First some recent polling data:
– 68% think the money the federal government has spent on the economic stimulus has been mostly “mostly wasted.” (ABC News/Washington Post Poll. Sept. 30-Oct. 3.)
– 61% “don’ t think” Barack Obama’s policies have made the economy better. (CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll. Sept. 21-23.)
– 78% trust government only “some of the time or never.” [Same as in 1994 and 20 points higher than when Reagan was election in 1980. The 11% saying “never” is an record high.] (New York Times-CBS Oct. 21-26.)
– Between 55% to 36%, respondents says they would rather have smaller government providing fewer services than the opposite. (New York Times-CBS Oct. 21-26.)
– 21% percent say cutting government spending is the most important issue to them. 66% say it is important but so are other issues. (New York Times-CBS Oct. 21-26.)
– A recent CBS poll had “economy/jobs” as the top priority of 54% of voters. No other issue had a double digit percentage vote. “Federal deficit, spending” had 27%.
– A variety of polls show TARP and the automaker bailout to still be wildly unpopular by 2-to-1 or worse.
–77% favor extending the Bush tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 a year, while 15% oppose extending them. (Schoen)
– Half favor extending the Bush tax cuts for all Americans, including those making $250,000 or more a year, while 40% oppose this. (Schoen)
– 52% favor repealing the new health care law that was passed earlier this year, while 38% oppose repealing it. (Schoen) A Pew Poll puts that number at 51-41.
And now a few observations:
1. Americans don’t blame Obama for the economy, but blame him for not fixing it — which is what he was hired to do. Mission Not Accomplished.
2. The Obama agenda is unpopular, and Americans see it as a distraction from dealing with unemployment.
3. Americans are worried about spending and deficits, but have not made the mental leap to restricting entitlements.
4. Americans may not think government is necessarily the problem, but they are pretty sure it’s not the solution.