Sunday, October 08, 2006

33%

The results of this new poll are startling:
Democrats now outdistance Republicans on every single issue that could decide voters’ choices come Nov. 7. In addition to winning—for the first time in the NEWSWEEK poll—on the question of which party is more trusted to fight the war on terror (44 to 37 percent) and moral values (42 percent to 36 percent), the Democrats now inspire more trust than the GOP on handling Iraq (47 to 34); the economy (53 to 31); health care (57 to 24); federal spending and the deficit (53 to 29); gas and oil prices (56 to 23); and immigration (43 to 34).
The poll also shows Bush's approval rating at an all-time low of 33%. This is extraordinary. With the Dow trading at nominal (but, importantly, far from inflation-adjusted) all-time highs and gas prices plunging, the president's popularity hovers within puking distance of Nixon's just before the latter boarded Marine One for an extended rest in San Clemente.

Yes, Iraq explains some of this, as does the Foley scandal. But to the extent people vote their pocketbooks, this strengthens my belief that this is a phantom prosperity, characterized by an uneasy and pervasive feeling of being "left behind." The public is being peppered with happy talk on the economy, reading about corporate executives becoming wildly rich, and seeing "the market" (but not the stocks most people own) hit "new all-time highs." But it's not quite trickling down, is it?

The Bush administration's frustration at "not getting credit for the economy" is almost poignant. But when prosperity is narrow, it only angers those it excludes -- particularly if it's accompanied by a whiff of dishonesty or perception of piggishness. Right now, it seems the excluded far outnumber those invited to the party.

26 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: the "not getting credit for the economy" part, I almost spit out my coffee when I read in a recent Economist:

"More controversially, governments may need to redistribute the benefits of globalisation more fairly through the the tax and benefits system. Studies suggest that countries with more generous social welfare policies are less likely to support protectionism."

I'm no economist, so I can't pick apart the argument, but it does strike me that if it's at least marginally true, a lot of people are going to have trouble getting there from the current position of "tax cuts solve everything" (even wars we can't afford!), and the country is going to fall more behind while vested interests fight tooth and nail for quarterly earnings, country's health be damned.

10/08/2006 11:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That quote was from "More pain than gain" in the recent world economy survey for anyone interested.

10/08/2006 11:29 PM  
Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

Now North Korea has detonated a nuclear device. Looks like GWB has everything under control!! Do we know where they got the the nuke stuff from? Those friends of ours, the Pakistanis? I hope the voters have finally woken up to the fact that Rove is like the guy behind the curtain in the "Wizard of Oz"

10/09/2006 12:01 AM  
Anonymous George said...

Our cowboy president called out North Korea, Iran, and Iraq in the "Axis of evil" speech; remember that? That's worked out real well, hasn't it?

10/09/2006 12:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.weedenco.com/welling/Downloads/2006/0804welling022106.pdf

10/09/2006 5:59 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Excellent post, CR.

10/09/2006 7:38 AM  
Blogger DED said...

Maybe people have finally stopped drinking the funky Kool Aid the admin's been serving up for the last 6 years. I guess we'll find out the morning of Nov 8th.

10/09/2006 11:08 AM  
Blogger laughingriver said...

Perhaps it's because of things like this, this is from John Williams' website Shadow Government Stats which you have linked before


Political Manipulation of Labor Data Kicks into High Gear / September Payrolls Fell 40,000 Using Consistent Seasonal Adjustments

What that means is the year over year change in the seasonally adjusted data and the unadjusted data is different.

More from John,

On a not-seasonally-adjusted basis, August 2006 payrolls were up 1.34% against last year, while September 2006 was up by only 1.27%! This means that without a devastating hurricane, September took a relatively bigger hit in 2006 than it did in 2005. September 2006 annual growth was consistent with a hit from something worse than Katrina, but there was no hit other than a deepening recession. Since these jobs numbers are, in theory, unadjusted, one cannot blame the shockingly-weak results on bad seasonal factors.

When data are seasonally adjusted properly, year-to-year growth in the adjusted and unadjusted monthly data should be virtually identical. In September, they were not. The unadjusted annual growth rates detailed above, when applied to the seasonally-adjusted numbers, indicate that monthly payrolls should not have risen by 51,000 in September, but rather they should have fallen by 40,000! So how did jobs rise by 51,000?

Somehow the seasonally-adjusted annual growth rates ended up as 1.323% and 1.325%, respectively, for August and September 2006. Even with adjusted annual growth holding at the same level in September as August -- instead of September spiking against Katrina's impact -- the data suggest something close to collapsing economic activity.

Got that, non-adjusted data shows 1.27% growth year over year, and adjusted data shows 1.325%, meaning that they used a seasonal adjustment in order create 51,000 jobs when in reality they should have fallen by 40,000 jobs a difference of 91,000 jobs.

In the not so far off future, after an economic collapse of unprecedented proportions, people will realize the economic reporting in the US is worse today than the Soviets economic reporting of the 80's before their economy collapsed...

10/09/2006 11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To: Jimmy the Saint.
Foreign and domestic policy mishandling are the hallmarks of the Cheney/Rumsfield union.
Rove is the political hack who destroys reputations and careers. (think Atwater lite)
judyo

10/09/2006 2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing to read the number of Republicans jumping ship because the "Republican" party has lost its mind.

Quite frankly I don't care what party breaks up the "Republican" control of all branches of the government. Country comes before party and cronies. I just hope somebody does. Their control of all branches of the government has not been good for our country, or the world.

10/09/2006 2:26 PM  
Anonymous nyhmr said...

33 percent is still alot. If three people are standing together that means one of them supports Shrub and those 33 percent are the faithful. They believe Shrub is the only one in America who can save them from the unwashed masses who do not think, act or pray like them.

Open minded, flexible, tolerant and willing to look at all sides of an issue, not in that crowd.

10/09/2006 8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

williams is a good and honest man...someone should ask him about his reasearch into the 87 crash...

10/09/2006 10:59 PM  
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