Poll shows Americans getting more pessimistic on economy, want spending cuts

posted at 3:21 pm on May 16, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

And in other news, water is wet.  Anyone paying attention to the polls will not see any significant change over the last few months.  Voters don’t want new taxes, and they are more worried now than last year about economic retreat:

Forty-six percent of voters say they feel worse off than they did a year ago, almost three times as many as the 16 percent who feel more affluent. Around one-third of voters — 36 percent — say their economic situation has remained essentially unchanged from 12 months ago. …

Voters don’t want to see taxes increased in response to the growing fiscal pressures facing the nation, the poll also indicated. Instead, they prefer significant cuts to government spending as a remedy.

Presented with a menu of choices to help curb the national debt and federal deficit, almost half of voters — 45 percent — support spending cuts alone, the poll indicates. By contrast, only 13 percent favor an even split between cutting spending and raising revenue through tax increases.

By a margin of two-to-one, respondents also said they would be unwilling to see any increase in their own tax rates even if this helped reduce the debt and deficits. Only 28 percent said they would be prepared to pay higher taxes, while 56 percent said they would not.

In fact, respondents narrowly support lowering taxes as a stimulus, 45/39.  The poll splits evenly between Democrats and Republicans on which party gets more trust on economic policy, but that won’t last long if Democrats put forth a tax-hike budget plan, especially along the lines of the Senate’s notion of 50/50 deficit reduction between spending cuts and tax hikes.  Only 13% of respondents backed that notion, with another 11% supporting a 2/1 split for spending cuts to tax hikes, and 15% for a 3/1 split.

Boehner declaring tax hikes “off the table” is a politically strong position for Republicans to take.  In the fight over the debt limit, the national mood for spending cuts will force Democrats to give a lot of ground to the GOP if they want a raise in the debt ceiling.  That will still depend on GOP courage to fight for the best deal they can cut.  Having declared tax hikes off the table, Boehner has to be careful to avoid a “read my lips” moment in the weeks ahead.

Meanwhile, Gallup’s latest poll shows that economic pessimism is accelerating:

Three in four Americans name some type of economic issue as the “most important problem” facing the country today — the highest net mentions of the economy in two years. …

General economic concerns (35%) and unemployment (22%) are the specific issues currently at the forefront of Americans’ minds. The percentage mentioning the economy in general is up significantly from 26% in April, while unemployment is up just slightly from 19%.

Twelve percent of Americans mention the federal budget deficit or federal debt as the nation’s most important problem, down from 17% in April, although still high on a historical basis. The April reading was the highest Gallup found since 1996.

The highest non-economic concern garnered all of 8%, tied for second-to-last among economic concerns, and that was dissatisfaction with the current political class — which is likely to have been aggravated by the poor economic performance.  The next one down was health care at 5%, tied for dead last among economic concerns with “lack of money.”  Interestingly but not surprisingly, there isn’t a single environmental concern on the list, and the wars are tied for last at 4%.

When America goes to the polls in 2012, the economy will decide the election — and right now, that’s very bad news for Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress.


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Forty-six percent of voters say they feel worse off than they did a year ago

Not all of that 46% are Republicans. Bye Obama.

Kataklysmic on May 16, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Just trust us. We know what’s best for you…….

sheesh on May 16, 2011 at 3:24 PM

(trots out Bin Laden corpose)

Hey! Look at what I have here!

Now if you don’t elect me, he’ll come back to life and the GOP will build moats with alligators or something.

YES WE CAN!

Good Lt on May 16, 2011 at 3:26 PM

Voters don’t want to see taxes increased in response to the growing fiscal pressures facing the nation, the poll also indicated. Instead, they prefer significant cuts to government spending as a remedy.

They aren’t listening to their betters in DC, obviously.

Vashta.Nerada on May 16, 2011 at 3:26 PM

On a related note:

This headline is misleading. Boeing has not made this decision–this article sums things up and presents a “what if” scenario that we all know could happen.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/2011/05/nlrbs-boeing-suit-could-send-us-jobs-overseas

Report for Sen. DeMint:
http://dailycaller.com/2011/05/16/right-to-work-states-economically-better-off-study/

INC on May 16, 2011 at 3:27 PM

for s/b from

INC on May 16, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Imagine where we might be right now if we weren’t bogged down in the useless Ryan plan.

