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Obama’s ratings take another nosedive

By RICHARD COWEN
August 24, 2010

President Barack Obama: Is the magic gone? (AFP)

More Americans now disapprove of President Barack Obama than approve of him as high unemployment and government spending scare voters ahead of November’s midterm elections, Reuters/Ipsos poll found on Tuesday.

In the latest grim news for Obama’s Democrats, 72 percent of people said they were very worried about joblessness and 67 percent were very concerned about government spending.

The unemployment rate of 9.5 percent and the huge budget deficit are dragging down the Democrats and eating away at Obama’s popularity only 20 months after he took office on a wave of hope that he could turnaround the economy.

Another bit of bad economic data arrived on Tuesday when the National Association of Realtors reported sales of existing homes plummeted in July to their slowest pace in 15 years.

Piling the pressure on Obama, the top Republican in the House of Representatives called on the administration’s economic team to quit.

Obama’s disapproval rating was 52 percent in Tuesday’s poll, overtaking his approval rating for the first time in an Ipsos poll. Only 45 percent of people said they approved of the president’s performance, down from 48 percent last month.

That number, coupled with a hearty 62 percent who think the country is going in the wrong direction, could spell trouble for Democrats, who control both chambers of Congress and the White House.

But despite the bad poll numbers, a non-partisan congressional body on Tuesday backed Democrats’ claims that the massive stimulus package in 2009 kept the economy afloat.

House Republican leader John Boehner called for a fresh start on the economy. In a campaign-style speech, he urged Obama’s top economic advisers to resign, saying, “It’s time to put grown-ups in charge.”

While Obama has two more years before facing voters in a presidential election, all 435 seats in the House are up for grabs, along with 37 Senate seats and 36 governors in November’s elections.

Typically in midterm elections — when there is no presidential race — the party in power in the White House suffers losses in Congress.

The Republicans are predicted to perhaps take control of the House and win a significant number of seats in the Senate.

Forty-six percent of registered U.S. voters would likely vote for Republican candidates in November and 45 pct for Democrats, according to the Reuters/Ipsos poll, which surveyed 1,063 adults and was conducted August 19-22.

The poll has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

PATIENCE WITH OBAMA HAS ‘VANISHED’

The country’s deep worry about jobs, at a level not seen for decades on any singular issue, could prompt voters to punish Democrats who have had control of Washington since early 2009.

“The economy is really catching up to Obama and his administration,” said Ipsos pollster Cliff Young. “For a time, voters gave him the benefit of the doubt. He inherited a very dicey economic situation and they were willing to give him time,” Young said. “Patience has … basically vanished.”

Three consecutive months of decline for Obama’s approval rating is a definitive trend that could hurt Democratic candidates in November, despite progress in bringing about economic growth after a deep recession, Young said.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the emergency stimulus spending boosted economic growth between 1.7 percent and 4.5 percent in the second quarter this year. CBO said the stimulus law of 2009 also created or saved 1.4 million to 3.3 million jobs in that quarter, lowering the national unemployment rate.

Republicans were being blamed more than Democrats for using partisan tactics to block progress, according to the survey.

Thirty-six percent said Republicans were to blame for political gridlock in Washington because of fighting between the parties, while 28 percent said it was the Democrats’ fault. A total of 78 percent agreed that partisanship was stopping Washington from working effectively.

Ironically, those results came after the Democratic-controlled Congress racked up an unusual number of major legislative accomplishments, including healthcare reform and revamping the troubled financial industry.

When Congress returns in mid-September from a long summer recess, one of the top items on its agenda will be deciding whether to let tax cuts, enacted under former President George W. Bush, expire at the end of the year.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll provides lawmakers with little direction on which way to turn.

While 54 percent of those surveyed put a high priority on reducing the U.S. budget deficit, nearly half, 49 percent, said Bush’s tax cuts should be extended for all Americans, a move that could lead to significant revenue losses over the long-term. That in turn could lead to even higher deficits, unless Congress and the White House can agree on deep domestic spending cuts that typically are hard for any political party to achieve.

Copyright © 2010 Reuters Ltd.

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35 Responses to Obama’s ratings take another nosedive

  1. paulb6

    August 24, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    How could the American voter be so stupid to vote for Obama, the thinest resume that any candidate in history with a very troubling group of lifetime associates and , in the quest to vote in a black canidate we made the worst choice possible. The republicans had a phony old man who showed his colors and ruined the republicans hopes so now I await November to clean house and vote against any incumbent and again the voters say they are unhappy however they will vote there own representive back in office.

