The specter of terrorism, especially on the American homeland is very frightening. These fears are especially acute in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack such as the bombing near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday.
More recently and prior to this latest attack, however; according to a recent Gallup poll, terrorism received 0% when asked about America’s greatest problem. Sen. Mitch McConnell said in response to the mathon bombing: “I think it’s safe to say that, for many, the complacency that prevailed prior to September 11th has returned. And so we are newly reminded that serious threats to our way of life remain.”
Is Sen. McConnell right? Have Americans become complacent to these “serious threats”? Are Americans to blame for failing to be vigilant? Should we demand the federal government “do something” more to protect us?
Gun rights had been enjoying a miniature golden age. Following the Supreme Court decisions of Heller and McDonald, gun rights advocates have kind of been skating on cloud nine. Even the halfhearted pushed by President Obama for more gun control, spurred on by violent crime south of the border, sputtered and died following “Operation Fast and Furious” came to light. Unfortunately, that seems to be changing.
More Americans prioritize gun control above Second Amendment rights by the widest margin since President Barack Obama took office, according to a new poll released Thursday in wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.
Forty-nine percent of those polled said it’s more important to control gun ownership, compared to 42 percent who say it’s more important to protect Americans’ rights to own guns, according to a Pew Research Center Poll.
It’s still far too early in the game to take polls seriously, though it’s hard to ignore them either. Polls really matter around 60 days away from an election. But given how Mitt Romney’s selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) for his running mate was supposed to be a political loser from the word “go,” polls are showing that he has received a bit of a bounce.
While Gallup may not show a bounce for Romney in its national tracking poll, other polls aren’t backing that up. Via Hot Air comes numbers from Ohio and Virginia, two very crucial states in the upcoming presidential election, showing good news for Romney. The numbers, however, also show positives for Obama in Colorado and Florida:
Romney has seen the largest gain in Ohio, a state we have seen bounce between the campaigns over the last few months. Today, the GOP ticket leads by 2 points (46% to 44%), compared to July when President Obama led the state 48% to 45%. Romney also gained ground in Virginia – today, he and Paul Ryan hold a 3-point advantage in the race (48% to 45%), while Romney trailed by 2 points in July.
However, President Obama has seen improvements in Colorado and Florida. In Colorado, the Obama-Biden ticket now leads 49% to 46%, an increase from a 1-point lead in July. In Florida, the Democratic ticket trails by just 1 point (48% to 47%), compared to a 3 point deficit in July…
The Wall Street Journal editorial board today floats House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan as the best possible vice presidential running mate for presumptive GOP presidential nominee and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney:
The case for Mr. Ryan is that he best exemplifies the nature and stakes of this election. More than any other politician, the House Budget Chairman has defined those stakes well as a generational choice about the role of government and whether America will once again become a growth economy or sink into interest-group dominated decline.
Against the advice of every Beltway bedwetter, he has put entitlement reform at the center of the public agenda—before it becomes a crisis that requires savage cuts. And he has done so as part of a larger vision that stresses tax reform for faster growth, spending restraint to prevent a Greek-like budget fate, and a Jack Kemp-like belief in opportunity for all. He represents the GOP’s new generation of reformers that includes such Governors as Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal and New Jersey’s Chris Christie.
As important, Mr. Ryan can make his case in a reasonable and unthreatening way. He doesn’t get mad, or at least he doesn’t show it. Like Reagan, he has a basic cheerfulness and Midwestern equanimity.
Over the last month or so, President Barack Obama’s campaign has been hammering Mitt Romney over his time at Bain Capital, making charges of outsourcing and carelessly throwing around potential illegal activity. But voters aren’t buying it. In fact, a new Gallup poll shows that voters trust Romney more on the economy than Obama and view his time at Bain Capital as a positive:
Despite concerted Democratic attacks on his business record, Republican challenger Mitt Romney scores a significant advantage over President Obama when it comes to managing the economy, reducing the federal budget deficit and creating jobs, a national USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds.
By more than 2-1, 63%-29%, those surveyed say Romney’s background in business, including his tenure at the private equity firm Bain Capital, would cause him to make good decisions, not bad ones, in dealing with the nation’s economic problems over the next four years.
