CNN poll shows pessimism continuing on economy

posted at 11:31 am on December 27, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The White House regularly threatens to “pivot” to the economy when polls go sour on them, or when it becomes necessary to distract the media — say, when a scandal erupts, or the central project of the administration turns out to be a complete fiasco. Barack Obama’s team has insisted that the topic for 2014 will be “income inequality,” while the rest of us think it’s going to be “oh my goodness, ObamaCare has sucked my checkbook dry,” especially for the middle class.  Hey, either way, it’s all about the economy, right?

If Obama plans to complain about the economy and inequality in his 2014 State of the Union address, he’ll at least have plenty of company.  According to the latest CNN poll, almost seven out of every ten Americans thinks the economy is in poor shape — five years after Obama took office, and 54 months after the recovery began:

A new CNN/ORC poll released Friday showed people were pessimistic that the economy was improving. Nearly 70% said the economy is generally in poor shape, and only 32% rated it good.

Two-thirds of respondents said most of the economic news they’ve heard recently was bad news. More rural than urban dwellers said the economy was in poor shape.

And just over half expected the economy to remain in poor shape a year from now.

CNN’s Gregory Wallace expresses a little surprise over its findings. Both the NASDAQ and the NYSE have surged, he writes, with the former up 40% since January.  Housing and auto sales have picked up, although we’ve heard that off and on for the last three-plus years, too. Housing actually just took a slight turn downward on the heels of a very good year, although that may have more to do with a lack of inventory and tight lending thanks to new regulations in the mortgage market.

It’s not just a feeling, either. Americans are putting their money where their pessimism is:

Over half of Americans are cutting back on spending on clothing and appliances, emphasizing the public’s uncertainty in the economy. Additionally, 36 percent are even cutting back on food and medicine, up from 31 percent in 2008.

Wallace notes at CNN that this is lowest number on those measures since the economy was in free-fall. That’s not an issue of inequality; it’s a measure of how poorly the Obama administration’s policies have worked in the so-called recovery.

Under these circumstances, especially for a President who’s been in office for five years, one might expect a SOTU that tries up-selling the economy, rather than slamming it as unfair.  After all, who’s been in charge for the last five years? Whose party had full control of Washington when the recovery started? Talking about inequality now would be a bit like opposing the PATRIOT Act for Obama — it’s a little late for that kind of posturing. He may count on the fact that people still tend to blame George W. Bush more than him for the economic collapse, but that doesn’t mean that they think he’s much better on the economy.  His last approval level on that issue came from last week’s Washington Post/ABC poll, which put Obama’s approval at 42/55 overall, 37/59 with independents, and only 44/52 among women.

Besides, let’s not forget that ObamaCare was this administration’s big project to eliminate inequality in access to health-insurance coverage. How’s that working out for Americans? Anyone really excited to see Team Obama apply all of their demonstrated skills from the ObamaCare fiasco and apply them across the entire economy? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?


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only 32% rated it good

That would be your hardcore ObamaBots.

GarandFan on December 27, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Since Obama announced “income inequality” as the theme for 2014 BEFORE this CNN poll, I would say they are ahead of the curve this time.

Walter L. Newton on December 27, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Man, its so tough for Bammy to overcome those eight years of bad Bush management and the constant opposition and road blocks from current GOP in Congress.

If only they’d have given Bammy a blank check, full tank, a smooth open road and full speed, we’d all be at the top of the economic world.

/SNARK

hawkeye54 on December 27, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Bush’s fault!!!!

how many times we will hear about inheriting the economy in his SOTU….

cmsinaz on December 27, 2013 at 11:44 AM

In the Obama economy, pivot is defined as spinning in circles.

MichaelGabriel on December 27, 2013 at 11:51 AM

The Obamacare premise is that my family should be able to afford 10% of our income on medical insurance and ~$12k for annual out of pocket expenses.

The government also expects 10-15% in income taxes and expect another 7.65% towards SS and Medicare, with our employer (or us being self-employed) kicking in an additional 7.65% towards SS and Medicare.

After that, the State, County and City want their cut. Then, to top it off, purchases I make or some services I might use require a “fee”, “surcharge”, “excise tax” or additional “tax”.

Then they wring their hands and wonder why we don’t go on vacation, send the kids to college, buy a newer house or vehicle, invest, increase retirement savings or even regular savings.

At every turn, our formerly discretionary income is converted to new taxes and government mandated spending, leaving less left over.

Government has become too big and powerful.

SouthernRoots on December 27, 2013 at 11:51 AM

If Obama plans to complain about the economy and inequality in his 2014 State of the Union address, he’ll at least have plenty of company.

