Americans are voting on the wrong information
by Linda Beale
Americans are voting on the wrong information
crossposted with Ataxingmatter
Even the Washington Post knows it–a new Bloomberg poll shows that Americans have wrong information about the Obama Administration’s record. see Americans Don’t Know, Oct, 29 2010. They mistakenly think taxes have increased (they haven’t–they’ve gone down), that the TARP money won’t ever be repaid (most of it already has been, and the bailout amounts still at risk are those used to bolster mortgage lenders); and that the economy is worse off because of the stimulus (not so–more than a million more jobs would have been lost without the stimulus, and many important public priorities have been funded).
The Obama administration has cut taxes — largely for the middle class — by $240 billion since taking office Jan. 20, 2009. A program aimed at families earning less than $150,000 that was contained in the stimulus package lowered the burden for 95 percent of working Americans by $116 billion, or about $400 per year for individuals and $800 for married couples. Other measures include breaks for college education, moderate- income families and the unemployed and incentives to promote renewable energy.
Still, the poll shows the message hasn’t gotten through to Americans, especially middle-income voters. By 52 percent to 19 percent, likely voters say federal income taxes have gone up for the middle class in the past two years.
“He’s all about raising taxes,” says poll respondent Jeanette Bagley, 74, a retired home health aide in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. “He’s all about big government and big spending.”
The view that taxes have gone up is shared by a majority of almost all demographic groups, including 50 percent of independent voters, among the linchpins of Obama’s victory in the 2008 election.
[We recovered most of the TARP money, but] 60 percent of respondents say they believe most of the TARP money to the banks is lost and only 33 percent say most of the funds will be recovered.
In the past year, the economy has grown 3 percent and is expected to show improvement in the second quarter of this year.
Voters aren’t seeing the better climate: 61 percent of poll respondents say the economy is shrinking this year, compared with 33 percent who say it is growing.
The WaPo article notes a pollster who blames the Dems for not communicating well enough about the way that the economy has improved during their stewardship. Certainly at least partly to blame. But I suspect some of the blame also goes to those anonymously funded attack ads and robo-calls that distort and misrepresent. For example, I got a recorded call today from some right-wing organization that started out with “the Democrats are lying to you” and went on with multiple distortions. The Atlantic notes “Five Reasons Americans Are So Wrong About Major Economic Facts“–both of those reasons are in the five, as well as the media’s failure to inform, the response of people to their own economic misfortunes (when an economy feels bad to you, then you will believe the negative attack ads more readily, I guess), and our own individual failure to exercise our responsibility to know the facts rather than buying the garbage. Yes, that last is a huge one, as the Atlantic says:
Here’s a simple culprit: us. The civic responsibility to know basic stuff about the economy ultimately falls on citizens. It might feel like the banks are still living with our tax money, or that taxes have increased or will soon, or that the economy hasn’t grown in forever. But that doesn’t make it right.
One thing is for sure: Americans will not vote wisely when the groups competing for their vote don’t deal honestly with the real issues that face this nation. Wake up, America. China just built a far faster supercomputer than any we’ve built. We should be funding technology and innovation that will guide our economy into a better future. We should not be electing zany, tax cutting, Social Security privatizating, global warming deniers who want more of the ostrich-head-in-the-sand economic policies that got us into this mess to start with.
I know Linda, all those bitter clingers! Don’t they know that the economy is booming and taxes have been significantly reduced! So many jobs have been saved! Can you imagine how much worse it could be? Oh well, all the right-wing liars are spewing disinfomation about the shape of the economy to the ignorant masses. I think even the Fed (with it’s QE II talk) and Krugman (with his “let’s have more stimulus”!) are falling for it. Can’t everyone understand that if we just keep these same leaders for another two years things will be just as good in 2012 as it is now? As another commenter wrote here recently, “Dumb Ass Americans!” If the DNC and the Obama regime could just get it thru the voters’ head how ignorant and misinformed they are everything would be fine.