We could be clubbing the Dimmocrits with examples of horrid discretionary spending – which they’d have to either DEFEND or DEFUND with us. Their ridiculous defense of PPP, the NEA, Cowboy Poetry and other examples of waste would put the GOP in the driver seat for the 2012 elections – when the Senate and White House would be taken – and then, we could address the Ryan Plan when we could really do something about it.

Instead – we’ve given the Dims their favorite issue to demagoge the hell out of us.

HondaV65 on May 16, 2011 at 3:29 PM

alternate headline:
Despite multiple trials, scientists find that rigor mortised felines do not rebound following ground impact from varying heights: A study of political outcomes.

ted c on May 16, 2011 at 3:30 PM

“Anyone paying attention to the polls will not see any significant change over the last few months.”

..how about the folks over at Politico?

The War Planner on May 16, 2011 at 3:32 PM

What part of this is a spending problem, not a revenue problem do they not understand? Waiting for the Republican leaders to “compromise” re: sellout the base because they got a ‘good’ deal. The time for accepting anything less than full surrender from Democrats is long past due. We are out of money. Funding CPB and the myriad other useless non-constitutional garbage is over.

skanter on May 16, 2011 at 3:32 PM

What part of this is a spending problem, not a revenue problem do they not understand?

skanter on May 16, 2011 at 3:32 PM

..apparently none.

The War Planner on May 16, 2011 at 3:33 PM

You mean people want politicians to stop wasting money and making stupid decisions and get the job done with what we already give them? Shocking!

stvnscott on May 16, 2011 at 3:33 PM

What until inflation gets worse. Plus, you have you’ll have real estate and stock prices declines.

Oil Can on May 16, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Countdown to Boehner reading poll, then calling up Dems and cutting a deal in 3…2…1…

search4truth on May 16, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Audacity finally exposed as Dope.

Schadenfreude on May 16, 2011 at 3:36 PM

When America goes to the polls in 2012, the economy will decide the election — and right now, that’s very bad news for Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress.

Exactly. 2012 is a referendum on Obama, not the GOP nominee. And the #1 issue will the be the economy which, despite all the spin in the world, is still bad. I keep asking what exactly Obama is supposed to campaign on. Blaming Bush isn’t gonna work in 2012 and if demagoguing the GOP was such an effective tactic, then explain the 2010 midterms?

Doughboy on May 16, 2011 at 3:37 PM

James Carville just emailed me with this message to the Democrats:

“Y’all are still stupid.”

SlaveDog on May 16, 2011 at 3:38 PM

AP’s poll says 60% love Obama and 72% want their taxes doubled.

angryed on May 16, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Dems, and Republicans are evenly split on who to trust with the economy?

Lordy….Dems are just perpetually stuck on stupid, aren’t they!

capejasmine on May 16, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Allah is running a (liberal Democrat) Politico-Lefty University poll showing Obama’s numbers going up.

Drudge is running a (liberal, but almost sane) Gallup poll showing Obama’s number’s lower, his fake “OBL bump” gone, and all approval well below 50%.

Huh…

Jaibones on May 16, 2011 at 3:40 PM

if demagoguing the GOP was such an effective tactic, then explain the 2010 midterms?

Doughboy on May 16, 2011 at 3:37 PM

Easy. Only racists voted in 2010.

angryed on May 16, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Audacity finally exposed as Dope.

Schadenfreude on May 16, 2011 at 3:36 PM

The Won admitted the purpose was to inhale.

Roy Rogers on May 16, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Obama: But.. but ..but..But … I acquiesced to the obvious decision to get Osama. And I………………………………………………………….