I’ve already scripted out the SOTU address. It is going to be an Obamacare infomercial. Democrats, instead of jumping up and clapping at every little thing will be told to look at each other nod their heads knowingly like Obamacare is the best thing ever. Instead of honest interruptions like Joe Wilson’s “you lie” statement. Dems will be planted. Look of Debbie Wasserman Schultz to jump up and say something along the lines of “All that sounds great Mr. President but what kind of benefits are guaranteed under Obamacare? Will I be able to get my contraception for free?” To which TOTUS will cue the rat-eared wonder to respond- Glad you asked Debbie!…….. after which he’ll launch into all the great things that Obamacare does for women’s reproductive parts. And, of course, the 1-800 number will be flashing in the corner of the screen (blocking Joe Biden’s face).

More seriously, income inequality is a theme but don’t think that the SOTU can be anything but another opportunity for Obama to shuck and jive in an effort to get stupid people onboard before the looming deadlines for Obamacare.

Happy Nomad on December 27, 2013 at 11:54 AM

He pivots more often than a ballerina performing the “Red Shoes.”

dogsoldier on December 27, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Happy Nomad on December 27, 2013 at 11:54 AM

You’re starting to sound like the Iraqi Parliament when Saddam took over. . .

rbj on December 27, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Nothing the recalibration of the lasers and the 46th pivot to the economy won’t fix.

HumpBot Salvation on December 27, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Barack Obama’s team has insisted that the topic for 2014 will be “income inequality,

He could start by giving up HIS pay check and reimburse us for those stupidly expensive vacations. What a hypocrite!

dogsoldier on December 27, 2013 at 11:58 AM

CNN poll shows pessimism continuing on economy

With good reason.

The stock market keeps hitting record highs, driven by the Fed pumping money into the economy, interest rates being held down and corporate profitability driven by cost-cutting rather than increases and media hype.

When you peel off the veneer, you discover the deck has rotted out.

bw222 on December 27, 2013 at 11:59 AM

a President who’s been in office for five years, one might expect a SOTU that tries up-selling the economy, rather than slamming it as unfair. After all, who’s been in charge for the last five years? Whose party had full control of Washington when the recovery started? Talking

I am not sure that there ever was a time limit on blaming strawmen. The Bolsheviks took charge of Russia in 1917 and were still blaming all the problems on Kounter Revolutionary (KRs) “wrecking” things in the 1930′s. If you control the media, you can blame anything you want on anyone you want. Cuba blames all their problems on the US even though they have been in charge for over 6 decades.

KW64 on December 27, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Government has become too big and powerful.

Well that right there is the goal isn’t it? For those who love themselves government to mandate and dictate every aspect of our lives, it is not yet big and powerful enough.

hawkeye54 on December 27, 2013 at 12:06 PM

You’re starting to sound like the Iraqi Parliament when Saddam took over. . .

rbj on December 27, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Well, would you call whatever the hell it is Obama is doing “leadership” or “stagecraft?”

Happy Nomad on December 27, 2013 at 12:08 PM

“The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.” ―Vladimir Lenin

Akzed on December 27, 2013 at 12:08 PM

When you have tens of millions on unemployment and more on squatting on welfare, yes you will have income inequality.

First he causes it, then he gripes about it.

Just wait until he tells us how he is going to fix it.

Hint, it won’t be by working on creating jobs.

1. Raise the minimum wage.

2. Raise taxes on the half of the country that pays them now.

3. Raise the Earned Income Tax Credit. (One of the most Orwellian concepts yet, in which one somehow “earns” more by not earning.)

Meremortal on December 27, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Local talk radio host gave what I think is an accurate prediction for 2014.

Boehner signals that he’s retiring as Speaker by joining in pushing through amnesty for the illegals. Backlash results in a Congress just a little bit more “tea partyish” than before (with the GOP narrowly winning control of the Senate and keeping the House).

Amnesty is coming. Some variation is unquestioningly supported by to many so-called conservatives. The HA moderators will be leading the charge for rewarding the illegals with citizenship without any real penalty or without recognition that we already have a pathway to citizenship and it doesn’t begin as coming to this nation as an illegal alien. And since the so-called conservatives are willing to attack any dissent, there will be a backlash by working Americans unwilling to agree with the lecture about there being some level of fairness in rewarding illegals for breaking the law- even as the illegals queue up for all the welfare benefits they can suck out of the system.

Happy Nomad on December 27, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Ummmm…This entire administration is a fiasco…

workingclass artist on December 27, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Comrade……Just a Small Taste of the Gulag

roflmmfao

donabernathy on December 27, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Time for another recovery summer speech

roflmmfao

donabernathy on December 27, 2013 at 12:24 PM

When I try to post a like to a c n n article, the mod kicks it out.

davidk on December 27, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Comrade……Just a Small Taste of the Gulag

roflmmfao

donabernathy on December 27, 2013 at 12:23 PM

they can just put fences around the empty, doctorless hospitals and store us there.

davidk on December 27, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Obama’s economic plan…… keep the boxes ya Christmas presents came in and stake out your new homestead under a bridge.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on December 27, 2013 at 12:37 PM

The USA today

Schadenfreude on December 27, 2013 at 12:56 PM

“CNN’s Gregory Wallace expresses a little surprise over its findings.”

