Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Too Much

Gallup releases some interesting data that hint at the reason Obama’s health-care salesmanship has fallen flat: the public has figured out he is a tax-and-spend liberal — and they don’t like it. Gallup explains:

Fueled by the sentiments of Republicans and independents, a new USA Today/Gallup poll shows that 59% of Americans say President Obama’s proposals to address the major problems facing the country call for too much government spending, and 52% say Obama’s proposals call for too much expansion of government power.

[. . .]

It is not surprising to find that Republicans are close to unanimity in their views on these issues, with 90% saying Obama’s proposals involve too much spending and 83% saying they involve too much expansion of government power. Of more concern to the Obama administration, perhaps, is the finding that clear majorities of 66% and 60% of independents, respectively, say Obama’s proposals involve too much spending and too much government expansion.

At just the time his health-care critics are arguing that the House Democrats’ scheme (which he enthusiastically supports) is a massive expansion of government and a trillion-dollar (at least) expenditure, the public seems fed up with the spend-a-thon. Now it is possible that voters have been following the health-care debate and that has helped form their opinion of Obama’s predilections. But it is also possible that the cumulative effect of the stimulus pork-a-thon, the enormous budget, and the cap-and-trade bill has caught up with Obama. It may now be weighing him down as he goes to the well one more time for yet another jumbo government program.

In the long run, this may continue to hobble Obama, given the enormous budget deficit and his unwillingness to trim spending. Gallup concludes:

A good deal of Gallup data reinforce the idea that Americans are concerned about the long-term implications of increased levels of government spending and the expansion of government’s role in society that have become a part of the Obama administration’s efforts to deal with the recession. Obama receives his lowest approval ratings (out of seven issues tested in the July 17-19 poll) on handling the federal budget deficit (41% approve; 55% disapprove). Thus, the finding that a majority of Americans are worried that Obama’s proposals involve too much spending and too much big government are consistent with what would be expected — as are the very sharp partisan differences in these views.

It seems that the recession has not provided Obama with a pretext for vastly expanding government. The public has had quite enough of that. The question for Obama is whether he is flexible and savvy enough to shift course.


Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.