(Fill in the blank with all the great things he’s done for the country)

Chip on May 16, 2011 at 3:44 PM

And in other news, water is wet

I was thinking more along the lines of “No sh** Sherlock”.

humdinger on May 16, 2011 at 3:44 PM

AP’s poll says 60% love Obama and 72% want their taxes doubled.

angryed on May 16, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Link please, need to see how the poll was taken, demographic of the polled, and of course the actual questions asked and possible answers.

belad on May 16, 2011 at 3:48 PM

AP’s poll says 60% 100% of the freeloading, welfare-sucking parasites love Obama and 72% want their taxes the taxes of those of us who work for a living (a.k.a., “the rich”) doubled.

angryed on May 16, 2011 at 3:39 PM

..FIFY.

The War Planner on May 16, 2011 at 3:49 PM

When America goes to the polls in 2012, the economy will decide the election — and right now, that’s very bad news for Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress.

But…but…but….Barry is focused “laser like” on jobs. And Nancy and Harry spent all that money SAVING jobs! They said so. And besides, Nancy says that unemployment insurance money is what keeps the economy GROWING!

GarandFan on May 16, 2011 at 3:49 PM

Easy. Only racists voted in 2010.

angryed on May 16, 2011 at 3:40 PM

You’re right.

Sincerely,
Allen West, Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, Susana Martinez, Brian Sandoval, and Marco Rubio

/sarc

Doughboy on May 16, 2011 at 3:49 PM

AP’s poll says 60% love Obama and 72% want their taxes doubled.

angryed on May 16, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Link please, need to see how the poll was taken, demographic of the polled, and of course the actual questions asked and possible answers.

belad on May 16, 2011 at 3:48 PM

My apologies if I have misinterpreted, but I believe a great big old Sarc tag is apropos there.

Chip on May 16, 2011 at 3:50 PM

Obama: But.. but ..but..But … I acquiesced to the obvious decision to get Osama. And I………………………………………………………….

(Fill in the blank with all the great things he’s done for the country)

Chip on May 16, 2011 at 3:44 PM

…an..and..and I capped them 3 damn Pirates out in the Med that held that cap’n too. Just like that! blam! blam-blam! headshots, all three. How you like me now?
/POTUS

ted c on May 16, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Maybe a little O/T, but Rush was talking about Obama backing off the offshore oil drilling ban somewhat, including in the Alaska “Northern”(sic) Wildlife Refuge, although it’s not clear yet what Obama actually intends to do.

Could Ed or AP check if there is any truth to these rumors?

Something about $4/gallon gasoline that makes the sheeple a little restless…

Steve Z on May 16, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Republican’s need to take a note from the movie Network and start screaming out “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” This is the essence of how I genuinely feel.

What has happened to America? In the 80s and a good part of the 90s the country was an economic machine. It was gloves off, full steam ahead business focused society. Just look at some of the movies of the time: Wall Street, Working Girl, Secret of My Success. People may have been portrayed as selfish or greedy, but almost everyone was focused on moving ahead. People were busting butt to get a leg up. The big fear was nuclear war, but I am much more fearful of what is happening to the country now than I was back then when the threat was total annihilation.

Today it feels like everyone is tap dancing around doing real business. There are barriers all over the place. The government has a death grip on energy, nothing can be done without consideration of environmental impact. Economic performance has been kneecapped by concern for fairness.

I JUST WANT THE GOVERNMENT TO GO AWAY AND LET BUSINESS DO ITS THING! Sure–some people will get hurt and life is not fair, but a rising tide raises all ships.

ReaganWasRight on May 16, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Only 52% think water is wet.

faraway on May 16, 2011 at 3:53 PM

James Carville just emailed me with this message to the Democrats:

“Y’all are still stupid.”

SlaveDog on May 16, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Something like “We’re all dyin’ down here in Louisiana”?

Steve Z on May 16, 2011 at 3:54 PM

AP’s poll says 60% love Obama and 72% want their taxes doubled.

angryed on May 16, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Link please, need to see how the poll was taken, demographic of the polled, and of course the actual questions asked and possible answers.

belad on May 16, 2011 at 3:48 PM

My apologies if I have misinterpreted, but I believe a great big old Sarc tag is apropos there.

