Tag Archives: gallup

Americans Lose Hope for Economic Rebound

A new Gallup survey shows that consumers are losing confidence in the economy at an accelerating rate.

Gallup’s U.S. Economic Confidence Index was -9 for the week ending May 3 — its lowest weekly score since December. This reflects a six-point decline from the previous week, and is the largest week-to-week drop since last July.

The survey looks at how people feel about the present economy and the future prospects for improvement. Not only were Americans down on how things are now, they are growing increasingly concerned about the future.

consumer confidence

 

Note how the economic outlook line crosses above the current conditions line late in 2014. At that point, consumers felt like things would be better than at the current time. Looking at late February ’15, we see the reversal. Current condition numbers remains hopeful, but the outlook went negative quite suddenly.

May brings about a horrific picture. Not only did current condition sentiment drop significantly, the future outlook number dropped even more indicating that Americans see the economy as worse than before and getting much worse in the future.

This index measures sentiment. As such, it does not show what people are spending or have spent. It is important though, as how consumers view the future of the economy will influence their decisions on spending.

Another factor that might be affecting sentiment is that Credit card default rates have seen a disturbing trend upwards leaving many maxed-out Americans unable to use debt to finance purchases.

If Americans think they might lose their jobs, have their hours reduced or are having trouble paying their current bills, they won’t run out and buy that new car, T.V. or refrigerator. They’ll just make do with what they have.

This negative outlook on the economy may be an indicator of why the recent decrease in gas prices has done nothing to boost consumer spending.

Amnesty: The Next GOP Leadership Betrayal

House GOP leadership prepares to negotiate amnesty with Democrats.

House GOP leadership prepares to negotiate amnesty with Democrats.

House Republican leadership is preparing to betray the base. Again. To illustrate the magnitude of the sellout I was going to use a hypothetical analogy with Democrats and their base. Initially I was going to posit that Sen. Tim Kaine (D–Secular) had changed his mind about abortion.

For years Kaine has said that although he’s personally opposed to abortion, he is not willing to impose his beliefs on a ‘woman’s right to choose.’ Essentially confessing that his Catholic faith is not strong enough to get in the way of his political ambitions. (In his last campaign he became even more weaselly, saying he didn’t want to stand in the way of a woman exercising her “constitutional choices,” unless the choice involved a handgun.)

In my hypothetical Kaine would announce he had decided that what the Catholic Church teaches and the Bible says is the truth and he will no longer support any abortion unless it is to save the life of the mother. Kaine would also declare that he will no longer vote for any taxpayer dollars to be given to Planned Parenthood since both his beliefs and opinion polls show Americans don’t think tax money should pay for or help support abortion facilities.

It’s a great analogy but it has one problem: No one would believe it. The analogy is too fantastic for even temporary suspension of disbelief. Brent Bozell, chairman of ForAmerica, put it nicely this week: “So what’s the difference between Boehner and Pelosi and McConnell and Reid? Answer: The Democratic leadership honors its promises. Republican leaders have abandoned theirs.”

This House GOP leadership betrayal is passage of an amnesty bill, probably before the November election. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R–Sellout) says leadership supports an amnesty bill for 12 million illegals that includes tighter border enforcement as a sop to conservatives.

Boehner pays far more attention to agitation from people who shouldn’t be in the country than they do to conservative citizens. And unprincipled businessmen who want a steady supply of imported serfs are far more influential than mere voters.

National Republicans are forever pursuing the ‘independent voter’ at the expense of the base. Democrats on the other hand solidify their base first and then move to the independents. You think that might be why they win elections?

Besides the betrayal of the base, which is bad enough, what political goal do these masterminds in House leadership (to borrow an adjective from Mark Levin) think they are going to accomplish?

Boehner has picked an issue that was a failure the last time Republicans supported it. Ronald Reagan signed a one–time–only–amnesty–that–will­–also–seal–the–border–tighter–than–a–teenage–miniskirt.

The results of that amnesty were fourfold:

  1. Granted citizenship to people who came and stayed illegally
  2. Produced millions of new votes for Democrats
  3. Legalized low–skill labor for employers & reduced wage rates for citizens
  4. Attracted another 12 million illegals who want their amnesty now.