  2. Jim0001

    August 24, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Some people have the vocabulary to sum up things in a way you can understand them. This quote was translated into English from an article appearing in the Czech Republic as published in the Prager Zeitung of 28 April 2010.

    “The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of
    entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to
    limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the
    necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to
    have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more
    serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming
    the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of
    fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama,
    who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude
    of fools such as those who made him their president.”

    This articlesays it more eloquently than I ever could. Hopefully with his drop in popularity, American intelligence is on the rise. Hopefully I said, but I doubt it. We forgot LBJ and Jimmy Carter and repeated history. Only it’s more abysmal this time..

    • DejaVuAllOver

      August 25, 2010 at 12:01 am

      Only problem is, we lowly, stupid Yanks aren’t always great at choosing between the two traitors, crooks, liars, thugs, thieves, murderers and con artists our depraved media-controlled system delivers to our ballots on “Election Day.” By the time the reptile known as Obama came to us, our Masters, the Reptilians, ensured that on November 5, one of their own would become Chief Snake. No rational 7 year old can seriously claim things would have been any better under Hillary “Rattlesnake” Clinton or John “The Crock” McCain.

      Some of us hoped Obama was different, but I think we knew all along that only Reptiles get to climb the ladder to the “top.”

  3. Carl Nemo

    August 25, 2010 at 1:33 am

    “The unemployment rate of 9.5 percent and the huge budget deficit are dragging down the Democrats and eating away at Obama’s popularity only 20 months after he took office on a wave of hope that he could turnaround the economy.” …extract from article.

    How about 16.5% for the true unemployment rate and even that is understatement along with a budget deficit that’s now in the the orbit of Uranus relative to the length of dollar bill to distance…!

    This young fella is in over his head and is now realizing that being too smooth and articulate without substance will bite you in the ass bigtime for sure…! : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  4. Bogofree

    August 25, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Jobs few and far between.

    Housing market tanks.

    Stocks sluggish.

    Afghanistan a mess.

    I hope Obama’s health care has excellent mental health provisions as many of us will need it.

  5. Jim0001

    August 25, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Obama got elected by never committing to anything concrete.
    All he ever talked about was how America would feel never offering a plan.
    America bought his sales pitch.
    With only 150 days as a Senator and not having any kind of a track record except for some questionable radical associations,America bought his sales pitch.
    He has been president for some 20 months, he is still espousing campaign BS, no plan, and a percentage of America is still buying his sales pitch.
    One should understand what change they are going to get before embracing it.
    Unfortunately in today’s times we vote against someone rather than for someone (eg. McCain vs Obama). No good choices.

  6. Carl Nemo

    August 25, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    “Unfortunately in today’s times we vote against someone rather than for someone (eg. McCain vs Obama). No good choices.” …extract from post

    Spot-on Jim0001 and that’s the crux of the problem. This is what the powerbrokers decided to offer the electorate and then used their solely owned MSM to shove this foul politcal product down our collective throats. We both see and suffer the results.

    Now it seems “Mad John McPain” is resurrecting himself in Arizona and has promised to run again. It’s doubtful he’ll be embraced by the powerbrokers, since they always use that which is saleable to the American public, but then again who knows. Voting for either is always bad for us, but great for the MIC and corporate AmeriKa in general…no?

    Carl Nemo **==

  7. jim0001

    August 25, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    McCain like Dole, another honorable vet, got the nod because, either it was their time or they were sacrifical lambs offered in an off year. certainly not for the good of the Republic.

    This can explain how Pelosi/Reid attained their positions also.

    I am an American citizen and deserve and have paid for better representation than is being offered. VOTE ALL THE BUMS / BUMETTES OUT!!!

  8. woody188

    August 26, 2010 at 1:38 am

    The economy has a lot to do with it, but there are things they could do to restore faith in our government that are basically free, like restoring habeas corpus, ending executive assassination, decriminalizing and regulating Marijuana, etc. How about ending military contracts with companies that run off to Dubai (aka Blackwater, now Xe) instead of continued funding?

    There are lots of things that could be done. Why aren’t any of them being done?

  9. Bogofree

    August 26, 2010 at 8:50 am

    How about no taxes – state or federal – on American made goods and a 15% VAT on all foreign goods?

    How about not using SS as a piggy bank?

    How about zero foreign aide (bribes)?

    • Guardhouse lawyer

      August 26, 2010 at 12:51 pm

      “How about no taxes – state or federal – on American made goods and a 15% VAT on all foreign goods?”

