Via Greg Hengler, Barack Obama had a message for the 69% who oppose an increase in the debt ceiling: pay attention. In response to a question from CBS’ Chip Reid, Obama said that those Americans aren’t paying attention, and insinuated that pollsters may be bamboozling survey respondents by asking trick questions anyway. Obama then puts on his Pollster in Chief hat and shows how he would have asked the question:
Depending on how you phrase the question — if you said to the American people, “Is it a good idea for the United States not to pay its bills and potentially create another recession that could throw millions of more people out of work,” I feel pretty confident I could get a majority on my side.
Well, I have my issues with CBS polling, but I don’t usually have a problem with the way the questions are asked. Still, let’s check to see what nefarious spin CBS put on this poll question that hoodwinked 69% of the public. Here it is: “Should the debt ceiling be raised?”
Those sneaky SOBs!
Let’s follow Barack Obama’s template for a poll question, shall we? How about, “Should we add $2 trillion more to the federal government’s credit-card limit to allow Washington to spend more money than it receives, waste money on bailing out unions in state government and the auto industry, while eroding our global fiscal position, or should we cut off Washington’s borrowing power?” I daresay I can predict what will get a majority on that question, here or in the general public.