..isn’t “a little surprised” or “unexpectedly” the new “just pulled his head out of his asss”?

The War Planner on December 27, 2013 at 12:57 PM

KW64 on December 27, 2013 at 12:03 PM

yep, Hoover was still the bogey man for dems until Bush 43 came along

DanMan on December 27, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Grow it

Schadenfreude on December 27, 2013 at 1:17 PM

CNN poll shows pessimism continuing on economy

Wonder what they’ll do when these Christmas retail numbers have their full effect? I’m sure they’ll spin them in favor of higher online sales.

But, even higher numbers for both brick/mortar and online stores would get a big “so what?” from me. Where do all those hundreds of millions in sales go? Certainly not back into our economy, but rather China (and some other countries) and a mere trickle into the hands of workers who are paid (market depressed) wages…and if they’re like other folks, they’re more likely to be frugal these days rather than spend. And not necessarily because they’re looking to the future and not being economic sheeple for once in their lives, but simply because they can’t afford it.

And quite frankly we’ve seen very, very little “trickle down” in spite of many large corporations making profits, and of course the inflated stock values on Wall Street due to QE cannot be trusted as something meaningful in the way of true wealth creation.

Also, folks are more likely to splurge for Christmas, especially for children. And, I think spending/shopping is a psychological reaction to individuals’ personal depression and unhappiness. Buying crap makes many, many people feel better…for a moment anyway.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 27, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Job growth limps along below the level required to grow the economy…

JugEars continues to pour sugar in the US economy’s gastank with his EOs, while taking credit that it running–while it sputters…

Radios silence continues on energy and interior decisions, and capital continues to sit on the sidelines…

So, sure,

CNN poll shows pessimism continuing on economy

socalcon on December 27, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Lest you forget

Schadenfreude on December 27, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Report: Chamber to hit Tea Party with $50M

By Cameron Joseph

The Chamber of Commerce is planning to spend at least $50 million on a campaign to boost establishment Republicans in primaries against Tea Party challengers, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The group’s broader aim is to help the GOP win Senate control and block Tea Party Republican candidates who might lose otherwise winnable seats to Democrats.

“Our No. 1 focus is to make sure, when it comes to the Senate, that we have no loser candidates,” Chamber political strategist Scott Reed tells the Journal. “That will be our mantra: No fools on our ticket.”

The organization has been gearing up for a more confrontational approach toward Tea Party Republicans since the government shutdown. It has already been involved in some special elections for House primaries, and is supporting Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) against his Tea Party primary foe.

Hard-right, mistake-prone Senate candidates are widely perceived to have cost the GOP five Senate seats in recent years, in states including Missouri, Indiana and Delaware.

Potential states that could be ripe for Chamber involvement include Georgia, Iowa and North Carolina, where Tea Party candidates could complicate their party’s chances of winning Senate seats.

The Chamber’s push is part of a larger effort by establishment and business Republicans to seize back control of their party, according to the report.

God damn all the traitors of the USA.

Schadenfreude on December 27, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Another oaf in denial

Schadenfreude on December 27, 2013 at 2:26 PM

What growth, or efforts at growth, that are occurring are doing so despite the actions of the Obama Administration – not because of their actions or agenda.

One of the things rarely referenced, particularly if the economic discussion turns to someone talking about the current level of the DJIA, is the trillions that the Fed has taken onto its balance sheet in the various rounds of QE that it has embarked on over the last nearly 5 years.

The damage that is, and has been, inflicted on the national economy by the feckless ideologues who are motivated by their false definitions of ‘fairness’ and ‘social justice’, pales in comparison to the damage done by other economic neophytes like FDR, LBJ, and Carter. The trajectory this country is placed on incredibly complicates the task to return it to a proper course – and the pain that will necessitate is all part of the plan to prevent the undoing of this Administration’s fecklessness.

Athos on December 27, 2013 at 2:30 PM

If he keeps pivoting he’s gonna spin himself into oblivion.

/let’s hope.

Key West Reader on December 27, 2013 at 2:30 PM

It seems to be contagious – as the socialist French President, Francois Hollande is being accused of ‘cooking the books’ regarding France’s unemployment statistics, as well as being in denial as he proclaims that France’s economy and unemployment situation is improving.

There are few benefits, but one of them has to be that it is becoming harder for the feckless ideologues to blame others or circumstances on the growing economic failures resulting from the progressive-fascist agenda. The common thread remains the agenda itself and the fact that there are leaders who believe that the laws of economics and human nature can be ignored at whim.

It is going to be the triple ‘whammy’ of this Administration’s failures in Obamacare, the economy, and foreign policy that will have a major role in the 2014 midterm elections.

Athos on December 27, 2013 at 2:55 PM

We need more Obama speeches more cowbell more taxes more distract and divide, we need more of the same. Yea that’s the ticket.

steveracer on December 27, 2013 at 3:15 PM

CNN poll shows pessimism continuing on economy

…what economy?

KOOLAID2 on December 27, 2013 at 11:20 PM