Does Boehner expect amnesty to attract Hispanic voters? California Hispanics now make up the largest ethic group in the state as a result of amnesty and Democrat failure to seal the border. There is not one Republican statewide official. California is a GOP desert as Hispanics proved singularly ungrateful.

Does Boehner think amnesty will improve the party’s image? A Gallup poll lists a total of 3 percent of the populace ranking immigration “reform” as a top priority and I’m guessing all their names began with Jesus.

Does Boehner think amnesty will mean more contributions from big business? Possible and it may last a cycle or two, but once the amnestied voters gravitate to Democrats, Republicans will start losing. And the Business Roundtable doesn’t back or finance losers for long.

Immigration polling, which has evidently frightened the GOP leadership, is dishonest. Respondents are offered unrealistic or nebulous choices. For instance the Public Religion Research Institute proclaims, “Support for a path to citizenship has remained unchanged…an identical number (63%) supported a path to citizenship for immigrants currently living in the United States illegally.”

Yet their poll offers three choices that are false or too general to be useful: “become citizens provided they meet certain requirements,” “become permanent legal residents but not citizens” or “Identify and deport them.”

“Certain requirements” is not defined and therefore is useless in determining public policy. Poll respondents can interpret “certain requirements” in a number of ways ranging from “learn to speak English like Tom Brokaw” to “stand in a long line for an autographed photo of Obama.”

“Legal residents but not citizens” is an outcome that creates a permanent helot class that won’t survive the first Democrat Congress. And no sane conservative has ever advocated mass deportation. We believe they got here under their own power and they can leave the same way.

I have yet to see a poll that asks a question that offers a conservative choice. For instance: Do you support a step–by–step approach to the immigration problem that begins by removing the economic incentive for illegal immigration thru a law that makes it a criminal offense for employers to hire illegal aliens?

If illegals can’t work and they can’t collect welfare or rebates from the IRS then the invasion will begin to reverse. Presto the “immigration problem” solves itself! Sure the bill won’t pass the current Senate, but so what? It offers a conservative alternative to the amnesty now crowd and it preserves the rule of law, but that pales in comparison to Boehner’s dreams of campaign contributions from the Business Roundtable.

Before elected officials — Republicans again — got cold feet in Prince William County, illegals were fleeing after an anti–illegal enforcement act was passed. The county saved millions as they fled to nearby “sanctuary” cities and states. The same can happen in a nation that takes its own immigration laws seriously.

Unfortunately that is not this nation and it’s not this Republican Party.

To win, Republicans should focus on economics

fairtax

As I have written a number of times here on CDN, the GOP is viewed very negatively by the majority of the American public, especially women, youngsters, and minorities – key demographics that the GOP absolutely must win over to remain a viable party, let alone to win future elections.

What is the key to winning their votes? It’s not accepting amnesty for illegal aliens or abortion on demand. Instead, Republicans should focus like a laser on the issue most important to these groups (and to the American electorate at large): the economy.

According to Gallup polling, economic issues (jobs, economic growth, the federal budget, taxes, fair trade) are by far the most important issues for American voters, far more than education, healthcare, or foreign policy. Yet, these days, we seldom hear Washington and the media talk about anything other than Benghazi, Syria, the Obama admin scandals, immigration, and social issues. While these issues are not irrelevant, they pale in importance compared to the economy. It doesn’t matter if the Benghazi scandal is investigated fully if the economy doesn’t recover and unemployed Americans (including college grads) don’t find jobs.

It’s the economy, stupid!

Republicans need to note that and act accordingly. Luckily, there’s a huge opening for Republicans here, because, as stated above, BOTH major parties and the media seldom talk about the economy, despite its importance to American voters (including the key demographics listed above), so Republicans have a chance to distinguish themselves from the Democrats.

From now on, Republicans should devote only a minimum amount of time and hearings to Benghazi, Syria, Obama admin scandals, and social issues, and devote the vast majority of their time and legislation to the economy, while also conducting town hall meetings, listening tours, and media interviews on that subject – and thus, force the media and the Democrats to shift the subject of the national discourse to the economy.

Thus, Republicans would force Obama and the Democrats to fight on grounds favorable to Republicans – grounds where the Democrats cannot win.

