January 8th, 2013

The public and the fiscal cliff negotiations

Who does America blame (actually, disapprove of) in the recent fiscal cliff negotiations?

Boehner, of course—but not by so very much, and certainly not by as big a margin as I expected:

Fifty-one percent disapproved of Boehner’s efforts in budget talks, with 52 percent approving of Obama’s stance.

And the difference between those who blame Boehner and those who blame Obama seems to rest mostly on the fact that Democrats are much more united in favoring Obama than Republicans are in favoring Boehner.

No surprise there, right?

More:

Disapproval of the Speaker was roughly even across party lines, with 56 percent of Democrats, 52 percent of independents and even 49 percent of Republicans saying they did not approve of his handling of the negotiations…

Unlike Boehner, there was a strong partisan divide for the president: While 81 percent of Democrats and 46 percent of independents supported his actions, only 27 percent of Republicans did so.

As I said, Obama could strangle a brace of puppies…

As for the end result of the negotiations, Americans say “meh”:

Overall, Americans seem to favor the deal — albeit not by an overwhelming margin. While 45 percent say they approve of the fiscal-cliff agreement, 38 percent say they disapprove. That result is driven mostly by Democrats, two-thirds of whom say they like the deal. By contrast, only four in 10 independents and 26 percent of Republicans say the same thing.

I wonder, though, how many people read much about the negotiations at all, and how many know what was decided. Maybe polls should come with a quiz? It might be illuminating.

31 Responses to “The public and the fiscal cliff negotiations”

  1. LisaM Says:

    I’ll bet quite a few would change their answer if the poll had been taken after the first paycheck of 2013. There were quite a few shocked and angry liberals among my coworkers last Friday when they found out that their taxes had indeed gone up.

    In addition, my health insurance went from $90 every 2 weeks to $210 every two weeks for myself and my son, and our deductible went from $500 each to $1500 each. My only consolation is that all of the gloating idiots who celebrated the “evil, liar” Romney’s defeat now get to suffer right along with the rest of us.

  2. Daniel Says:

    The whole country can disapprove of Boehner and it wouldn’t really matter as long as he can win re-election in his district.

    Over the next two years I think you’re going to see much more happening along ideological lines rather than the lines drawn by polling. Safe members will vote their conscience while only those rare members in competitive races will be concerned about the polls.

    The arguments about “if they knew about the payroll tax” are silly arguments to me. That tax holiday was going to bite the dust no matter which party got their way. Republicans were just as against it as Democrats, so either side trying to blame the other is really just posturing. Its demise will also be as forgotten as its origination in just a matter of weeks. Americans have as short a memory as they have a short attention span when it comes to the details of politics.

  3. Sam Random Says:

    I was paying attention through the cliff negotiations- the way I read it was that the Democrats had to do something or the GOP would spend the next 20 years talking about how Democrats had deliberately pushed through the largest tax increase in history. This was accomplished by moving the big debate over to February, when the debt ceiling will hit. At that point the GOP will make another play to put America on the Big Starve: in order to keep the government running at all, Obama will have to propose massive cuts to entitlement spending, or at least that’s what conservatives hope for. If you people (I mean conservatives- I’m a liberal) get your way, medicare, medicaid, social security, unemployment benefits, welfare programs, and food subsidies will all become a thing of the past, and it will be all Obama’s fault. See how that works? You get what you want (less spending! balanced budgets!) without having to be responsible for the ugliness it will cause (economic collapse, famine, death, violence, etc, etc).

  4. neo-neocon Says:

    Sam Random: your misunderstanding of the goals of conservatives is profound. Profound.

  5. Mr. Frank Says:

    Obama proposing “massive cuts” in entitlement spending? When pigs fly.

  6. parker Says:

    “…. without having to be responsible for the ugliness it will cause (economic collapse, famine, death, violence, etc, etc).”

    Economic collapse is lurking on the horizon because of the progressive agenda. The turn towards the nanny state is the source of “ugliness”.

  7. M J R Says:

    neo-neocon, 2:24 pm — “Sam Random: your misunderstanding of the goals of conservatives is profound. Profound.”

    Couldn’t'a’ said it better, but I’ll chime in with something maybe worse [smile]:

    It has been said by many [but I do have at least George F. Will in mind], “conservatives think liberals have bad ideas, but liberals think conservatives are bad people.”

    Sam Random, words fail me at this point, but neo was so dead on.

    I won’t respond further, because maybe fifteen or twenty years ago, I gave up ^for^ ^good^ trying to get liberals to understand where I’m coming from, understand the reason I think what I think; and not to just blandly assume I’m a bad person because I have different solutions. I don’t give a rat’s patootie now; they’re going to think I’m a bad person in any event, unless and until I totally repent and sign on to all the sacred liberal shibboleths.

