In a Wednesday Senate speech, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) signaled what most Americans are thinking – Obama is the real obstacle to a budget deal. The Senate Minority leader said, “After years of discussions and months of negotiations, I have little question that as long as this president is in the Oval Office, a real solution is probably unattainable.”
As the debt fight wears on, Obama seems to be taking the brunt of the blame. Although he has tried class warfare, empowering the unions, a rare press conference and blaming everyone within reach, the electorate grows tired of the rhetoric and sees only economic morass, a dwindling future for their kids and a country destroyed by the over-spending of a liberal administration and Congress.
What must be wearing on the President is the most recent sentiment from the American people. The most recent Consumer Confidence Index (June) had dropped 3.2 points to 58.5. No incumbent President has retaken the White House with an index of less than 100.
The Obama White House is very cognizant of the indices, polls, and American sentiment. Obama’s stance has changed drastically from last year. Obama is now talking about how much to cut, not whether or not large cuts in entitlements are needed. Unfortunately, the President isn’t leading on what to cut. Using platitudes and ambiguous references to “shared sacrifice”, “big things” and “pain on both sides” no one knows what the President actually thinks should get cut.
A recent Gallup poll says that 53% of Americans do not want the debt ceiling raised at all, regardless of cuts or a hike in taxes – the most strict possible outcome of the current talks. Obama is still trying to make the debate about tax increases vs. spending cuts as he carefully toes the party line. Americans are telling the President that it’s really about spending cuts, not tax hikes – he’s just not listening.
Mr. Obama’s presidential approval rating stands at 46%. At this point in his Presidency, G.W. Bush was at 62%. Yesterday Rasmussen posted a poll that shows that a generic Republican would beat Obama by 5 points and today’s Presidential approval poll shows that 51% of Americans disapprove of Obama.
Unemployment is rising, not dropping. Obama’s stimulus has failed, his healthcare reform will take the country into bankruptcy and he’s unable to lead through this most basic of issues – the Federal Budget. The budget debate is over the ridiculous increases in spending that the Obama administration has asked for and gotten. If the extreme left-wing of the Democrat party wants a debt ceiling raise it will need to come with substantial spending cuts. If he keeps trying to frame the debt ceiling debate as a taxation vs. spending cuts battle, he’ll lose – and 2012 is just around the corner.