There was growth in private sector jobs which was negated by losses in state, local, and even federal gov. jobs. Add to these losses that many state and local gov employees are having to take unpaid days off.
The economy has grown, the economy that fosters jobless growth which is Wall Street and big finance led. The Dow is up;but the growth has not trickled down to Main Street yet.
Run said: “…but the growth has not trickled down to Main Street yet.” Where have I heard that phrase before? Dems are practicing trickle down economics?
Because, of course, 10 years of neo-con imperialism following 20 years of neo-liberal destruction of the manufacturing base and infrastructure of the economy should have been repaired in 2 years given the assistance of a corrupt Congress. As we know, FDR brought unemployment down to 19% in two years, and yet the media then was not so dominated by right wing hacks and self-centered “progressives” eager to share their “disappointment”, so he increased his majority.
I believe that things need to get worse before they can get better. So, while I don’t have any respect for Republicans I do see their winning as potentially a good thing. I did in fact even go so far as to consider voting for GW because he was exceptional when it comes to destructive potential (go Palin!). I do however live in Texas so voting for GW would have been nothing more that a waste of time, so mostly, I just amused myself by agreeing with the majority of my fellow Texans in that GW was just what the country needed.
Anyway, being too far to the left to endorse either party, here is how I see it. The Dems, as shown by this post, are every bit as devious as the Repugs. Sure the Obama team has made a little progress but at some point that is little more than a counter-factual claim because we will never known what might of happened otherwise. What we can know on the other hand is whether or not we are being told the whole truth. And Dems seem to have somewhere along the way, convinced themselves that the rest of us are in fact stupid. They claim for example that they have saved millions of jobs but they exclude the rather obvious fact that most of the jobs that they allegedly saved were those being held by their own ilk. ARRA kept state and local governments from collapsing and while that may have been necessary, it is disingenuous to present this as some sort of altruistic effort to aid those who need to be restored to their rightful place in society. In other words, tell me what you have down for the working-class. I am not impressed by what your efforts have done to maintain the technocracy/bureaucracy/plutocracy. In fact, I would be more impressed if you could make ‘them’ suffer, instead of those who ‘they’ caused the suffering of. And as for taking credit for all of the TARP funds being paid back, mostly, does this not need to be qualified with some mention of the countless billions that have disappeared through the GSEs and along with those toxic assets which now fester on the Fed’s books. So is it only the Repugs who: “distort and misrepresent”?
It should come as no surprise then that so many Americans have a negative impression of ‘big government’. The Dems are just as guilty of cronyism but only of a slightly different and larger version. And there is no noticeable difference in terms of integrity, the Dems are a little more complicated in their efforts to deceive, but deceitful nonetheless. And ultimately so much more smug and insulting to their fellow citizens. In the political arena it is expressed as in the post above, those who see things differently are ‘misinformed’. As if the Dems have things worked out completely, and unselfishly, but of course if the Dems were in fact so vastly superior in their thinking, as they seem to think that they are, the choice would presumably be a clear one. But it isn’t. What is clear though, is that the Dems have a penchant for blaming others for their failures, which seems to always be in play. When they are about to be handed their walking papers for once again coming up well short of expectations, the Dems are quick to blame ‘misguided and poorly informed citizens’. It follows too that they would predictably adhere to Keyne’s similar built-in excuse of ‘animal spirits’. As if to lament: ‘if only the herd could be taught to be more like them, then… the Dems would never fail’.
Hint 1: The Koch brothers and their buddies probably got a bargain.
Hint 2: The multi billion dollar media industry made out great providing it.
Sorry – they ar every much in the know about Obama’s record.
10% unemployment. He said it would get no worse than 8%.
The housing crises is still with us. Foreclosed homes are all around as are the number of people underwater. Even people with paid off homes feel less rich when there largest single asset drops 30-70% in value from the high. They thought they had a $600,000 house – but really its only worth $250,000. There goes the retirement plan….
Speaking of which we have the steller performance of everyone’s 401Ks these last two years plus the Obama catfood commision threatening their SS. And don’t forget the persistant (unfounded) rumorthat the Gov has plans to nationalize 401Ks.
