As the so-called Stimulus Bill passes the House of Representatives and is sent on to the Senate, the media is making a big fuss over a new Rasmussen poll which seems to suggest an increase in acceptance for the Stimulus Bill linked to a slight increase in support for President Obama after his recent multi-state speaking campaign. However, they are missing an underlying current of anger and dissatisfaction directed at legislators and at the Stimulus Package which shows up clearly in other polls.
The Rasmussen Poll which came out Thursday shows a 7 point increase in support for the Stimulus Bill, up to 44% which still means that 56% don’t actively support the bill, but it is at least better than numbers which had been declining since the beginning of the month, sliding as low as 32% support.
But that poll which is getting so much press is just one poll and others tell us something very different and much less positive about public attitudes towards the Stimulus Bill.
For example, people are very skeptical that the bill will even work. Opinion Dynamics shows 55% unsure that the bill will do anything positive and Gallup has 78% of those they polled somewhat concerned or very concerned that the stimulus will not work. On another key question, 79% of those polled by CBS News do not believe that the bill will significantly shorten the recession at all. Overall people are skeptical and lack confidence in the stimulus, with Gallup showing 53% believing that the bill will either not improve conditions for their family or make them worse. RealClearPolitics aggregate of all the major polls shows 60% of the population believing that the country as a whole is heading in the wrong direction.
Polls also show that people across the nation have specific issues with the Stimulus Bill. CBS News shows very strong opposition to the makeup of the stimulus. In their poll only 22% prefer government spending to tax cuts for businesses and only 16% prefer government spending to tax cuts in general. Gallup has 54% wanting the bill either substantially revised to include more tax cuts or rejected altogether. A Diageo/Hotline poll asked people to rank what was most important in the bill and tax cuts for businesses came in highest at 27%, 10 points ahead of the next most popular choice with more money for unemployment and infrastructure coming in last and second to last. In the CBS poll 81% thought that the stimulus should only pass with bipartisan support, which has not been the case except for a few rogue Republicans. Ironically on that same poll, even though it wasn’t a listed option 3% of respondents wrote in that they’d rather not have the bill passed at all.
So all of this raises the question of what is going through the heads of our representatives in Congress. Are they so blinded by greed and self-importance that they can ignore every sign of what a bad idea massive spending for ineffective stimulus is? The American people can see it. The polls clearly show that they don’t trust the stimulus, don’t trust the Congress and despite the constant claims that they are too simple to have an opinion, they clearly understand that tax cuts for businesses do more good than handouts and spending to generate short term, low wage jobs. Most Americans have the common sense to realize that you can’t spend your way out of debt.
Plus it’s not just some whim of the people. economists from the Federal Reserve and hundreds more from major think tanks have studied the history of recessions and of government responses to them and concluded that massive spending just makes recessions longer and more destructive. The historical evidence agrees with the gut instinct of the people that out of control spending will only worsen the current economic crisis.
The problem is that the people who are making this decision are not listening to the experts or the people. They aren’t even reading the bill they’re voting on. They’re listening to special interests and political operatives and lobbyists. That’s no way to make policy when the welfare of 300 million people is at stake. Congress has ceased to serve the people and no longer even tries to make decisions in their best interests. They are like a dog which has turned its master and needs to be put down in the interest of public safety.
When this plan passes against good sense and the will of the people and when it fails and drives the economy into depression, the people must remember and they must demand a harsh reckoning for the politicians who ignored and betrayed them.