      No state sales tax: your state (and most others) comes to a screeching halt. Most states rely very heavily on sales tax revenue to fund their operations. Alternative: raise the state income tax. That’s probably gonna shift the tax burdens from across the board to the middle income people, who bear the brunt of almost all income taxes.

      15% VAT on foreign goods. Hmmm. So everything goes up 15% automatically. Already hard-pressed Americans who have to shop at Wally’s world because they can’t afford anywhere else are going to really hate that.

      And what about all the Toyotas, Beemers, Nissans, etc. etc. which are built right here in the US? Are those foreign goods? Or domestic.

      And what is going to happen when the countries who buy our exports put retaliatory import duties on our stuff. Regardless of whether you call it a VAT or not, a tax on imported goods is nothing more than an import duty.

      If you think the recession is bad now, just wait until you cannot sell ANYTHING overseas.

      • jim0001

        August 26, 2010 at 9:18 pm

        Have you thought about why the states need all these taxes?
        Because, big brother fed is giving the states a portion of their stolen money back to them. Where in the heck did the 10th amendment disappear to? I give a rip about Pelosi or California. I could give a rip about Nevada and Reid. The citizens of those states created their problems as did the uninformed electorate in my state.
        Problems are best resolved at the lowest level, dude.
        I’ll start with my county. If, it’s a national defense issue, then I’ll look to the sorry fed.
        If the fed cannot do their job (open borders) then we must seek solutions as Az has done. Smell the roses.

        • Bogofree

          August 28, 2010 at 8:54 am

          Massachusetts is now ranked third in income tax and 11th in property taxes in the nation.

          http://www.taxfoundation.org/

  10. Bogofree

    August 26, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    My state – Massachusetts – already had a sales tax holiday and it worked out rather well. Too many folks head north to New Hampshire to enjoy tax free shopping. I have as do many others. Massachusetts has already raised the sales tax from 5% to 6.25% and now faces a referendum to lower it to 3% which was the original level 30 or so years ago when it was installed as a temporary tax. That the sales tax is regressive can certainly be argued. Massachusetts also has a state tax that has also been raised over the years either by percentage increases or exclusion or manipulation of deductions. In New Hampshire they have neither and it has resulted in an influx to that state. Their higher property taxes are often off set my lower home values in comparison to Massachusetts. The NH governor loves to take pot shots at Massachusetts by thanking them for increasing taxes since it increases shopping in NH and allows businesses to move north. Great political theater.

    The idea of a VAT was just tossed out there for discussion purposes. I really don’t care for the idea of it but I do see a need for stimulating business for American manufactured goods. I’m sure you have a plate full of ideas as others do. We’ll just toss them out and see the potential pro and con to it. I certainly can see gaping holes in what I proposed but I can also see potential if tweaked correctly.

    Foreign manufacturers building here is obviously not a foreign product but what about parts? The new Boeing Dream Liner has parts from all over the place and it would be interesting to see how anything like that would be applied.

    • Carl Nemo

      August 26, 2010 at 9:29 pm

      My wife and I always loved to visit New Hampshire in the fall of year when I was stationed in Connecticut for short periods. Their state motto also causes the hair on the back of my neck to standup and for me to get a lump in my throat; ie., “Live free or die”…! What’s interesting is it was only adopted in 1945 which is also the year of my birth. I concur…! : |

      Carl Nemo **==

  11. woody188

    August 26, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Decriminalizing marijuana is a no-brainer. It would mean an end to the $40 billion dollar War on Drugs as 90% of that war (750,000 drug marijuana arrests per year, 3/4 of which are for simple possession) is spent on marijuana charges. It is estimated regulating/taxing marijuana would add multi-billions in tax revenue at a time when revenue from income taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes are plummeting.

    I can imagine a day when our schools could be entirely funded by a marijuana tax ending the property tax for many states/counties. That would add thousands of dollars per household back into the real economy at a level where it will do real good provided it isn’t spent at Wal-mart on cheap imports.

    Yes, like alcohol, there will be some down sides, addiction and intoxicated driving, which already exist even with prohibition. But if the solution for alcohol abuse, which is arguably worse for the body than marijuana, was to end prohibition and regulate/tax the product taking the profit away from the Mob/Mafia, why isn’t that true with marijuana as well?

    • woody188

      August 26, 2010 at 2:25 pm

      I keep plugging this because we are at a point today where polls show 50% agree with decriminalizing marijuana, more than in the 60’s and 70’s. How many more years will we allow the failed War on Drugs to continue?

      Isn’t 30 years enough to see it has failed utterly and completely to reach it’s goal?

      • Carl Nemo

        August 26, 2010 at 9:34 pm

        I concur Woody188 along with an Amen…!

