By: Alan Caruba
On a recent weekend Rasmussen Reports rated him at 51% while Gallup gave him a 49% rating. At the Pew Research Center, his rating was at 47%, but they noted that at this time in his presidency, George W. Bush had a job approval rating of 33% while Bill Clinton was rated at 63% approval.
Of course, Bush and Clinton were President at different times dealing with different factors but metaphorically Obama’s ratings suggest that close to half of the voters polled still thought he was doing a good job or, at the very least, not a bad one.
Consider some aspects of his record in office to date:
As 2014 came to a close, Tyler Durden, writing on Zero Hedge, addressed the U.S. debt, noting that it had “just hit a new historic level…which also means that total U.S. debt had increased by 70% under Obama, from $10.625 trillion on January 21, 2009 to $18.005 trillion most recently.”
The level of debt led to the first downgrade of the U.S. credit rating in the nation’s history. At the same time federal spending (25% of Gross Domestic Product) was the highest since World War II.
Obama has presided over a terrible economy for the past six years and, while other Presidents came into office facing a comparable recession, Obama’s failed policies turned it into the Great Recession. Employment sank to the lowest since 1983 at 58.1% of the working population and long-term unemployment (45.9%) was the highest since the 1930s.
One might think that so many people either out of work or who had given up seeking it would be unhappy enough to credit Obama with the economy’s sluggish state. He is currently taking credit for any improvement, but much of it is attributable to the energy sector and he has taken steps to harm it since 2009 with “a war on coal”, restricting any exploration or drilling for oil and natural gas on federal lands, and most recently, attempting to put one of the most energy-rich regions of Alaska off-limits to any access.
As we begin to work on our tax returns, it’s worth noting that only 49% of taxpayers will be paying an income tax, the lowest level in the modern era and, predictably, government dependency (47%), defined as the percentage of people receiving one or more federal benefit payments, is now the highest in American history.
There was a time when being on welfare was something people tried to avoid. That suggests that something has changed in the American character, but we know that all too well as we watch our society accept a range of conduct that includes demands for same-sex marriages, legalization of marijuana, a growing population of single-parent families, attacks on the saying of prayers at public ceremonies, hostility to the police who protect us, and a host of other behaviors that undermine the moral values that previous generations of Americans passed on to their descendants.
Another mystery is the way facts about Obama seem to stir so little interest. He allegedly has a Social Security number from a state in which he has never lived. Many of the records of his life that other Presidents have made public have been kept sealed from examination. A birth certificate has been deemed a forgery by document experts. Whole books have been devoted to the disparities between his two memoirs and facts that have raised many questions.
At the least, one might assume that Americans know that he lies all the time. The typical television news program includes video of something he said previously that clashes with whatever his recent version is. Why would voters grant a 50% approval rating to someone who so consistently lies to them?
The fact is that his namesake legislation—ObamaCare—has been a disaster from the day it was passed. It was sold to the public with a series of outrageous lies told by the President. Passage was based solely on the votes of a Democratic Party that controlled Congress but the recent election did shift control of Congress to the GOP, so the voter’s actions do speak louder than words.
The then-Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, summed it up saying they had to pass the 2,000-plus page monster “in order to find out what’s in it.” That is not how government is supposed to function, but worst of all, ObamaCare requires Americans to purchase a product, health insurance, they may not want or may not need. That is a lot closer to a dictatorship than a democracy.
How many scandals have occurred during the President’s six years in office? The short answer is “too many”; the most recent being the exchange of five Taliban generals for one American soldier deemed by those with whom he served to have deserted his unit. In the same fashion it has taken months to pry information from the White House about the Benghazi attack that took the life of a U.S. ambassador and three others. As is frequently the case, it is the cover-up that rivals the event.
In the end, one must conclude that Obama’s job performance approval ratings say as much about the mood and outlook of the voters who were polled as the facts cited above would suggest. A lot of Americans continue to express their anger and frustration with Obama, myself included, but that is not showing up in the ratings that suggest that a least half the voters think he’s doing, if not a great job, at least a good one.