    Fuhgeddaboutit.

    Neo, excellent response. Succinct, and not worth a further waste of words.

  8. Sam Random Says:

    Neo, if I’m reading MJR correctly, I suppose I ought to be quite taken aback, so I will apologize for not responding as expected:

    I do not see how my interpretation of conservatism is wrong. Disagreeable, yes. Seriously, if spending is the problem, and military spending is sacrosanct, then what is it that conservatives want? They say they want cuts, and refuse to name the cuts they want. They insist we’re broke, but refuse to demonstrate how they would reign in spending.

    The only thing conservatives really believe anymore is that liberals are bad (and, conversely, everything bad is liberal).

  9. neo-neocon Says:

    Sam Random: Your profound misunderstanding is here:

    If you people (I mean conservatives- I’m a liberal) get your way, medicare, medicaid, social security, unemployment benefits, welfare programs, and food subsidies will all become a thing of the past…

    If you actually want to understand what the majority of conservatives want—as opposed to what the most extreme 2% of conservatives want, or what the left wants you to think that conservatives want—read this book and then come back to talk about it.

  10. jon baker Says:

    The Sam Randoms of the world are the people who think the “debt ceiling” and not the actuall debt is the problem….
    http://www.usdebtclock.org/

  11. jon baker Says:

    Sam Random, I do volunteer work at a foster care facility. A while back the very frustrated African-American director told me it was easier to get medicaide for the children of illegals that were being sent to the facility than it was to get it for the children of US citizens. Through other means I have learned that there are large numbers of “hispanic” children receiving “speech therapy” paid for by medicaide. Their parents get to decide which language they get the therapy in. Many are choosing spanish. So not only do they send a therapist out to THEIR HOUSE, they send a translator!. I happen to know the speech therapist make in excess of $30 an hour…not counting what the companies are charging medicaide….now mulitply that over thousands of children, many of them the children of illegals, being taught spanish by our tax money…

  12. parker Says:

    Thomas Sowell is excellent at explaining markets and the fiscal-economic consequences of governments meddling in the market place. I doubt Mr. Random is interested in discovering how 98% of conservatives think. Along with MJR, I believe the only impossible thing in the known universe is having a rational, fact based discussion of economics with 98% of those who self-identify as democrats.

  13. Sam Random Says:

    Appealing to Sowell (is a logical fallacy, because he is a false authority. There, don’t I sound like a jerk pointing that out?) just proves my point: you’ve got no response. When the debt ceiling debate comes, the Republican party will demand spending cuts to domestic programs. Senator McConnell, the minority leader, said that the revenue issue was done, meaning that the only way towards deficit reduction will come in terms of spending cuts. And I think it’s safe to assume you don’t want to cut the military much, if at all, so that leaves us with entitlements. What do you think will happen? And why isn’t it obvious that this has been the plan all along?

    And, also, why do conservatives always recommend books? I won’t read them. I wouldn’t ask you to read Krugman, because I don’t think conservatives do that sort of thing. A great deal of politics really comes down to reading preferences if you think about it.

  14. DaveindeSwamp Says:

    Sam Random, like every totalitarian Leftist oxygen thief doesn’t care what anyone outside of his/her/its little closet has to say. Free speech only in accordance with whatever Communist talking point is in play that day.

    Frankly Sam, I don’t give a damn if you understand me, you’re a popcorn fart wanting live out the killing the kulaks fantasy. I intend to ruin that for you.

  15. rickl Says:

    Sam Random Says:
    January 8th, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    And, also, why do conservatives always recommend books? I won’t read them.

    Oh, what a giveaway.

    I wouldn’t ask you to read Krugman, because I don’t think conservatives do that sort of thing.

    I’ve read enough of Krugman to know that he’s batshit crazy.

  16. parker Says:

    Sam Running Dog Lackey Random says, “And, also, why do conservatives always recommend books? I won’t read them. I wouldn’t ask you to read Krugman, because I don’t think conservatives do that sort of thing.”

    I read the NYT, in particular Krugman, to keep abreast of the latest nonsense. FYI, fiscal conservatives do a much better job of understanding the opposition than ‘liberals’ do of understanding our POV. BTW, the Pentagon budget does need to be cut by at least 20%. Every DC bureaucracy needs to be cut. Entitlements are unsustainable you silly boy-girl-it. Meanwhile dimwits and rinos are constructing a can that will soon require a far bigger machine than ever built by Caterpillar to push it into the abyss.

  17. neo-neocon Says:

    Sam Random: well, you have certainly proven the points of several people here.

