An amazing new voter poll on Obama's avowed federal spending freeze
Spending and also deficits have shot up as voter concerns in recent polls, even as the hallowed healthcare legislation went on life support. This is because the community organizer's claim that giving health insurance coverage to 30,000,000 more Americans would actually save money sounds about as likely as those late-night TV commercials promising an extra $20,000 a month with a simple 800-phone call.
So the president's firm federal freeze covers every single dollar of discretionary spending -- except for all Medicare spending and except for all Medicaid spending and except for any and all national defense spending. Everything else is frozen. Like the streets of Wasilla, Alaska. Oh, no, one more. Also excluded from the freeze is all Social Security spending.
Obama's spending vow is a flare, perhaps even a rhetorical rocket, a symbolic signal, if you will, demonstrating his Chicago-like determination to rein in the outgo of federal money in this crucial midterm election year when history suggests his Democrats are scheduled to suffer significant losses in Congress.
Oh, no. Wait. That's the wrong poll news. Gee, we're as good with these numbers as the White House predicting national unemployment would stay at 8% thanks to a $787 billion bill for stimulus spending.
The new Rasmussen Reports poll actually shows that 9% -- nine out of every 100 Americans -- think the freeze will do a lot about the federal deficit that has this many 0's -- 0,000,000,000,000.
To put it another way, 81 out of every 100 Americans are already convinced that the president's three-year plan is a phony phreeze that won't do much of anything at all about the deficit.
They're not against a freeze. It sounds swell. Like a budget-conscious family banning restaurant dinners except on weekends. In fact, 57% of poll respondents would like to see a government spending reduction. They just don't see such a tiny one as mattering much, despite the administration's orchestrated news leaks in advance and the three whole paragraphs the president devoted to it.
And, therefore, Obama's spending veto threat also rings hollow. Since, come to think of it, he's had that at his left hand since he took the oath by raising the right one 374 days ago.
To assist the Democrat president, Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is feigning a fight over including defense spending in the freeze. Of course, that's not going to happen. But her cosmetic talk makes the grumbling Democratic left a little less unhappy and allows Obama to appear like an alert centurion at the gates of national security.
Additionally, this kabuki-like skirmish distracts attention from what all isn't happening at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. Because it appears to be coming to the attention of those voters who believed in change to believe in that way back in 2008 they turned over the presidential house and both of the Capitol's legislative houses to representatives of the exact same political party by considerable margins.
So, now that same majority crowd makes even more promises. But, uh, what's the delay in getting things fixed back in that bizarre, broken-down place?
-- Andrew MalcolmTo combat the deficit, please donate one mouse click here to receive Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or follow us @latimestot. You can also go to our new Facebook fan page here.
Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images (Obama making many promises Jan. 27, 2010); Tim Sloan / Reuters-pool (Homeland Security Secy. Janet Napolitano during the president's long speech).