What Do The Polls Really Say?

Today is the day the monstrous health care bills died.  That’s both good news and bad news.  The good news is that regulated HEALTH care bills died.  The bad news is that needed insurance reform died with it.  Hopefully, the nincompoops in Washington can do something about it.  I should not be restricted from buying cheaper insurance offered in another state.  I should not be forced to by chemical dependency insurance.  I be able to opt out of chiropractic if I wanted to.  I should be able to self insure against minor ailments, and by insurance for the truly catastrophic.  I should have more choices than I do.  But that’s another matter.

What’s fascinating to me is what was said in the AP article:

Pelosi also signaled that advancing health legislation through Congress will likely be a lengthy process — despite Democrats’ desire for a quick election-year pivot to address jobs and the economy, which polls show are the public’s top concern.

The underlined emphasis is mine.  I emphasized it because from what I’ve read, I’m not so sure that jobs and the economy truly are at the top of the public’s concern, at least directly.  Yes, when you ask people what concerns them the most, the overwhelming answer is the economy and jobs.  But when you dig deeper, the answer is not so clear.

Revisiting that this poll from NBC.  Go to page 22, question 27.  It asks:

Thinking about the way the federal government has responded to the financial crisis in recent months, generally speaking, do you approve or disapprove of the expansion of the government’s role in the economy?

The response was: Disapprove 53%, Approve only 39%.  That’s almost the exact opposite from last March.

Question 28 then asks:

Now I am going to read you a series of things President Obama has done on the economy. For each one, please tell me whether you approve or disapprove of this action.

Overwhelmingly, people like the restrictions on credit card companies, extending unemployment benefits, providing help to homeowners at risk of losing their homes, and providing tax cuts to individuals as part of the stimulus package.

But then it starts to get murky.  On the whole, the stimulus package barely had a slight “approve” edge.  Seems the rest of it must not have been that popular.  Providing help to financial institutions was a disaster; only 32% approve while 60% disapprove.  BUT THAT WASN’T THE WORST.  That goes to the auto bailout: 30 to 65.  OUCH!!

In sum, here’s a very short list what people really want:

  1. A safety net for at-risk citizens
  2. Tax cuts to individuals to stimulate the economy
  3. No more corporate bailouts or subsidies

What strikes me most about this list is the consistency with an earlier poll in November where people were asked how to pay for what then looked like a looming health care bill.  The overwhelming majority (75 to 90%) opposed tax hikes, opposed borrowing, and wanted tax cuts.

It’s not that hard Washington.  Get the safety net for people who need it.  Give the promised tax cuts to the middle class.  And let the capitalistic system do its job, which rewards winners and punishes the reckless.  No more corporate bailouts!

— uo

Published in: on January 22, 2010 at 12:09 am  Leave a Comment  

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