Republicans on Capitol Hill have been remarkably successful at demonstrating that the current spendulous bill doesn’t stimulate anything. The popularity of the bill has dropped from 45-34% to 37-43% in two weeks’ time. Perhaps most troubling for Democrats is that, among independents, the bill is now supported by 27% and opposed by 50%. Did it really take only three weeks for Obama’s precious center to collapse?
The same Rasmussen poll shows that many voters still want the government to do something, although they fear that it will be the wrong thing:
Forty-six percent (46%) of voters remain concerned that the government will do too much in reacting to the nation’s economic problems. Forty-one percent (41%) are concerned that the government will do too little.
And to bolster all those who confirmed that President Obama still leads a center-right nation, Rasmussen tells us that a rather solid majority would support a stimulus plan consisting entirely of tax cuts:
A stimulus plan that includes only tax cuts is now more popular than the economic recovery plan being considered in Congress. Forty-five percent (45%) favor a tax-cut only plan while 34% are opposed…and voters strongly believe that tax cuts are good for the economy. Most Americans believe that a dollar of tax cuts is better for the economy than a dollar of government spending.
We all know it’s easier to attack than to lead, and the President may be far better at the former than the latter. But these numbers show that there is an opening for an alternative proposal that will score well with the CBO as stimulative, focus heavily on tax cuts, and eliminate the long-term “transformative” spending that Obama is now selling the country (“This plan is more than a prescription for short-term spending — it’s a strategy for America’s long-term growth and opportunity in areas such as renewable energy, health care and education.”).
Enter Bill Kristol, who outlines this approach in an insightful blog post for the Washington Post:
The Republican position should be: We’ll pass on this emergency timetable a real stripped-down emergency stimulus. But if Obama insists on legislation incorporating an alleged “strategy for America’s long-term growth,” then the country deserves hearings and debate that obviously will take some time. And Republicans should make clear they cannot agree to limiting debate to a couple of days on such momentous long-term legislation.
In other words: If Obama wants a stimulus, Republicans will give it to him tomorrow. It’s the president’s and the Democrats’ insistence on incorporating a huge and problematic policy agenda in this one bill that’s delaying action. Why then, Republicans can ask, is President Obama delaying a necessary, short-term, emergency growth package?
Listen to this man, Mitch McConnell.