But just talking about the economy won’t be enough; one must also propose, and attempt to implement, effective policies. Specifically, Republicans should pass in the House, and introduce in the Senate, bills that would:

  1. Cut spending seriously along the lines proposed in the Ryan Plan or, even better, the Republican Study Committee’s plan, e.g. the RSC’s Spending Reduction Act.
  2. Privatize government-owned enterprises such as Amtrak, the Postal Service, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, etc.
  3. Provide full funding and a permanent authorization for the Export-Import Bank, which supports US industry and exporters without providing any subsidies.
  4. Institute the Export-Import Certificates for foreign countries proposed by Warren Buffett – thus allowing foreign countries to export to the US only as much as they import from the US, and also institute strict product quality standards on foreign (including Chinese) products.
  5. Strengthen Buy American laws.
  6. Utterly reject any form of amnesty for illegal aliens and dramatically cut down the levels of immigration, both legal and illegal, while making it easier for highly-skilled foreign workers and university grads to immigrate to the US and contribute to the US economy.
  7. Block-grand Medicaid to the states and pass Medicare and SS reform.
  8. Pass legislation that would legalize fracking throughout the country, open all shale oil and NG reserves, open the ANWR and the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, authorize the Keystone Pipeline over Obama’s objections, and authorize offshore oil drilling.
  9. And most importantly, abolish the IRS, the Internal Revenue Code, and the 16th Amendment and replace them with the FairTax (H.R. 25). The IRS is not an agency whose powers have been abused – the IRS and the federal income tax are DESIGNED for abuse. They are DESIGNED to be tools of oppression per se. Making the income tax flat, or eliminating section 501(c)3, or “improving oversight”, or passing a mild reform bill will NOT solve the problem, because it would still leave the IRS (with its awesome audit and status denial powers and its huge bureaucracy) and the income tax (which punishes people for productivity and takes away what they’ve earned) still in place. So a flat income tax would change NOTHING. ONLY the FairTax bill (H.R. 25) would solve the problem by abolishing the IRS and the income tax FOREVER, mandating the destruction of all personal records held by the IRS (except those related to SS, which would be transferred to the SSA), and initating the repeal of the 16th Amendment.
  10. States should also enact significant economic reform by cutting taxes and spending, implementing tort reform (including the Loser Pays rule), and adopting Right-to-Work laws.

Last but not least, Republicans should explain, in detail, to average Americans how exactly these policies would benefit them directly. This is something that Republicans have so far failed to do.

In trying to win future elections, Republicans will be climbing uphill. But the economy is not an issue of just one special interest group or one demographic. It is an issue which all Americans care about, and the vast majority prioritize above all other issues, yet, the media and Washington seldom talk about it. If Republicans start prioritizing the economy instead of Benghazi and Syria, they’ll show the public they are totally different – they’ll offer a totally different, and a much different, product to a public that is eager to buy it.

Most Americans OPPOSE defense spending cuts

Another leftist myth has been debunked and shown to be a farce: the myth that a majority of Americans support deep defense spending cuts.

You may remember, folks, that last year, the University of Maryland and the extremely leftist “Center for Public Integrity” commissioned a rigged poll which claimed that 66% of Americans supported cutting defense spending to the tune of $100 bn per year. Anti-defense groups such as the misnamed, Soros-funded “Project on Government Oversight”, and anti-defense writers such as Micah Zenko falsely claimed on that basis that most Americans support deep defense spending cuts, including sequestration.

There were, however, other polls saying something completely different, including one by the National Journal and one commissioned by the Foreign Policy Initiative.

Then, earlier this year, Pew conducted a poll showing that 73% of Americans oppose any cuts to defense spending (and similar percentages oppose cutting anything else).

mostamericansopposedefensecuts

And most recently, Gallup has released a poll showing that 36% of Americans believe the US spends the right amount of money on defense and another 26% think the US, if anything, isn’t spending enough – so in total, 62% of Americans oppose cutting defense. According to Gallup, only 35% of Americans think the US spends too much.

Moreover, the “don’t cut defense spending” view is held even more widely among the Independent and Republican electorates. 73% of Indies and 78% of Republicans share this pro-defense view, believing the US spends the right amount or an insufficient one.

Only among the Democrats does a majority think the US spends too much – and even among them, it’s barely a majority (51%). See here for details.

