Look, I don’t even know anymore. I’m just gonna put these out there for you as yet another indication of how tough getting anywhere close to solving our deficit and debt problems is. It’s a nice complement to the latest in the fiscal cliff saga, in which allegedly intractable, unreasonable Republicans offer a Simpson-Bowles-like compromise that might actually come within a couple ballparks of acknowledging our debt problems while Democrats seem rather enthusiastic about cliff-diving and yet the press and public are determined to blame Republicans for going over.
Let’s see if that can change in the near future. Presumably it should if the press reports that a realistic compromise is on the table that— hey, looky here— aligns with the public’s and the press’ professed desires, but early signs show it’s being treated unseriously in the press. Heck, even a plurality of Obama voters want the deficit dealt with by making more spending cuts than tax hikes:
A survey of 800 Obama voters, conducted last month by Benenson Strategy Group for the moderate Democratic think tank Third Way and shared first with POLITICO, finds that 96 percent believe the federal deficit is a problem and that 85 percent support increasing taxes on the wealthy.
Yet 41 percent who supported the Democratic incumbent want to get control of the deficit mostly by cutting spending, with only some tax increases, while another 41 percent want to solve it mostly with tax increases and only some spending cuts.
Just 5 percent of Obama supporters favor tax increases alone to solve the deficit, half the number who back an approach that relies entirely on spending cuts.
Too bad they all voted for the man who’s offering a rather more unbalanced approach than Republicans. And, you read that right— double the number of Obama supporters want to deal with the deficit entirely by cutting spending than want to do it entirely by raising taxes.
In other news, voters still hate ObamaCare, especially independents:
Meanwhile, according to polling by CNN, registered voters oppose Obamacare by a margin of 10 points — 52 to 42 percent. Independents like Obamacare even less, opposing it by a margin of 22 points — 57 to 35 percent. Clearly, voters didn’t think they were ratifying Obamacare when they pulled the lever for Obama.
And, finally, “[f]or the first time in Gallup trends since 2000, a majority of Americans say it is not the federal government’s responsibility to make sure all Americans have healthcare coverage.” Okay.
The shift away from the view that the government should ensure healthcare coverage for all began shortly after President Barack Obama’s election and has continued the past several years during the discussions and ultimate passage of the Affordable Care Act in March 2010. Americans are divided on that legislation today — 48% approve and 45% disapprove — as they have been over the last several years.
Republicans, including Republican-leaning independents, are mostly responsible for the drop since 2007 in Americans’ support for government ensuring universal health coverage. In 2007, 38% of Republicans thought the government should do so; now, 12% do. Among Democrats and Democratic leaners there has been a much smaller drop, from 81% saying the government should make sure all Americans are covered in 2007 to 71% now.
A warning for Democrats prepared to use ObamaCare’s upcoming failures as a rationale for single-payer:
One thing that has not changed is that Americans still widely prefer a system based on private insurance to one run by the government. Currently, 57% prefer a private system and 36% a government-run system, essentially the same as in 2010 and 2011. Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, the percentage of Americans in favor of a government-run system ranged from 32% to 41%.
Another redemptive data point for those who say nominating the one guy who couldn’t effectively argue against ObamaCare was a mistake. For the record, I agreed with that assessment, but also was unconvinced others didn’t have equal liabilities.
As the conventional wisdom has it, we are a nation divided— perhaps into multiple personalities.