I moved to Washington, DC two years ago for graduate school — apparently, as a freshly-credentialed MPP entering the job market, my timing was impeccable. But I can’t say I’m really happy about what it means more broadly for the direction in which the country is heading.
Catherine Rampell at the New York Times Economix blog reports (emphasis mine):
In every state, a majority of residents think the economy is getting worse. In the nation’s capital, however, a full 60 percent of people think the economy is getting better.
Reader’s Digest version: the Bush-Obama spending binge has spurred more growth in Washington, DC than anywhere else in the country. That’s because new federal agencies with new missions (or new missions at existing agencies) need new personnel. But beyond a simple expansion of the government itself came an expansion of the special interest class, eager to get its mitts on new waves of federal spending.
As if we didn’t have enough to worry about with millions unemployed across the country and new levels of uncertainty abounding, this doesn’t bode well for friends of the free market.
What can we do about it? Get involved.
Earlier this year, Congress passed H.R. 2 - the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 or CHIPRA (an expansion of S-CHIP). It was signed into law by Obama on February 4 after sailing through both the House (on January 14) and the Senate (on the 29th). According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on January 13 which analyzed the bill as it was submitted by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the legislation will add an average of $6.4B per year (yes, only ten digits!) to the federal budget. This will be offset by excise tax increases on tobacco products.
It seems that Americans have finally awakened to the abuses of their civil liberties. Two new polls show that a solid majority of the public isn’t happy about revelations that the National Security Agency has been collecting their phone data for datamining purposes (emphasis mine):
At first blush, it seemed, most Americans haven’t gotten too exercised about the revelation that the National Security Agency has been secretly tracking everyone’s phone data, in the name of protecting national security.
That was the take-away from a Washington Post/Pew Research Center poll released Tuesday. But two new polls out Wednesday – one by Gallup, another by YouGov taken for The Economist – paint a difference picture. Both find that a majority of Americans disapprove of the NSA data-mining programs.
In the Gallup poll, conducted June 10 and 11, 53 percent of Americans disapprove of the programs, while 37 percent approve. YouGov found that 59 percent disapprove of the programs, and only 35 percent approve.
Americans are also skeptical that the snooping is doing much good. Per YouGov, only 35 percent say it’s likely the information has prevented a terror attack, while 54 percent doubt it has. And while President Obama insists that “nobody is listening to your phone calls,” it turns out only 17 percent of Americans think that’s true, according to the YouGov poll, taken June 8 to 10.
Throughout the course of his presidency, Barack Obama has been making the case for more government involvement in the lives of Americans. But the recent scandals that have become frontpage news have gone right to the heart of President Obama’s message. And they seem to have caught the eye of Americans.
According to Gallup, 54% of Americans believe the government has too much power. That’s up from 51% just last year, but down from the high of 59% in late 2010, just before the mid-term elections:
The case against a big government was perhaps best made by David Axelrod as he was trying to defend President Obama, to whom he served as an advisor. “[W]e have a large government,” he claimed as he made a case for President Obama’s lack of knowledge about the IRS scandal.
It’s been said that the conservative and libertarian case against big government often falls on deaf ears because Americans don’t know what it means and we, as limited government advocates, cannot properly relay it. But the IRS scandal is the one, as Chris Matthews recently explained, is the one that can resonate with voters because it hits so close to home.
The White House and leading congressional Democrats are still trying to fight back against critics of ObamaCare, but their specious case isn’t convincing skeptical small business owners. According to a recent survey from Gallup, only 9% believe that the law will help them, while 48% of small business owners believe ObamaCare is going to be bad for business:
To show how deep the concern over the law goes and the messaging problem before apologists of the law, only 13% of small business owners believe that ObamaCare will improve quality of healthcare.
FreeEnterprise.com, the official blog of the United States Chamber of Commerce, also points to a separate poll of business owners showing the confusion over ObamaCare and points to the fact that “41% said [of sma held off on hiring workers, and 38% said they’ve pulled back on growing their businesses because of the law.”