© Alan Caruba, 2015
Every week on Monday morning, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum with short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture or daily living. This week’s question: Who Will Be The 2016 Nominees? Whom Would You Like To See?
GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: WI Gov Scott Walker will run, fight and win with an insurgent campaign that will take him to the top of the ticket.
As best understood, the Dem party’s nod is all HRC’s to lose – and she will lose it again. Not to any fresh, articulate speaker from out of nowhere, but to the avuncular VP au courrant – Joe Biden.
Way too early to cite any polls and national polls won’t mean much as we have no national primary. Just a precog fueled by Raman noodles, premium moonshine, Xanex, vaping and decaff Earl Grey tea by Twinings.
Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason: With Romney dropping out of the 2016 presidential race the media wants us to believe Jeb Bush is the GOP frontrunner.
It is still very early to make any predictions. I would like to see a current or former governor get the nomination and for me Governor Scott Walker would be an excellent candidate. He has been tried and tested and successfully turned around the state of Wisconsin. If he had any skeletons in his closet they surely would have surfaced by now. We know the media will be relentless in their pursuit of anything to topple the conservative candidate. As a progressive, Jeb Bush will not be scrutinized so intently.
One of the names being bandied about is Senator Marco Rubio, and I am taking this opportunity to share why he should not be the nominee.
In 2010 Rubio courted tea party conservatives in Florida, who volunteered and worked tirelessly to get him elected to the Senate. He said the right things and convinced us he was the real deal, a true conservative. Once elected, however, he quickly immersed himself in the GOP establishment and has proven to be a big government progressive. His work with the Gang of 8 in support of comprehensive immigration reform, a/k/a amnesty, without first focusing on sealing the borders, pretty much sealed it for us.
Recently, Marco Rubio made an appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The “crown prince” of the Tea Party movement is making the rounds feeling out a potential run for president in 2016. He is also promoting his book, ‘American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone’.
On the show, he proposed that the Earned Income Tax Credit should be expanded. Currently this is a government subsidy awarding thousands of dollars to families if they qualify when filing their yearly income tax returns. Senator Rubio suggested it should be a wage enhancement for those who earn under a certain amount of money, whether they have families or are single, and that it should be included in every paycheck. This sounds more like a corporate bailout and a way to make people comfortable in their current economic status. Corporations like happy drones and Senator Rubio seems to have found the answer through government largesse.
We know the 21st century presents serious economic challenges, but conservatives also know bigger government and wealth redistribution is not the answer, unless the question is socialism.
When questioned by Jon Stewart, Senator Rubio asserted what he proposed does not go against the conservative beliefs of the tea party. He said he was taking limited government and free enterprise and moving it into the 21st century to answer the challenges of the 21st century.
To this and his other “limited government” proposals, Jon Stewart told Senator Rubio “In your heart you’re a Democrat.”
Not only should Rubio not be considered as a potential presidential candidate in 2016, he should lose any bid for reelection as senator from Florida.
JoshuaPundit: Early days, perhaps but here’s how I see it, with an eye not only towards winning but towards what the next president is going to be faced with handling after 3 poor to abysmal presidents in a row, especially this last one.
Mitt Romney dropping out was a good sign. As I said about him from day one, he’s an extremely decent man who would have made a better than average president. Unfortunately, his decency worked against him. He was an abysmal candidate in 2012 and would have been awful in 2016.
I will not even discuss the likes of Jeb Bush or Chris Christy. Either would be awful, as candidates or as presidents.
To my mind, while I like some of Marco Rubio’s positions, anyone green and naive enough to let Chuck Schumer play him the way Jimi Hendrix used to play his strats is not someone I want in the Oval Office.
Ted Cruz is an absolutely brilliant man, a charismatic speaker and someone I think would make an outstanding president… with one unfortunate caveat. A president must also be a better than average politician. Senator Cruz will undoubtedly get there fairly soon, but his public life thus far has seen a number of public spats and confrontations with other Republicans that would have been better handled smoothing things over behind closed doors. Reagan was a master at this. Although I’d vote for him, I don’t see him getting the nomination in 2016, but he would make a superb VP, with four years on the job to learn this necessary skill and take over eight years later.
