Amazing as it might seem, this elevator may not yet have reached the basement.
Fifty-three percent of Americans say they disapprove of the new reforms, including 39 percent who say they disapprove strongly. In the days before the bill passed the House, 37 percent said they approved and 48 percent disapproved.
Republicans and independents remain opposed to the reforms, and support has dropped some among Democrats. Now 52 percent of Democrats approve of the new reforms, a drop from 60 percent just before the bill was passed by Congress…
Even though the president and Democratic leaders have repeatedly pointed out that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office called the reform package a deficit-reducer, six in 10 Americans still think the new health care reforms will increase the budget deficit. Just 13 percent think the reforms will decrease the deficit and another 15 percent expect no effect.
More than half think their own health-care costs will go up, but nothing new there. Consider this a sequel to the earlier post about why The One’s “we’d go bankrupt without this bill!” talking point is so comically surreal, particularly as a pander ahead of the midterms. He lost the public on that ages ago and he ain’t getting them back, especially if even Democrats are now peeling away as the warm glow of History! fades. Say, I wonder if that’s because they’re finally figuring out, after a year of public debate, that this isn’t so much an insurance bill as it is a giant vehicle for wealth redistribution? No foolin’ you, unnamed Democratic strategist!
After Baucus’ statement, I asked a Democratic strategist (who asked to remain nameless) whether fighting income inequality was one of his goals in supporting the legislation. Never, he said. “That’s what the tax code is for.”
“It was not to take something away from rich people, it was to provide something to people without coverage,” he continued, making a distinction between striving for universal coverage and seeking to redistribute income. But he quickly saw that Democrats talking about redistribution could be politically damaging, echoing the controversy that erupted when candidate Obama famously told Ohio plumber Joe Wurzelbacher that “when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”
Ah well. At least The One can take comfort in the fact that the Dems are still more trusted than the GOP to handle the economy. Exit question: Or can he?