It’s nothing but a snapshot in time, but it does tell a significant story. Even as the perception of Obama’s presidency takes a positive jump, mainly due to how he’s being covered by traditional and new media, Gallup’s numbers tell another story.
This should once again teach Pres. Obama, the Blue Dogs and the rest of the Democratic conservatives that you cannot win by playing on Republican economic turf. Of course, that won’t stop them from doing it, but it’s not paying off so far, especially for the President. That’s because validating the Right’s economic theories by jawboning them is a losing strategy.
Pres. Obama continues to have serious economic challenges, which includes health care. But his biggest mistake since the midterm elections was taking up the deficit cause on Republican grounds.
The approvals on taxes is quite interesting considering Americans are paying less in taxes than during the Bush years.
As for the deficit, Pres. Obama’s short-term December gain on extending the Bush tax cuts to the upper 2% was never going to pay off long-term. It made a mockery of his fiscal discipline and deficit reduction cheerleading, which was driven home this week in his speech to the Chamber of Commerce when he didn’t dare mention that these tax cuts weren’t going to get renewed under his watch. Considering he flip-flopped on what he said as a candidate his economic word doesn’t mean much.
This leaves no one on the Left making the case for Democrats. Pres. Obama’s rightward shift validates Republican austerity talking points and doesn’t drop the hammer on what’s required to begin digging out: raising taxes on those making over $1 million dollars, with another bracket for the top 2% wealthiest. It should be done in conjunction with simplifying the tax code, which I’ll leave to the econ experts to argue over.
The situation in Egypt is riveting and the stuff of real world drama, but the American people remain focused on the family wallet, with Pres. Obama continuing to struggle on the main issues riveting the middle class: their own economic future and health care. On both of these issues Republicans have owned Obama, because he couldn’t come up with a Democratic case on either that confronted the policy bankruptcy of the Republican Tea Party.