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The Hoax of the Spending Freeze January 27, 2010

Posted by seeineye in : Politics , add a comment

A spending freeze actually locks in a high level of spending that was ratcheted up last year, Krauthammer hits the nail on the head here…

Barack Obama is actually pulling a David Copperfield with this spending freeze

Krauthammer: “What he doesn’t tell you is that last year, their first year in office when they had a free ride in spending, they ratcheted up the spending for all of these departments astronomically an average of the last half of fiscal ’09 and all of fiscal ’10 an average about 20%, now that’s huge ’cause normally year over year you increase a department’s spending 3% or 4% especially with low inflation.

So for example, last year alone, they increased the EPA budget by 35%, so if you’re instituting a freeze, what you’re doing, you’re ratcheting in, you’re locking in the higher spending that Obama slid in last year…So what the freeze is doing essentially is the opposite of what it looks like, instead of reducing the spending, it’s locking in these huge increases that were instituted last year”

Americans Want Obama to Focus More on Economy January 27, 2010

Posted by seeineye in : Politics , add a comment

by The Wall Street Journal

In the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, Americans believe the president should be spending more time on the economy.

On the eve of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, voters think the president should be spending more time on the economy.

According to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, 51% of Americans believe Mr. Obama has paid “too little attention” to the economy. Forty-four percent think he has paid “too much attention” to his proposed overhaul of health care. A plurality continues to think that Mr. Obama’s health-care plan is a bad idea.

Wednesday night’s address marks a key moment in the White House’s efforts to recover from a difficult year and try to strengthen the Democratic Party to minimize election losses in November.

In the speech, Mr. Obama will make a renewed focus on the economy and rising government deficits, with proposals such as a spending freeze in certain areas, designed to underscore the president’s pivot to fiscal matters and away from an all-hands focus on transforming health care. The survey shows that the public should welcome the shift, which the White House has put into high gear since the Democrats’ loss of a Senate seat in Massachusetts last week.

The number of people who approve of the job Mr. Obama is doing on the economy ticked up to 47%, up five points from the December survey. And only 27% registered voters said their decision on whom to support in the November congressional elections would be “a vote to send a signal of opposition” to the president.

The numbers, while still gloomy for a president who one year ago was beloved by the public, suggest that the president’s months-long slide in the polls might have stabilized. Even though his poll ratings have slipped steeply since taking office, the poll suggests he enjoys deeper support in the country than members of Congress from either party.

A plurality of those polled believes last week’s victory in Massachusetts by Republican Scott Brown, who campaigned as the Senate’s 41st vote to block the Democrats’ agenda, was “aimed at sending a message to Washington.”

“It is just an angry public,” said Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff. “Who’s to blame? The answer is, Democrats in Congress are to blame, Republicans in Congress are to blame and the president less so.”

Mr. McInturff cautioned that the upticks in support for Mr. Obama were relatively small and not significant enough to suggest that the president or his party have turned around their fortunes.

The number of Americans who feel the country is headed in the wrong direction, for example, has risen to 58%, the highest number since before Mr. Obama’s inauguration.

And given the poll’s margin of error, Mr. Obama’s overall approval rating of 50% is not statistically different than his 47% approval in December. Forty-four percent say they disapprove of the job he is doing.

Among independents, a group expected to play an important role in November’s elections, the survey shows Mr. Obama continuing to struggle. Fifty-one percent disapprove of the job he is doing, a reversal from Election Day 2008, when a slight majority voted for him.

“There’s no reason to believe that Massachusetts should be a bottom” for the president or his party, said Mr. McInturff. “You’d anticipate the president over time would have a hard time getting out of this.”

The survey shows that Republicans remain far more interested in the November elections than Democrats, indicating that Mr. Obama’s party faces a persistent challenge: reenergizing core supporters while also finding a way to reassure a skeptical middle.

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