Chip on May 16, 2011 at 3:50 PM

It’s sad that I have to put a sarc tag when I say an AP poll shows 72% want taxes doubled. AP is biased enough that it is plausible that they could run a poll with those results.

angryed on May 16, 2011 at 3:54 PM

The problem is the likelyhood of Republicans completely blowing the opportunity which is a distinct possibility. I’m an optimist and I wish I didn’t feel that way.

ldbgcoleman on May 16, 2011 at 3:57 PM

Maybe a little O/T, but Rush was talking about Obama backing off the offshore oil drilling ban somewhat, including in the Alaska “Northern”(sic) Wildlife Refuge, although it’s not clear yet what Obama actually intends to do.

Could Ed or AP check if there is any truth to these rumors?

Something about $4/gallon gasoline that makes the sheeple a little restless…

Steve Z on May 16, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Here’s an easy way to decipher what Obama means in any situation.

Whatever he says, is a lie. Whatever you think he’s saying, he will do the opposite.

So, he says he will make drilling easier. LIE
He says he will relax drilling red tape, which means drilling will get more difficult.

angryed on May 16, 2011 at 3:57 PM

Something like “We’re all dyin’ down here in Louisiana”?

Steve Z on May 16, 2011 at 3:54 PM

he said that after Katrina, right? Oh no, wait! it was after the oil spill. Heck, he couldn’t even get obama to glower out his window at his forsaken and sunken state….

ted c on May 16, 2011 at 3:58 PM

It’s sad that I have to put a sarc tag when I say an AP poll shows 72% want taxes doubled. AP is biased enough that it is plausible that they could run a poll with those results.

angryed on May 16, 2011 at 3:54 PM

Yes, I agree, I was just trying to smooth out any ruffled feathers around here.

[I got the sarcasm immediately, btw that was truly worth of an LOL!]

Chip on May 16, 2011 at 4:00 PM

angryed on May 16, 2011 at 3:54 PM

lol, some of us take things very literally.

Failbama continues his failin ways. He’s gonna ride this crash directly into the ground at mach 2.

On a site related note, why does the stupid UI allow me to compose a response only to tell me I am not logged in? That is driving me nuts!

dogsoldier on May 16, 2011 at 4:00 PM

On a site related note, why does the stupid UI allow me to compose a response only to tell me I am not logged in? That is driving me nuts!

dogsoldier on May 16, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Yea very annoying indeed.

angryed on May 16, 2011 at 4:04 PM

Apparently the simple message of ‘Stop the spending!’ in 2010 needs to be repeated, louder and with more incumbents thrown out. We need some people who will, actually, stop the spending… not just say sweet things and then decide that lots of spending is really the way to go.

Chainsaws are to be taken to the budget, not nail clippers.

ajacksonian on May 16, 2011 at 4:04 PM

When America goes to the polls in 2012, the economy will decide the election — and right now, that’s very bad news for Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress.

I am meeting people who are running out of money for food. Who don’t have enough gas to get home from work

The Obama tax refund boost didn’t make a dent around here, because folk are so far under

The rock has intersected the hard place.

What are the pols going to do – print more Weimar dollars? Food is going up despite gov figures. Stores are nickle and diming everything in site, and work hours are being trimmed even more.

entagor on May 16, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Exactly. 2012 is a referendum on Obama, not the GOP nominee.

Doughboy on May 16, 2011 at 3:37 PM

It won’t matter one bit unless you get the RIGHT Republican President.

We won the house in 2008 – anyone satisfied with the way it’s performed?

We HAD the whole Executive and Legislative branches from 2000 to 2006 – anyone satisfied with how that worked out?

The hypothesis – that the nation will succeed if the GOP owns the government – is flawed – and it can be proven flawed time and time again by looking at the past 50 years of government.

You elect the WRONG guy President – I don’t care what party he belongs to – the nation will fail and his party will get the blame for it. If you’re going to vote Republican – great – that’s your option. But you’re making an unwise decision if you are simply voting the Republican because he’s a Republican – or because he’s the lesser of two evils when compared to Obama.

“President Daniels” … along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner? Does that sound like a combination that will …

a. SAVE the nation or …

b. Result in a tremendous crash for the nation (because they don’t have the stones to FIX what’s broken) and end up with another great Conservative defeat in 2014 and 2016?