    You should note that I recommended Sowell (if you actually managed to read the comment of mine in which I recommended him—I link to his book on the words “this book”) as an authority on what conservatives want, and why, and how that differs from how liberals think. I did not recommend him as being an authority on anything else. Plus, it behooves a person to actually read what another person says about things before pronouncing him a “false authority” (unless you consider yourself more of an authority on what conservatives think—which would be somewhat laughable).

    I assume that in your comment you are also responding to parker’s reference to Sowell. But I am fairly sure that Parker is bringing up Sowell at least partly in response to my suggestion in the earlier comment that you read Sowell, because parker writes, ” I doubt Mr. Random is interested in discovering how 98% of conservatives think. ”

    As far as whether conservatives do “that sort of thing” (i.e. read Krugman) you are once again profoundly mistaken (and I’m being kind to you to characterize it as a mere mistake). They most certainly do. And have you not understood the basis of this blog, which has to do with the fact that I was a liberal and a Democrat for the first many many many decades of my life—in fact, until about the most recent ten years of my life? And that a great many commenters here were once liberals, and are well-acquainted with liberal thought and books and theories and reasoning? And that in fact I have read a great deal of Krugman, and have written about him many times? (If you’re interested, here’s a long piece I wrote about Krugman and my reading of him.)

    Actually, many conservatives read Krugman avidly. There are blogs on the right devoted to countering what he says. No doubt you disagree with what they say and the conclusions they come to, but there is certainly no dearth of very close readings of Krugman coming from the right.

    Actually, a great many people on the right read a great deal of writing produced by the left. But, strangely enough, I have noticed that most people of the liberal and/or leftist persuasion can’t seem to be bothered to read much on the right, especially anything longer than a blog post, and often even not that. Funny thing that, isn’t it?

  18. M J R Says:

    Actually, I agree with Sam Random that sending someone to read a book is not much of a reply.

    I do not fault neo-neocon, though, as she has many better things to do than to contend with someone hell-bent on misreading what her (my) side is really about.

    Most liberals are not communists, and most conservatives are not anarchists.

    But many liberals find little fault with communism/socialism, whereas most conservatives have no use for anarchy.

    I’ll speak for just myself here:

    While I accept conservatism/libertarianism as a template for how I would proceed,

    whereas at one time I’d have been happy to compromise with liberals and meet halfway,

    at this point there is ^no^ compromising because the liberals will always be back asking for more. Enough is never enough with them, and the line has to finally be drawn somewhere.

    But ^no^ conservatives are happy to see poor people starve, sick people pushed off a cliff in a wheelchair, etc.

    To suggest that among the readership here is a cheap slander. Only Sam Random knows whether it is knowing or unintentional.

  19. neo-neocon Says:

    M J R: well, you can see in my comment right above you that I succumbed to the temptation to spend more time than I should in answering Mr. Random.

    But I disagree that sending someone to read a book isn’t much of a reply. Sometimes it’s the best reply. It assumes (in this case, incorrectly) that the person is serious enough about learning something to spend a little time reading a more in-depth treatment of it. Also, just by following an Amazon link to a book and reading the summary reviews there and the comments, one often can get a good idea of the gist of the book.

  20. rickl Says:

    M J R:

    There’s nothing “liberal” about them. They are radical leftist totalitarians. They are utterly intolerant of dissent.

  21. rickl Says:

    For those who can’t be bothered to read, here is an excellent short video describing the various forms of government:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DioQooFIcgE&feature=related

  22. neo-neocon Says:

    DaveindeSwamp: popcorn fart?

    I learn something new every day.

  23. rickl Says:

    I remember reading “The Mouse and the Motorcycle” when I was a kid.

  24. M J R Says:

    neo-neocon, 9:14 pm — point taken, even well-taken, even as I will nonetheless persist in presuming to know what’s best for neo, to wit, that

    “she has many better things to do than to contend with someone hell-bent on misreading what her (my) side is really about.”

    neo goes on,

    “But I disagree that sending someone to read a book isn’t much of a reply. Sometimes it’s the best reply.”

    Okay, sometimes it ^is^ the best reply. This happens so often when I brashly generalize! But I think sometimes a brief summary, without going into much depth, ^accompanied^ by a book recommendation may work better than a naked book recommendation. Depends on the situation, yes?

    And sometimes people just don’t want to read a book. But see below . . .

    I do second your motion to consider “following an Amazon link to a book and reading the summary reviews there and the comments.” That ought to be very good advice for those who just don’t want to read a book.

  25. M J R Says:

    rickl, 9:14 pm — “There’s nothing ‘liberal’ about them. They are radical leftist totalitarians. They are utterly intolerant of dissent.”

    That is so in many cases; ^far^ too many.

