trying to increase state control over financial services, the very thing which helped create this economic mess, few Americans support that plan. Only 11% of the public believes that the state can run financial services better than private industry. Even 70% of government bureaucrats say that government will do a worse job.

A plurality of the public, 45% to 34%, wants the bailouts ended. Rasmussen also measures support using a Populist vs Political class criteria. While their use of the term Populist is misleading the analysis is interesting. A Populist would basically argue that the judgment of the public is better than the judgment of politicians, they would argue that the government is itself a special interest group looking out for its own interests, and that government and big business work in collusion in ways that hurt consumers and investors. Generally, a populist is the opposite of a libertarian, in this case the two categories have complete overlap.

What Rasmussen found was that 55% of all Americans would accept all three of the premises outlined above. If this is true then I'm astounded and pleased. Only 7% completely side with the Political Class in this measure. When those who fall in the middle, but lean in one direction, are included then the Political Class is 14% of the public and the "Populists" are 75%. When it comes to the bailout issue the difference between these two viewpoints is clear.
As with other topics concerning bailouts, there is a huge gap between the Political Class and Mainstream America on this issue. By a 76% to nine percent (9%) margin, the Political Class believes the bailout should continue. By a 58% to 26% margin, those with Populist views disagree and say the bailouts should stop. Most Americans have Populist attitudes and their perspective can reasonably be considered the perspective of Mainstream America.
The majority of the public believes, correctly I might add, that the bailouts are rewarding the very people who caused the problems we are experiencing: "68% of Americans now believe most of the taxpayer money given out as bailouts is going to the very people who created the country's current economic crisis." Those who invest in the economy believe this slightly more strongly (70%).

More proof that the public has not bought into the Obama agenda is that a plurality (43% vs 33%) say that a government health plan will make matters worse. A slightly larger plurality (47% vs 35%) believe the solution is the expansion of private health care and only 29% want a national health insurance scheme run by government. Even a plurality of Democrats (35% to 26%) oppose socialized medicine.

Most Americans want tax cuts not bailouts. Rasmussen says that in the years of tracking support for tax cuts the proposal now has more support than ever, with 63% saying tax cuts would benefit the country. Only 13% oppose tax cuts. A majority also believe that tax increases will harm the economy.

A recent survey shows that the sentiments of Ronald Reagan are still popular with Americas. The recent poll found that 59% of the public agree with Reagan's view "government is not the solution, government is the problem." Only 28% disagreed and 14% don't know if they agree or not. When asked if they agreed with the view that "No matter how bad things are, Congress can always find a way to make them worse" 58% agreed. Only 26% disagreed.

All these statistics indicate that Americans hold a relatively libertarian view in regards to the economy. I still believe that a Republican candidate holding such views can do very well, if he sticks to the limited government message. Unfortunately none have done that. Even Ron Paul had to spout off about making abortion illegal and continually drifted in Looneyland with his banking conspiracies, North American Union garbage. Most Americans do not support the Religious Right moralistic policies yet the Republican Party is held hostage to our version of the Taliban. All of this alienates a public that is clearly ready and willing to vote for a Republican. But the GOP prattles on about God, prayer in schools, hating gays, and moralistic bullshit that doesn't appeal to anyone but brain-dead fundamentalists. The Republican Party is guilty of self-immolation or perhaps it is more accurate to say they have crucified themselves on a cross of intolerance and religious fanaticism.

Clearly the Republican Party can resurrect itself, but only if it ignores the American Taliban, adopts a policy of social tolerance, and sticks to the core economic principles. Unfortunately it puts religion before policy and that has little appeal with the public.

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