There is little question that Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, has had a rough past couple of weeks. But with a little under four month until the election, voters have a lot to think about, and a new poll from The New York Times gives us some insight into how they view President Barack Obama’s economic policies:
Nearly two out of three registered voters believes that President Obama’s policies contributed to some degree to the economic downturn, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll.
Thirty-four percent say Mr. Obama’s policies contributed significantly to the downturn, and another 30 percent say they contributed to some degree. Thirty-five percent say the president’s policies contributed little or not at all to the downturn.
When it comes to their personal financial situation, more voters believe the president’s policies will make their economic situation worse (39 percent) than improve it (26 percent). Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney fares better: While 25 percent say his policies will make their economic situation worse, a higher percentage - 32 percent - say his policies will improve their economic standing.
That’s an ominous sign if you’re on Team Obama.
Polls may show him in a tight race with Mitt Romney, but a new survey from The Hill doesn’t paints a less than flattering picture of how voters view the “change” President Barack Obama has brought. According to the poll, a majority of Americans believe that Obama has changed the country for the worse:
Two-thirds of likely voters say President Obama has kept his 2008 campaign promise to change America — but it’s changed for the worse, according to a sizable majority.
A new poll for The Hill found 56 percent of likely voters believe Obama’s first term has transformed the nation in a negative way, compared to 35 percent who believe the country has changed for the better under his leadership.
The results signal broad voter unease with the direction the nation has taken under Obama’s leadership and present a major challenge for the incumbent Democrat as he seeks reelection this fall.
It found 68 percent of likely voters — regardless of whether they approve or disapprove of Obama — believe the president has substantially transformed the country since his 2009 inauguration.
People are not happy with the current situation in the country (with good reason) and for the most part think 4 years is enough time to change it if a president is capable of doing so. It hasn’t happened. In fact, for at least 14.9% of the working population it has gotten worse (as reflected in the U6 unemployment/underemployment number).
That’s a huge number.
Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a DC-based grassroots conservative group, has released a new ad knocking President Barack Obama for his recent comments declaring that the “private sector is doing fine.” The ad points out that Americans have seen an unemployment rate over 8% for 40 consecutive months with 12.7 million Americans currently unemployed and that the natonal debt has now exceeded $15 trillion.
Noting that Obama is out of touch with Americans, AFP asks, “How can [Obama] fix the economy if he doesn’t know what’s wrong?” At the end of the ad, AFP promotes their “Jobs Agenda,” policy proposals that would jump start the economy:
On January 1st, taxpayers will see a heavy tax increase, which some are calling “Taxmageddon.” This significant contraction could have negative effects on our economy. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said last week that raising taxes would send the economy back into a recession. And now even former President Bill Clinton says that the tax cuts should be extended, at least temporarily:
Former President Bill Clinton on Tuesday jumped into the debate over how to handle the looming expiration of historically low tax rates paid by nearly every American, putting him somewhat at odds with fellow Democratic President Barack Obama.
Clinton, speaking on the cable television program CNBC, said Congress may have to temporarily extend all of the low tax rates that expire at the end of the year to give lawmakers more time to come up with a plan to cut deficits.
The remarks came as the Obama campaign was trying to raise doubts about Romney’s record in the private sector.
The tax cuts were first put in place under former President George W. Bush. Obama extended the rates for two years at the end of 2010, after Democrats suffered huge losses in congressional elections.
Now, Obama and Democrats want to let some of the lower tax rates expire for the wealthiest Americans. Clinton’s comments could undercut that position.
“They will probably have to put everything off until early next year,” Clinton said on Tuesday.
AKA “The Only Scandal Conservatives Need”
- 69,000 jobs added (That’s far too weak for even a piddling recovery)
- +.1% unemployment, up to 8.2%
- 12.7 million Americans unemployed
- +.2% to civilian labor force participation, up to 63.8
- 8.1 million Americans employed just part-time for economic reasons
- 2.4 million Americans marginally attached to the labor force
- 830,000 discouraged workers
- March and April job increases revised downwards
- Sure path to Obama’s defeat in November
The May jobs report has just been released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics…and it’s awful. It’s one of the weakest reports all year, and has shown quite clearly that the “Hope N’ Change” policies of President Obama are not working. According to the BLS press release:
Nonfarm payroll employment changed little in May (+69,000), and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 8.2 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in health care, transportation and warehousing, and wholesale trade but declined in construction. Employment was little changed in most other major industries.
Household Survey Data
Both the number of unemployed persons (12.7 million) and the unemployment rate (8.2 percent) changed little in May. (See table A-1.)
Last week, I noted that the President Barack Obama’s attacks on Mitt Romney over Bain Capital may well backfire given his own failures on the economy — everything from four straight years of trillion dollar budget deficits, the every increasing national debt, and a still-high unemployment rate.