Gallup’s poll’s results mean that there is NO popular demand for defense cuts today, unlike the Vietnam War years and the late 1980s. All of that despite over 40 years of uncessant anti-defense leftist propaganda (particularly intense in the last 5 years). Gallup tells us that:

  • “In the late 1960s and early 1970s as the United States was fighting the Vietnam War, Americans’ dominant view was that the U.S. was spending too much on defense.
  • In 1981, just after Ronald Reagan took office after making concerns about U.S. military strength in light of the Iranian hostage situation and the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan a major theme of his presidential campaign, Americans shifted to the view that too little was spent on defense.
  • As the Reagan administration built up military spending in the 1980s, Americans again came to believe the U.S. was spending too much in this area.
  • Near the end of the Clinton administration, as the government made an effort to reduce military spending and George W. Bush’s presidential campaign questioned U.S. military strength, an increasing number of Americans said the United States was spending too little on defense.
  • In the first several years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which included U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, Americans most commonly said defense spending was “about right.”
  • Over the last five years, Americans have alternated in their views between believing the U.S. spends too much and believing it spends the right amount on defense, including this year, when roughly equal percentages of Americans hold each view.”

But what Gallup doesn’t tell us is that, in addition to the 36% of Americans who think the level of defense spending is “about right”, another 26% think the US isn’t spending enough, meaning that 62% of Americans – almost two-thirds of the society – oppose defense cuts.

This debunks yet another myth being spread by the left. Not only is defense spending NOT bloated, not only would deep cuts to it severely weaken the military (as sequestration is already beginning to do), not only would such cuts utterly fail to meaningfully reduce the budget deficit or attract new voters to the GOP, but also they are very unpopular: the vast majority of Americans OPPOSE them. There is NO popular demand for such policy, unlike the Vietnam War years – the time of the “guns vs butter” debates – and the late 1980s.

Not only that, but in contrast to the Vietnam War years and the 1970s, the US military is now held by the majority of the public, including 54% of young Americans, in very high regard.

Gallup pushes socialist agenda in survey

On Wednesday, Gallup published the results of their regular wealth distribution poll. While the survey does point to a country slowly ceding to socialism, the editorializing in the article puts Gallup in-danger of looking like a propaganda outlet.

Inequality is and will continue to be one of the most important domestic political issues. President Barack Obama has consistently pushed for measures that he believes would provide those at the bottom end of the socioeconomic spectrum a fairer chance to succeed, and has coupled that with consistent arguments for higher taxes on those with high incomes and wealth.

If that doesn’t scream propaganda, you’re not paying attention. Inequality has not been one of the most important issues to Americans. According to a slew of polls this year, unemployment, federal spending and health care were the top issues affecting American families. Nowhere in those results appeared “income distribution”, “wealth inequality” or anything even remotely related to the distribution of wealth in the United States.

The title of the posted article is “Majority in U.S. Want Wealth More Evenly Distributed.” The survey found that 59% of survey respondents believe that wealth should be more evenly distributed while only 33% believe current distribution is fair.

When broken out by party, 83% of Democrats felt that wealth should be distributed while only 28% of Republicans agreed.

According to their trend line results, more Americans than ever feel that the government should take an even greater amount of  money from the successful and give it to lower income earners. In 1939, 35% of respondents were supportive of government-forced redistribution through taxation. 52% answered in-favor of Obama-style socialism in this week’s poll.

The percentage of Americans that believe that wealth should be more distributed doesn’t seem to have changed much in the thirty years of the survey. Roughly 30% of Americans have always responded that the current distribution is fair while 57-59% have always felt that wealth should be evenly redistributed.

What has changed drastically is the share of respondents that feel the government should take more earnings from those making more and give larger amounts of money to those making less.

The distinction between the two questions is important. While wishing for all Americans to have a little more is a feel-good, want to believe in utopia type of thing, it isn’t realistic – something all socialistic regimes have come to learn.

Forced redistribution through government mandate is where things get truly scary. More and more Americans feel that the government has the right to take money out of one citizen’s pocket and place it in another’s.

Gallup’s poll isn’t, by itself, supportive of Obama’s social justice form of Marxism. But, in order to make the ideology acceptable, class warfare is necessary. Gallup is simply propping up a class warfare angle in an obvious ploy to move the nation in a certain direction.