I submit – the answer is “B”.

The NEXT election is about ANSWER A – because this nation is too far gone for half measures. A President and Congress who can’t be bold in fixing the nation – will simply pilot it to the scene of it’s eventual crash.

If you want ANSWER A – you’d better get rid of the Congressional ruling class leadership and put a good guy (or gal) in the Oval Office.

HondaV65 on May 16, 2011 at 4:11 PM

Comrade Barry blames America for the plight of the the Latinos that sneak into our U.S.A. trying to better their lives. It’s not our fault, period. The burden falls squarely on the countries to the south for allowing over-population, poverty and lack of opportunity. More moats and alligators, please….

joe btfsplk on May 16, 2011 at 4:13 PM

Maybe a little O/T, but Rush was talking about Obama backing off the offshore oil drilling ban somewhat, including in the Alaska “Northern”(sic) Wildlife Refuge, although it’s not clear yet what Obama actually intends to do.

Could Ed or AP check if there is any truth to these rumors?

Something about $4/gallon gasoline that makes the sheeple a little restless…

Steve Z on May 16, 2011 at 3:52 PM

The drudge report has amusing descriptions to links about obozo’s announcement now, and the one announced last year when nothing happened from that same announcement last year. Just because he is pretending to open areas for lease, doesn’t mean he is going to unleash the EPA to allow for commercial drilling after these companies spend 5 billion on the leases and exploration where they find the oil to drill. This just happened to Shell this past month.

Obozo, a much huger epic fail that Jimmah Cahtah.

I NEVER thought we would get carter 2.0 in my lifetime.

The only difference between carter and obozo, is that Carter was just naive and stupid. Obozo is not, he is very coldly, calculatingly, and deliberately putting in policies that will ruin this country. He was his “redistributive justice” done because he hates our country.

karenhasfreedom on May 16, 2011 at 4:14 PM

We HAD the whole Executive and Legislative branches from 2000 to 2006 – anyone satisfied with how that worked out?

HondaV65 on May 16, 2011 at 4:11 PM

Actually, thanks to jumping jim jeffords, we lost the Senate for the first 2 years of the Bush first term. Finally we got the Senate in 2002, but not by much of a majority. AND the Republicans were so focused on getting the wars and troops funded, I think they surrendered too quickly on domestic spending. The Dems held their votes hostage to get their agenda done. We never had a big enough majority in the Senate thanks to all of those RINOS.

And that even hurt us with that “gang of 14″ for the judicial appointments. RINOS killed us during the bush years. And I don’t think we understood we were getting a happy progressive “compassionate conservative” in Bush when we elected him in 2000. Al Gore was just such a hideous alternative. Thank goodness for the electoral college and 500 voters in Florida.

Fortunately for us, 2006 swept a lot of our RINOs from office. 2008 swept more out. In 2010, the tea party took care of more of them.

We have the opportunity now to replace the remaining rinos with better conservatives in the next 2 to 3 election cycles.

We HAVE to elect the next president because we will still have enough squishy RINOs to allow obozo to appoint more scarey people to SCOTUS. Our entire republic depends on the good health of 5 judges right now.

karenhasfreedom on May 16, 2011 at 4:22 PM

“You guys watch ‘The View’, right? They said I had the election in the bag! I killed UBL btw…” Teh One

catmman on May 16, 2011 at 4:49 PM

When America goes to the polls in 2012, the economy will decide the election — and right now, that’s very bad news for Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress.

No he is not weak. Neil Cavuto on FOX today said Obama is unbeatable which is why we have people like Trump and Newt.

mechkiller_k on May 16, 2011 at 6:37 PM

INC on May 16, 2011 at 3:27 PM

They do have a fair amount of defense contracts that would end up being open season if they did. If the government is willing to go that far on Boeing, they aren’t going to let an overseas move be painless.

The more credible the move is, the more likely that contracts will be pulled, that overseas arms get debarred on national security reasons, and that things will generally get ugly at the least.

I’d not be surprised if Airbus is quietly encouraging this.

sethstorm on May 16, 2011 at 11:40 PM