And don’t forget the 10% unemployment…
Islam will change
Buff, I’m not sure you mentioned the 10% unemployment. Probably just an oversight, so I mentioned it for you.
Sardonic alert . . .
> that the TARP money won’t ever be repaid
“bailout” was a lot more that just TARP proper. What about Fannie/Freddie? Hundreds of billions of losses coming for them only. What about AIG? FHA banks? Fed holding junky assets at face value?
I wonder if you really do not know this or trying to mislead others.
In a democracy with free press, the information worth knowing *is* the information that the general public knows. Otherwise, by whose standards should we consider the public well or ill informed? Is there another democracy where voters go into polls with much better information than Americans do? Why allow voting at all?
There are myriad facts about the world and people lead busy lives. Simply proclaiming that Americans have the wrong facts – and based off of a phone poll at that – is meaningless.
Ah know y’all are a bunch a super geniuses n such, an that you and that Bammy feller jes want to tek our muny an till us whet to do out the goodness of yer big ol hearts, but I kinda prefers that freedom thang.
So jes mosey on down the road.
Yes, Dems are practicing trickle down economics. William Jennings Bryan must be spinning in his grave.
Why do I think that “Americans are voting on the wrong information” is another clever propaganda plant. Is it the blatant untruths about TARP? Who has time to re read propaganda?
Kind of a long winded way of saying you think people who believe in civil society are morons.
I did forget to mention the increase to the National Debt that makes th eworse of the excess of the Bush years look like a rounding error. Plus Obama has publicly projected deficits greater than any during Bush’s years out through 2020.
Oh, I also forgot the 10% unemployment…
Islam will change
Obama is just continued to practice what has been put in place long before he acquired the throne.
Where, where are you getting this from?
“as they are the military branch most likely to not follow a nicely packaged unconstitutional order.”
From Boot Camp onward, we were made acutely aware of who are Commandant was, our Secretary of Defense was, and our Commander in Chief. No one was asked to interpret constitutional issues and whether an order was right or wrong. We were told to follow your orders from the lowest private to the Commandant. No Marine would defy this heirarchy. USMC was cut to almost nothing in times before, there were always plans to integrate it into the Army or eliminate it, and on each occassion it has survived as we have after our time has come to pass.
Your complaint is with the decades of “corpocracy” we have gone through.
Malarky, the Marines are as wasteful big ticket machines as the Air Force and rest of the navy.
Their 800 rifleman 1.7B ship is toast with 105 range.
Call out the marines and they come at you in a Expeditionary Fighting Vehilce which could do 35 kts and 55 mph if it were delivered when it was supposed to in 1999. Still can’t get a plane.
Everything else you say is malarky.
You are defining the tea baggers’ billionaire confidence game. The kind run by monarchs and dictators, where there is no voting without truth.
O Tempores, O Mores.
Rolling on the floor laughing.
What housing crisis? Obama’s problem?! Obama fixes? Maybe buy up all the bad houses with more taxed dough, oh yeah taxes bad borrow it?
The only probelm with housing is all those in 2003 to 2007 who paid 40 or 50% too much and are now defaulting.
Who fixes that the Prez?
Where does that idea come from. Other than warfare state welfare I did not know you want welfare for real estate bubble con artists?
>>We were told to follow your orders from the lowest private to the Commandant. No Marine would defy this heirarchy.<<
Bullshit. You were informed that you did not have to follow an unconstitutional order. Or are you saying if any service member was told to setup a perimiter around a major city and start disarming the public, that you would just follow the order and shoot those who resisted? How about a Lt telling your to round up everyone in the village and shoot them as they fell into the hole you had them dig? Maybe you heard of the Nuremberg trials. The Nazis there tried saying they were only following orders. Most were hung.
Given that you are an “amateur socialist”, I’m not about to waste my time with someone who is afraid of freedom. Try reading “The Road to Serfdom” by Hayek. Your brain will likely explode….which might be a good thing.
