Thursday, March 03, 2011

You're their leader, Obama -- follow them

Widely reported is the new NBC/WSJ poll on how Americans want to handle the deficit:
[The survey] listed 26 different ways to reduce the federal budget deficit. The most popular: placing a surtax on federal income taxes for those who make more than $1 million per year (81 percent said that was acceptable), eliminating spending on earmarks (78 percent) [because no one knows what an "earmark" is but it sounds bad], eliminating funding for weapons systems the Defense Department says aren’t necessary (76 percent) and eliminating tax credits for the oil and gas industries (74 percent).

The least popular: cutting funding for Medicaid, the federal government health-care program for the poor (32 percent said that was acceptable); cutting funding for Medicare, the federal government health-care program for seniors (23 percent); cutting funding for K-12 education (22 percent); and cutting funding for Social Security (22 percent).
The Democrats in Congress, perhaps because they are millionaires themselves, absolutely will not get behind the public. Obama needs to do it.

The article goes on to note that jobs, not budget cuts, are the major concern for the public, and then suggests why the GOP can't or won't listen (besides the obvious, that they are elected to make the rich richer and the poor poorer):
Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted the survey with Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, says these results are a “cautionary sign” for a Republican Party pursuing deep budget cuts.

He points out that the Americans who are most concerned about spending cuts are core Republicans and Tea Party supporters, not independents and swing voters.

It may be hard to understand why a person might jump off a cliff, unless you understand they’re being chased by a tiger,” he said. “That tiger is the Tea Party.”
With any luck, the GOP wins in 2010 may be a blessing for the Dems in 2012, as the public gets a reminder of what the GOP stands for. But Obama has to do more than sit on his hands.

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