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Once again, Obama plays fast and loose with facts

By CALVIN WOODWARD
July 17, 2011

President Barack Obama (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

You might say President Barack Obama cut himself some extra margin of error when he claimed 80 percent of Americans want the debt crisis solved with a mix of tax increases and spending cuts.

Polling does suggest, as Obama said, that Americans overall and even Republican voters are open to higher taxes as part of the solution. But claiming support from 8 in 10 people was a reach.

A look at his statements on Friday about polling and how they compare with the actual findings:

OBAMA: “You have 80 percent of the American people who support a balanced approach. Eighty percent of the American people support an approach that includes revenues and includes cuts. So the notion that somehow the American people aren’t sold is not the problem.”

THE POLLS: A Gallup poll, cited by the White House as the main basis for Obama’s statement, actually found that 69 percent supported tackling the deficit with a mix of spending cuts and tax increases. An additional 4 percent favored tax increases only — a group that does not endorse Obama’s “balanced” approach but could reasonably be counted on his side. That brings his support to 73 percent at most in that poll.

Obama can get closer to 80 percent, but only by counting those who don’t belong in that group: people who declined to give an opinion or volunteered an idea of their own to reduce deficits.

Overall, the poll found Americans favor spending cuts much more than tax increases, while supporting a mix of both.

The polling, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points, was conducted July 7-10.

Similarly, in a Quinnipiac poll this week, 67 percent favored raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations as part of the debt-control effort while 25 percent said that should be done with spending cuts only.

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OBAMA: “The clear majority of Republican voters think that any deficit reduction package should have a balanced approach and should include some revenues.”

THE POLLING: The Gallup poll indeed found majority Republican support for a mix of spending cuts and higher taxes. Other polls have not.

In the Gallup poll, 41 percent of Republicans supported a package of mostly spending cuts — meaning some tax increases — and 24 percent favored an equal share of higher tax revenue and lower federal spending. Counting the few who wanted tax increases to be the main driver of deficit reduction, 67 percent of Republicans favored a mixed approach. The poll surveyed adults generally and was not limited to voters, as Obama suggested.

In contrast, 48 percent of Republicans in the Quinnipiac poll — which was limited to registered voters — said the problem should be tackled with spending cuts only and just 43 percent said to include some tax increases, too.

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AP Deputy Polling Director Jennifer Agiesta contributed to this report.

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8 Responses to Once again, Obama plays fast and loose with facts

  1. ray

    July 18, 2011 at 10:58 am

    clearly the author could not find anything important to write about … what should he have said 73.247%? playing fast and loose implies lying or very misleading facts. in this case it is not so. the number are close enough to be in the same 10 yard space.

  2. Almandine

    July 18, 2011 at 11:26 am

    It must be at least 50%, given that half the people are supported by the other half.

    “… a democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largesse out of the public treasury. From that moment on the majority, he said, always vote for the candidate promising the most benefits from the treasury with the result that democracy always collpases over a loose fiscal policy, always to be followed by a dictatorship.”
    Alexander Tytler

    • woody188

      July 18, 2011 at 7:54 pm

      I guess the question then is, if the Senate gives Obama sole power over the fiscal policy, is our system still a democracy, or a dictatorship?

      Also, with the (s)elected politicians clearly preferring the corporate citizen over the flesh and blood ones, do we really have representation unless we own a corporation?

  3. b mcclellan

    July 18, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    That quote gives startling evidence of a keen mind and great foresight so it leads me to ask you this.
    Given that I became a wage earner in 1964 and like those before me and those after, forced to pay taxes and contribute to social security for all these years, when I file next year for what is rightfully mine will you pigeonhole me as a welfare recipient or a grubby entitlement sponge Al ?

    If underpaid and overworked for all these years makes me beholding to the golf cart crowd then why haven’t I opted to just go blow my brains out and ease their pain.
    Hell I earned every penny of the pittance I will receive, and more.

    A 50% projection of the lower middle class being scabs and entitlement freeloaders coming from you is twice as insulting as it is from some pencil necked geek of privilege.
    Whose side are you on Sir ?

    • Almandine

      July 18, 2011 at 8:25 pm

      Regarding SS, that’s your money. You paid it in… as did I, who will also be getting to fish more soon. Ever add up your retirement contributions on that statement you get every couple of years? Considering that your employer, or you if self employed, also paid an equal amount, that ought to be a tidy little sum.

      As you properly imagine, my beef is with those who are the scabs.

      • Almandine

        July 18, 2011 at 8:27 pm

        Actually, my beef is also with those pols who would be co-dependent with them, just for the votes they provide to keep them in office.

        • b mcclellan

          July 18, 2011 at 10:27 pm

          The millionaire club or the bespectacled accountant with big shoes of overreach .
          Might I have a case,
          too rest ?

  4. Carl Nemo

    July 18, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    As I’ve mentioned over time, I analyze photo’s supplied with articles. When I fetch CHB more often than not this article along with Obama’s piercing, menacing eyes are staring at me as to a host of other www viewers.

    Then it dawned on me this is the perfect representation of George Orwell’s “Big Brother” construct. Visualise this image, rendered in sepiatone to convey a menacing effect shown on billboard sized active displays nationwide in malls, central gathering places on your HDTV screen a number of times a day similar to a FEMA alerts along with his droning articulation along with imbedded subliminal reinforcement instructing us all as to our duties as good citizens to the state. Scary indeed…no?

    To add value to my scenario, Federal mandates now have TSA security cameras in every household of their New AmeriKa in every room that cannot be redirected or turned off without getting a knock on the door and possibly a one way trip to a reeducation camp or worse. Think it can’t happen here, then think again. Great Britian is one of the most wired nation’s on earth, surveilling just about anything and everything; the very birthplace of George Orwell the writer. Possibly like Nostradamus he had the gift of seeing the future.

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

    As a followup: Many American cities are now wired to the gunnels, surveilling activity on every streetcorner, public building etc.all in the name of more effective law enforcement and security. Webcams are everywhere including America’s highway system and a host of public gathering places. “Big Brother Lives”…!

    Carl Nemo **==