However, during a press conference yesterday, President Obama said that Romney’s time at Bain Capital will be a significant part of the narrative during the campaign — doubling down on rhetoric:
President Obama on Monday declined to back down from his campaign’s attacks on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital despite criticism from some Democrats.
Asked at a press conference in Chicago about criticism from Newark Mayor Cory Booker regarding his campaign’s attacks on Romney’s work in private equity, Obama defended the tactic and said it’s fair game in a race where Romney has played up his business credentials.
“This is not a distraction,” Obama said. “This is what this campaign is going to be about.”
“If the main basis for him suggesting he can do a better job is his track record as the head of a private equity firm, then both the upsides and the downsides are worth examining,” Obama said.
Or, Why Your Worries About Double-Dipping or A “Second” Recession Are Utterly Preposterous And Make You Seem Completely Out Of Touch With Reality
While doing some reading over the weekend, I came across this blog entry by Brad Plumer over at the Washington Post’s Wonkblog (the one headed by Ezra Klein) about the Bush tax cuts expiring and how that will affect the economy:
To put this in perspective, the Federal Reserve expects the economy to grow at a roughly 2.9 percent pace in 2013. If Congress does nothing at the end of this year, much of that growth could be wiped out, and there’s a strong possibility that the United States could lurch back into recession. (Granted, a lot could depend on how the Fed reacts in this situation.)
That bolding is my own emphasis. And it really irritates me.
I know that the National Bureau of Economic Research, the official decider of recessions and other economic forecasts, declared the Great Recession to be officially over in 2009. I know there is an official, academic definition of recession: two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth (otherwise known, in normal person English, as “GDP shrinking.”) I know this is what Brad is talking about when he says “lurch back into recession.”
On Friday, the latest jobs numbers were rolled out from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As you might have read, the economy created 120,000 jobs in March, well below consensus estimates; though the unemployment rate did fall to 8.2%.
But with the election on the way, we can expect a renewed debate on stimulus spending. And as James Pethokoukis notes, the unemployment rate is far above that the Obama Administration claimed it would be at this point with the 2009 stimulus bill:
Swing and a miss. A big miss. A really big miss. U.S. employers added just 120,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said on Friday. That’s the smallest increase since October. Economists polled by Reuters had expected nonfarm employment to increase by 203,000. And as economist Robert Brusca points out, “The strong amazing run in household jobs came to a crashing halt as employment in that survey fell by 31,000 after rising by 42,000 last month and 847,000 the month before that.”
The 2012 presidential campaign seems to have started the day after the last election ended in 2008. This is nowhere more true than with our Perpetual-Campaigner-in-Chief, Barack Obama, the man who has attended an impressive 191 fundraisers since taking office. That number is all the more impressive when you consider he’s had to work hard to wedge them into his extremely busy schedule; you know, what with the hundred or so rounds of golf he’s played and the nearly dozen and a half vacations taken since taking the Oath of Office. It is so inspiring to see him working so hard on behalf of the American people, showing he understands and appreciates the suffering so many Americans are enduring.
Obama has a long laundry list of reasons why he says you should vote to give him a second term. He says he deserves another four years because his policies are bringing unemployment down (though it is still higher than when he took office, and the numbers today are artificially inflated due to the fact that so many workers have simply given up hope and stopped looking for work). He claims that he has restored respect for America on the world stage, yet America is now perceived as weak and our enemies openly mock us and challenge our mettle.
Last month’s jobs numbers were certainly much needed good news, but a new report reminds us that we aren’t out of the woods yet. According to a new survey from Gallup, unemployment is hovering back around 9%:
Unemployment could rise back to 9 percent of the U.S. population in Feburary, according to a Gallup survey released Tuesday, painting a grim picture for the Obama administration, which had been temporarily buoyed by promising jobs figures at the end of January.
Gallup’s mid-month reading, which traditionally previews the government report issued at the end of the month, shows a rise of seven-tenths of a percentage from the 8.3 percent unemployment rate at the end of January. That would be the worst unemployment figure since September of last year.
The survey firm said seasonal factors — including job loss by seasonal workers hired over the holidays — could be responsible for the dip.
“Regardless of what the government reports, Gallup’s unemployment and underemployment measures show a sharp deterioration in job market conditions since mid-January,” the firm said in a statement accompanying the release of the data.
Gallup also found that 10 percent of American workers have part-time positions despite wanting full-time work.
This is a reminder to Democrats that they can’t take a month or two of decent economic news as a sign that Barack Obama will win re-election and they’ll re-take the House. Then again, this isn’t surprising given the predictions the Federal Reserve and the Congressional Budget Office recently made about the economy in the next couple of years.