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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Today in Washington D. C. - June 18, 2009 - Poll Results Evidence Why POTUS is Losing Sleep

Yesterday:Senate passed by unanimous consent a bill (S. 1285) sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) to protect detainee photos from Freedom of Information Act requests.

Today: Senate will:
  • consider a resolution to apologize for the institution of slavery, S. Con. Res. 26, which will receive a voice vote after an hour of debate.
  • take up the conference report for the fiscal 2009 supplemental appropriations bill, H.R. 2346, which funds operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. A vote on the bill could come this evening.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee will continue its markup of a health care bill written by Sens. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Chris Dodd (D-CT) at 10:30 AM. It is being broadcast on C-SPAN3.

Polls: New polls released yesterday from The New York Times & CBS News and The Wall Street Journal & NBC News are worth reading for a host of interesting results. But what really stands out is the drop in approval ratings for Obama on issues where Senate Republicans and conservatives have argued against President Obama’s policies.

After President Obama signed his hastily-considered executive order in January to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay within one year, republicans began discussing the problems with this policy. This culminated in May in two amendments on the Senate floor, one which prohibited funding for transferring or releasing any detainee into the U.S. and removing funds to close the facility, and one which required threat assessments on every detainee before they can be released to another country. These were adopted by votes of 90-6 and 92-3, respectively. The WSJ poll shows that 56% approve of Obama’s job as president while 34% disapprove. (Last month it was 61%-30%). But when asked whether they approve of his decision to close Guantanamo, a majority of respondents opposed the decision 52%-39%.

Republicans in Congress overwhelmingly opposed the president’s $787 billion stimulus bill, which continues to generate headlines about delayed money, wasted money, poorly targeted money, and skyrocketing debt. At the time of passage of the stimulus a plurality in the WSJ poll called it a good idea by 44%-36%, but now a plurality say it was a bad idea by 39%-37%.

In the NYT poll, 63% approve of the Obama’s job as president while 26% disapprove. Yet a majority in the poll prefers deficit reduction over stimulating the economy by 52%-41%. And in the WSJ poll, a majority prefers the president and Congress keeping the deficit down, even if it means delaying a recovery by 58%-35%.

The WSJ poll offered a very similar argument about the stimulus to that made by the White House and Democrats in Congress: “The President and the Congress should worry more about boosting the economy even though it may mean larger budget deficits now and in the future.” But a majority disagreed with this statement. In fact, the public is very concerned about the deficit and debt,and Republicans have been correct in pointing out that the president’s budget includes trillion-dollar deficits over the next two years and doubles the debt in five years.

Asked about the most important economic issue facing the country, 35% of respondents to the WSJ poll said unemployment, but the second-most, at 24%, said the budget deficit, which out-polled the cost of health care, energy prices, and housing prices. And in the NYT poll, 60% said the Obama administration has not developed a clear plan for dealing with the deficit.

So clearly, deficits still matter to Americans, and the stimulus and Obama's plan to close Guantanamo are not popular.

Tags: Barack Obama, Gitmo, health care, National Debt, nationalized health care, polling, polls, US Congress, US Senate, Washington D.C. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 10:48 AM - Post Link


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