A lot of people underestimate Mike Huckabee. But remember that he put together a viable candidacy on a shoestring and won in Iowa as a virtual unknown. His biggest strengths are the way he comes across in person and on the air, coupled with his populist economic stance that’s a natural winner. And after 4 years as a regular FOX commentator, he’s now no longer an unknown.
While I have my differences with some of his positions, he also has executive experience as a governor, solid principles, a fair amount of drive and self-discipline (not just anybody could lose over 100 pounds without lipo or a bypass and keep it off) and he has surprising amount of common sense on foreign policy, being one of the few candidates who understands the global jihad. Definitely not the worst out there,and his stint on FOX has given his communications skills a decent polish.
I would have loved to see Sarah Palin run in 2012. She would have destroyed Barack Obama and been one of America’s great presidents. That aside, I think her target in 2016 isn’t the White House, but Lisa Murkowski’s Alaska senate seat.
I like Rand Paul. He is definitely not his father, he has a fair amount of courage and a decent sense of humor (the Aqua Buddah LOL!), and a lot of commonsense ideas on getting government off our backs. In spite of his presumed isolationist stance, based on legislation he’s proposed and comments he made while he was in Israel that I heard about directly from people whom were there, I don’t think he’s at all adverse to pulling the trigger when he feels it’s needed. He merely wants to think before he goes in and wants wars (as opposed to preemptive strikes) declared the way we used to do it – by congress. I agree with him.
Scott Walker is the latest rage when it comes to Republican candidates, and deservedly so. He’s been a courageous, successful governor who not only understood that the Left needs to be fought, not accommodated. And he won, in a state that by no means is pure Red. He’s been an outstanding governor, he’s fiscally sound, he seems to have overcome some of his charisma challenges and he’s definitely ready for prime time. One major negative point for me is his stance on illegal aliens. While he’s for firm border control, he also favors allowing most of the aliens already here to stay. In a way, this actually helps him because it gives him a certain stance as a ‘compromise’ candidate the GOP can unify behind.
Another question I have about Scott Walker concerns his views on foreign policy, which I haven’t heard him speak about too much. National security is going to rear its ugly head in 2016 as an issue, so we’ll see.
The Razor: At this point let me tell you who I DO NOT want to see.
Jeb Bush – Another Bush? This is the best the GOP can do? Really? After all the governorships the GOP has controlled, we’re going with another Bush? Why? To recycle bumper stickers?
Mike Huckabee – Hasn’t Jesus told him not to run yet? I’m sure he’d make a great preacher, but as president of an agnostic (on my best days) I’d rather he avoided this bully pulpit.
Donald Trump – A man who starts companies who then file for bankruptcy is the last thing we need at the helm of our country. Besides we don’t need 4 years of the Apprentice in the White House after having an amateur spend 8 there.
Ben Carson – A straight talker who would likely make a great Surgeon General until President Rand Paul cut the position. Doesn’t have the experience for the presidency, and 8 years of Obama has proven the importance of having a pro in the Oval Office. I’d have him as my GP in a heartbeat, but my president? Sorry Dr. Ben…
Sarah Palin – I like Sarah Palin. I like her a lot, and she drives Democrats absolutely wackadoodle, and watching the party dedicated against the “war on women” declare a “war on a woman” makes for good schadenfreude, so good it should become a flavor of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. But unfortunately being mayor of a small Alaskan town and a RINO’s VP candidate makes for a pretty thin resume. I’m tired of the White House being treated as a learning experience.
Which leaves me with:
Rick Perry – A bit dottering but so was early Reagan. Texas has become America’s Germany while California and New York look increasingly like Greece.
Rand Paul – A sane version of his father, and a fellow libertarian who would free the GOP from social conservatives. But senators aren’t governors and the best leaders our nation has had come from state capitals.
Finally, my current favorite – Scott Walker. As Rich Cromwell noted in his November Federalist piece, Scott Walker doesn’t seem very exciting on the exterior, but he does “sit on a throne made of the skulls of his enemies,” and that more than anything is what our party needs in 2016. No gimmicks. No tricks. Just victory.
Well, there you have it!
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