>> Is there another democracy where voters go into polls with much better information than Americans do?<<
Amerivans are well down on the list of nations that provide its people with the truth. Witness one Barry Sorento in the WH.
The democrats have shredded the Constitution and the republicans didn’t stand up until it was too late so they haven’t done much better. But the Democrats, as infilytrated for years by subversive groups and candidates, is now the party of Marx. This nation will fall if Obama is given 4 more years. He is a Fabian Socialist at best, and a fascist at worse. He may well be a socipath and his very troubled upbringing as well as his indoctrinaation to hate America made him an unacceptable candidate. But coming from a very dumbed-down school system, and promising money from others, the citizenry garnered enough votes to do the work of those who wish us to fall. And he’s doing pretty well for himself through it all. One of the dumbest presidents in our history now presides. As a community organizer, he has managed to turn DC into a Thugocracy.
When’s the last time you “tea bagged” somebody, pal?
Just because you are ignorant don;t draw up strawmen andd ask me to defend them. That was hardly my point that you stated….try reading it again…and again….and again. It will eventually make sense to you….maybe.
Voila a more concise version of the same message. That wasn’t so hard was it?
Obama’s first year deficit is smaller than Bush’s last year deficit. Buff you keep playing the same tune without noticing that the numbers are moving under your feet. TARP was Bush’s baby and no amount of historical revisionism will wipe out the true history.
Walsh cut the crap. You need to build some cred around here before you start flinging poo. CoRev and Buff have earned the right to be wrongheaded here, you haven’t, one more stupid crack like that one and you are gone. We play kind of rough here in the AB comment threads but straight out scatatology doesn’t cut it. Last warning from a moderator.
Walsh. You are skating on thin ice. And it is ‘Barry Soetoro’. Shit if you are going to troll at least pretend to be informed, we like our trolls with actual data points.
Mike why is it that I suspect that the only version of TRTS that you ever read was the following;
And AB doesn’t have subscriptions. And you don’t have a lot of room to talk about ignorance;
“study the ealry movements of the German Democrat Socialist Party (that would be the Nazi party) and how they slowly rose to power. Then you also need to look at Musssoli,”
Its ‘Mussolini’ ya dip. And there was no such thing as the ‘German Democrat Socialist Party’. Instead you had the German Social Democratic Party/ Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands or SDP which was the arch-enemy of the National Socialist Workers Party/ Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NaZi. And the Nazi Party did not ‘slowly’ rise to power except that they were more or less a fringe party for some years until their quite sudden ascension into power.
Dude you are not impressing anyone with your degree from Glenn Beck U here, you are just an assemblage of talking points that are designed to sound like they actually are backed with something but mostly amount to ten pounds of bullshit in a five pound bag.
(And no under the rules I don’t have to play by the same rhetorical restraints you do, you are a guest and the siteowner has made me a party bouncer, I answer only to him.)
“You were informed that you did not have to follow an unconstitutional order”
No you weren’t. You are confusing ‘unconstitutional’ with ‘illegal’. An illegal order is one that conflicts with the UCMJ or the international rules of war as codified in the Geneva Conventions.
I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and theUniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.
“support and defend” does not override “will obey”, under the UCMJ orders of superiors are considered lawful.
And the Nuremberg defendents were 21 top ranking leaders, those who were giving orders and not grunts receiving them them. http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/nuremberg/meetthedefendants.html
Son you are punching out of your weight class here.
Walsh is done. You don’t get four strikes and if we wanted to listen to hate radio we know where to find it.
Unfortunately, if you would know this if stood in formation and were questioned by a DI, Platoon Sergeant, Commanding Officer on the chain of command and the UCMJ. And I am afraid Bruce has you by the short hairs, the UCMJ is the military code of justice to which all military personnel are subject to while serving. We do not go to a court of justice, we go to Court Martial which can be several different types with the highest level being a General Court Martial.
It would be worthwhile if you understood how the military is subject to a different set of rules and laws not having the same rights to the defense offered to civilians.