    But sometimes it’s not. There ^are^ out there, what I’ll call true liberals. I can’t speculate on their proportion among left-leaners, but it’s dismayingly small, and diminishing as time lurches on.

    They’re the ones with whom I could respectfully disagree. I remember them, a dying breed, I fear.

  26. parker Says:

    “They” are a minority, not more than 30%. We on the right of the bell curve are not more than 30%. That leaves 40% who we must convince. Its a difficult problem to solve because it involves 4th grade math, a clear understanding of history, and above all an honest understanding of human nature.

  27. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    The question is, does Sam Random really know the issues or is he just like so many of those on the statist side who have learned all the sound bites, bumper stickers, and cliches that are used to dispute conservative views? It reminds me of so many of the MSM anchors who are aghast when someone utters a conservative idea in their presence. Does not the conservative know that the accepted views are like AGW? That is, proven by a consensus of their best thinking and it cannot be questioned.

    To a statist such as Obama there is no solution to deficits except more taxes. The idea of reducing spending is so repugnant and unthinkable as to be an unquestionable consensus.

    The solution to the deficit problem, if Sam Random had paid any attention to Romney/Ryan is three fold:
    1. Reduced spending: Stop automatically increasing discretionary spending by 8% per year. Fix the SS problem with a combination of increased retirement ages, changing the way the benefits are calculated, and raising the upper level of taxable income more rapidly. Reduce medical costs by fixing our medical malpractice system, attacking waste and fraud in the Medicare/Medicaid system, making all medical insurance tax deductible, encouraging more low cost walk-in medical clinics, encouraging nationwide health insurance exchanges, allowing people to choose what benefits they want in their health insurance, setting up regional risk pools for pre-existing conditions, establish a voluntary voucher system for Medicare/Medicaid, etc.
    2. Increase tax revenue by reducing deductions and credits for high earners and broadening the tax base so that everyone pays something.
    3. Increase revenues by increasing economic activity. Create jobs, jobs and more jobs by reducing regulations (especially EPA regs), drilling everywhere for our oil/gas reserves, reducing the barriers to opening new businesses, and stop using the President’s bully pulpit to demonize business. Vigorous growth of our economy will bring in far, far more revenue than tax increases.

    So there you have it, Sam. A three legged stool – spending reductions plus entitlement reductions, revenue enhancements, and economic growth to create big new revenues. That was the Romney/Ryan plan, but it was demonized as mean and uncaring.

    What is mean and uncaring is the Obama status quo. We are all getting poorer each and every day that the country remains mired in economic stagnation.

  28. parker Says:

    “But I disagree that sending someone to read a book isn’t much of a reply. Sometimes it’s the best reply. It assumes (in this case, incorrectly) that the person is serious enough about learning something to spend a little time… ”

    This particular comment exemplifies why I am devoted to reading your blog daily neo-neocon. We take back America, sometimes 1 step forward then and 2 steps back, but if we persist in this effort we will prevail. My thanks to you for your efforts. You are a shining light. We need shining lights. Thank you for being one.

  29. M J R Says:

    J.J. formerly Jimmy J., 12:46 am — “So there you have it, Sam.”

    J.J.f.J.J., I have noticed, as have others, as have you (J.J.f.J.J.) in all likelihood,

    that Sam Random has a curious way of not returning to the scene of the crime [just an expression here; no imputation of wrongdoing intended].

    We will all wait for the next appearance of this Halley’s Comet visitor, swinging by on an elongated trip from somewhere to somewhere, consuming many peoples’ energies, including neo-neocon’s; and then swinging off again into the wild black yonder.

    “HUH?”, as they reputedly say on Neptune . . .

    Look, I know that Sam Random has a life [don't most of us?], and isn’t terribly inclined to spar with us losers over here at neo’s,

    but perhaps we should pay him much less heed,

    unless he surprises us and comes back to engage us in our points of dispute.

    Whadda’y'all say? neo, too!

  30. thomass Says:

    Sam Random Says:

    I want means testing. I want M-Y benefits cut in return for lower taxes. I’ll still pay for the poor.

  31. expat Says:

    JJ,

    Thanks for recapping the Romney Ryan plan. We need to keep in mind how balanced it is and how much effort it devoted to avoiding radical disruptions in people’s lives. I read an article in my hometown paper the other day about local (small) businesspeople and their outlook on the economy. Each had a different take based on their specific businesses, but all complained about the insecurity.

    Obama has increased insecurity in every aspect of our lives while promising everything to everyone. If he would just take a postion on one thing like the energy suppplies and use it to make a policy,people would respect that. But no, he can’t upset the greenies, so he waffles. The man is so superficial and so self-centered that he will never gain the trust of the business community. And the latter will continue to try to be his cronies.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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