Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Bloom Is Off The Rose

The honeymoon that any new President generally gets (typically 100 days) is over. About 40 days early. Bad news for The One.

President Obama’s honeymoon is beginning to fade.

Members of Congress and old political hands say he needs to show substantial progress reviving the economy soon.

Some Democrats have started to worry that voters don’t and won’t understand the link between economic revival and Obama’s huge agenda, which includes saving the banking industry, ending home foreclosures, reforming healthcare and developing a national energy policy, among much else.
It is always possible that people don't understand the connection because there is none. Or worse because the proposed solutions will make things worse.
Democrats from states racked by recession say Obama needs to produce an uptick by August or face unpleasant consequences. Others say that there is more time, but that voters need to see improvement by the middle of next year.

The most optimistic say Obama and Democrats in Congress will face a political backlash unless the economy improves by Election Day 2010.

“We’ve got to see an uptick by August or the Democratic majority is in jeopardy,” said Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), whose state had an 11.6 percent unemployment rate in January.
The economy will quite possibly be coming back by August however, employment usually lags the economy by one to three years. That can't be good for Democrats. Especially if the recent rise of Wall Street is not really a leading indicator but just another dead cat bounce.

Mr. Obama has some convincing to do. It is not just Wall Street and Main Street. Now it is his own party.
Confronting misgivings, even in his own party, President Barack Obama mounted a stout defense of his blueprint to overhaul the economy Thursday, declaring the national crisis is "not as bad as we think" and his plans will speed recovery.

Challenged to provide encouragement as the nation's "confidence builder in chief," Obama said Americans shouldn't be whipsawed by bursts of either bad or good news and he was "highly optimistic" about the long term.

The president's proposals for major health care, energy and education changes in the midst of economic hard times faced skepticism from both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill, as senators questioned his budget outlook and the deficits it envisions in the middle of the next decade.
Yeah. How about those deficits.

There is at least one Republican who is not happy with Mr. Obama's budget. Only one? Well a lot actually. But this one is important because he can run the numbers.
It was obvious to most Capitol Hill insiders why President Obama wanted Republican Judd Gregg as a member of his cabinet: He's one of the sharpest money-minds in Congress.

But instead of getting Gregg's counsel within the administration, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner found himself today of the receiving end of Gregg's fiscal conservative wrath.

In a hearing before the Senate Budget Committee Gregg dressed down Geithner with facts, figures, and charts. While always keeping his cool, the exchange was somewhere between a mother's scolding, a drill sergeant's questioning and an attorney's cross examination.

In his opening statement, Gregg politely called the administration's budget forecast a lie.

"The argument that it cuts the debt in half in four years is, ahh, is truly spurious," he told Geithner.

President Obama himself gives Gregg's comments a sense of stinging credibility. When the president introduced Gregg as his nominee for Commerce Secretary last month, he said Gregg is known for is fiscal discipline.

"He shares my deep-seated commitment to guaranteeing that our children inherit a future they can afford," Obama said.

Today, the president's compliment of Gregg turned into an attack on Geithner. Gregg said the budget is essentially "putting on our children's backs a debt they can never get out from underneath."
You know. That reflects a significant portion of what Main Street thinks.

Ace of Spades is looking at Main Street and quotes some interesting reports.
It is simply wrong for commentators to continue to focus on President Barack Obama's high levels of popularity, and to conclude that these are indicative of high levels of public confidence in the work of his administration. Indeed, a detailed look at recent survey data shows that the opposite is most likely true. The American people are coming to express increasingly significant doubts about his initiatives, and most likely support a different agenda and different policies from those that the Obama administration has advanced.

Polling data show that Mr. Obama's approval rating is dropping and is below where George W. Bush was in an analogous period in 2001. Rasmussen Reports data shows that Mr. Obama's net presidential approval rating -- which is calculated by subtracting the number who strongly disapprove from the number who strongly approve -- is just six, his lowest rating to date.
Well so far he is still in plus territory. Good for him. He is no where near Democrat Congress territory. Yet.
Recent Gallup data echo these concerns. That polling shows that there are deep-seeded, underlying economic concerns. Eighty-three percent say they are worried that the steps Mr. Obama is taking to fix the economy may not work and the economy will get worse. Eighty-two percent say they are worried about the amount of money being added to the deficit. Seventy-eight percent are worried about inflation growing, and 69% say they are worried about the increasing role of the government in the U.S. economy.
Now those are some astounding numbers. And 69% are worried about the role of the government in the US economy? Where were they during the election when Mr. Obama was making all his promises to intervene in banking, energy, and health care. What? Mr. McCain was making similar promises? Never mind. Maybe next time we can get a Republican to run on the Republican ticket. Of course things could have been worse for the Republicans. We could have had Huckabee and the food police. Now there was one socialist I could not believe in. In fact I couldn't believe he was a Republican. Well, as I said previously, fiscal conservatism and social conservatism are not necessarily convergent. In fact they seem to be divergent and that divergence appears to be tearing the Republicans apart. Good. The Republicans have to decide if they are the moral socialist party or the fiscal conservative party. A good place to start that is to ask yourself: which is the bigger tent? Which will be the bigger tent given demographic trends? I could answer the question for you but I prefer to let you do your own research and come to your own conclusions.

H/T Instapundit

Cross Posted at Classical Values

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