I brought the deficit way down and all I got was…

October 8th, 2014 at 12:29 pm

…crappy poll numbers.

Over at PostEverything. Really, this is just genuinely upsetting. It’s one thing to run the numbers but quite another to think about all the unnecessary pain this has caused. You just can never underestimate the destructive power of bad ideas.

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7 comments in reply to "I brought the deficit way down and all I got was…"

  1. Cecilieaux Bois de Murier says:

    Depressing! But true. Of course, those who react irrationally don’t care about the facts; they just want to see a white Republican conservative in office.


  2. PeonInChief says:

    His crappy poll numbers have nothing to do with the deficit. They’re the result of: bailing out the bankers and protecting them from the orange jumpsuits they so deserve, nattering on about the evils of inequality while promoting more of the same, and now getting us into a stupid war that will end worse than the last one we got into. He deserves those poll numbers.


    • Carol says:

      I disagree. I think his poll numbers have nothing to do with TARP etc, since 99% of the people don’t even remember this, and everything to do with GOP trash talking the ACA (obummercare!), name calling the President incessantly (he’s weak! he’s a tyrant! he lies! he is uppity! (is smarter than you, how dare he!), he doesn’t wear a pin! he is disrespectful to the troops! he isn’t wearing a jacket! he’s wearing a light colored jacket! Benghazi! IRS!) Sadly, large numbers of people really think the smoke pols blow means there must be a fire.


      • urban legend says:

        The Democratic base has been angered by a number of things, starting less with TARP per se but more with, even if it was judged necessary to prop up the institutions, his refusal to go after the responsible individuals who were up to their eyeballs in cheerleading or approving fraudulent practices and who — and anyone who benefited even if not one of the criminal culprits — should have been forced to disgorge hundreds of billions of ill-gotten gains ultimately taken from the public.

        Even though I understand the reasons for jettisoning the public option and agree that getting the structure in place was most critical — a structure to which a public option can be added at any time public support demands it — the way progressives who for very good reasons focused so much emotion on the public option (and who were the main energetic force in Obama’s election in the first place) were treated like dirt by Rahm Emanuel, instead of being wooed with explanations, was a gigantic self-inflicted wound that increased the opposition to ACA in polls by 30% and gave the Republicans ammunition for the claim that the public dislikes the law. If one-third of the people who opposed ACA for not being single-payer or not having the promised public option could have been persuaded to say they favored the law overall, and I believe that many could have been persuaded, the polls would have shown a 15-point advantage in favor. That would have changed the calculus of public comment completely.

        What this means is that the base did not have his back against so many of the right-wing attacks, and to a great extent that was his own doing. It looked like he had lied with his progressive stances that excited so many people in 2008. We should not forget that the 2010 election was the worst mid-term disaster in modern history.


  3. Peter K. says:

    The crappy poll numbers are about changes in income. I think John Cassidy hits the nail on the head, if his numbers are right which they probably are.

    “Last month, in a post about the new census figures, I argued that the stagnation in wages is the defining fact about modern American politics. But it’s also a phenomenon that goes back a long way—to the Reagan years and beyond. Between 1969 and 1980, the median household income barely grew at all. (In inflation-adjusted 2013 dollars, it went from $47,124 to $47,668.) After the steadily rising living standards of the postwar decades, this stagnation came as a big shock to Americans, and it helps to explain the political backlash that Reagan rode to power. For the first two years of his Presidency, the economy was in recession and the median household income actually fell. But from then on, it started to grow. Between 1983 and 1988, when his second term ended, it went from $46,425 to $51,514—an increase of about eleven per cent.

    Rising incomes are what really distinguished the Reagan recovery from the Obama recovery, and that, I suspect, is why the two Presidents enjoyed such different political fortunes. (According to Gallup, Reagan’s average approval rating during his second term was 55.3 per cent. That’s about ten points higher than what Obama has averaged so far in his second term.)”

    http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/will-obama-recovery-start-helping-democrats

    Obama listened to Geithner and Orzsag when he should have been listening to other advisers.


    • urban legend says:

      Incomes for the middle class and below did increase significantly during the Clinton Presidency, and you didn’t see nearly much complaint about inequality then — certainly not enough to gain any traction. There was high inequality then, too, especially with capital gains windfalls. But yes, it’s the inequality plus the stagnation more than the inequality per se.


  4. Jill SH says:

    “Did it further the goals of those who want to shrink government without regard for the impact on growth, jobs or the ability of the government to meet the challenges we face?”

    In one sense, they (the austerians) have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. We’ve managed to have economic growth (even though everybody still thinks — and feels like — we’re in a recession) as well as deficit reduction. The fact that we don’t have ROBUST job growth and a SURGING economy must be Obama’s fault. Well, true. He could not get any kind of jobs program, or significant infrastructure investment, whatever, through Congress. Yes, definitely his fault.


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