        Carl Nemo **==

  12. Bogofree

    August 26, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Well said, Woody.

    I like symbolic gestures such as having Congress under SS and even all government employees.

    My personal feeling is government has enough money but the problem is how they choose to allocate it.

    • woody188

      August 26, 2010 at 3:34 pm

      Another reason why I didn’t like McCain, he is a millionaire, but is collecting Social Security. Sure, he paid into it, but he should know it takes current receipts to pay him back, which are dwindling. Any decent millionaire that didn’t need Social Security to live on should not accept it, or give it to charity. But not McCain. No millionaire left behind, that’s McCain’s America.

      • Carl Nemo

        August 26, 2010 at 9:16 pm

        What people fail to realize is that John McCain the naval pilot then prisoner of war is not John McCain the aged Senator. It’s said we all change every ten years. This man has shed his skin at least five times since his youth in his 20’s and has morphed into something quite ugly as far as being a citizen friendly representative. Why the people of Arizona keep reelecting his is beyond me. : |

        He’s degenerated into a venal, power hungry “applause junkie”, results be damned. I surely hope somehow he does not get reelected in the general election this November. As a note: Cindy McCain his wife’s fortune is estimated to be in excess of 100 million dollars. / : |

        Carl Nemo **==

        • jim0001

          August 26, 2010 at 9:25 pm

          Cindy is more successful than John. She has run a business in the private sector. More than most elected officials have done.
          She’s smart enough to stay out of politics and merely enables her husband to persue his folly.
          A large number of officers I served under in the military were overwhelmed by their own egos, omnipotence and self aggrandized worth to their environment..

      • jim0001

        August 26, 2010 at 10:26 pm

        Is he a millionaire or is cindy? I don’t know. His guranteed for life, “I represent the unwashed masses” position provides him with his for life senators salary. (6 years and you are vested, 2 years as a rep).

  13. jim0001

    August 26, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    An afterthought. Has Cindy contributed more than John (post military) has?
    With her orphan work, etc. methinks she is the more productive citizen.

    • Carl Nemo

      August 26, 2010 at 10:49 pm

      An odd comparison Jim0001, but you are spot-on. : )

      Carl Nemo **==

  14. minimalist

    August 26, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Funny how an article on our President becomes a diatribe against McCain.

    • woody188

      August 26, 2010 at 11:24 pm

      I find it a prudent look back at how we were screwed either way before the election even occurred. What choice was there? Evil or evil, so evil won, imagine that…

  15. minimalist

    August 26, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    • Carl Nemo

      August 27, 2010 at 6:48 am

      Bingo! Thanks minimalist for the links that possibly tie Obama & family to the CIA.

      None of this shocks me because for quite some time I’ve been a proponent of the idea that our very government has been compromised by this agency with H.W. Bush, Mr. CIA having a key role in this long term “project”. The Clinton’s too have worked on behest of the agency by allowing them to build the clandestine, illegal CIA base in Mena, Arkansas back in the late 80’s to facilitate Iran/Contra.

      The CIA is perpetually meddling in the affairs of nations even the politics of our homeland. Instead the agency being subordinate to the leadership they’ve slowly but surely compromised such and are even in the business of creating synthetic candidates such our new “dear leader”.

      Everything and I mean everything has become “smoke and mirrors” when it comes to politics and the affairs of the world in general. Here’s a link to an article written in “1975 concerning the CIA and this monster has grown along with the NSA, DIA, NRO, Homeland ‘Security’ into the “Big Brother” of Orwell’s seminal work “1984”.

      http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Zinn/Rockefeller_BoysClub.html

      There’s a host of articles linked to “Third World Traveler” that will convince a savvy reader that we are all living in a “The Matrix” environment as the movie. This isn’t conspiracy theory, it’s far worse once it sinks into one’s consciousness as to what we now have for a government.

      *****

      “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth is revolutionary.”
      George Orwell

      *****

      Carl Nemo **==

      • griff

        August 28, 2010 at 10:38 am

        Does General Smedley Butler ring a bell?

  16. griff

    August 27, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Marionette Obama dances on the same twisted strings as did his predecessor. And his predecessor. And his predecessor…et al, going back to the turn of the last century.

    Dance, Barry, Daaannnncccceeee!

  17. Carl Nemo

    August 28, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    You mean the author of “War is a Racket”. I read the tome about 25 years ago. Our entire government and its processes have degenerated into nothing but a racket being operated by crimpol mobsters enfranchised by the ballot box.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler

    Carl Nemo **==

    • griff

      August 28, 2010 at 2:59 pm

      That would be the one.