August 21, 2012

Rasmussen Explains Gap Between Mainstream America and Official Washington

Marc Comtois

Pollster Scott Rasmussen explains how common poll questions offered by Beltway "professionals" make no sense to average Americans:

In Washington, it's a given that more government spending is needed to help the economy. Most Americans hold the opposite view. So when you ask whether cutting spending or helping the economy is more important, the question doesn't make sense. For most Mainstream voters, one leads to the other.

To gain a sense of how strong this belief is, consider the fact that voters are fairly evenly divided when asked whether they fear the government will do too much or too little to help the economy. At Rasmussen Reports, we asked those who wanted more government intervention what they would like the government to do. Most said cut spending. Overall, 66 percent of voters believe that the best thing the government can do for the economy is to cut spending.

The same dynamic exists when it comes to repeal of the national health care law. Rather than being seen as a diversion from talking about the economy, 43 percent believe repeal would help the economy. Just 27 percent think it would hurt. That's part of the reason most voters consistently support repeal. So, once again, it's not a choice between repealing the health care law and focusing on the economy. They're part of the same plan.

In other words, (gasp) voters have a more sophisticated understanding of the economy than Washington pollsters--and politicians--give them credit for.

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And sadly, Congress only responds to the wishes of the lobbyists, not the needs or desires of the voters. We are our own worst enemies. Watch our local congressional races and let the results tell you how bad things are.

Posted by: John at August 21, 2012 11:53 AM

"In other words, (gasp) voters have a more sophisticated understanding of the economy than Washington pollsters--and politicians--give them credit for."

And I'd hold that the view is actually less sophisticated than what insiders might expect. Kind of the Frankenstein's monster view of the economy... Fire BAD! Bread GOOOOD!

Posted by: Russ at August 21, 2012 12:13 PM

Government is not totally wrong in the "stimulus" idea. Everyone knows that the money will flow through the economy and the "multiplier theory" set to work.

That is where the correct ideas seem to end. First, the government is not simply sitting on a pile of cash. The stimulus money has to be borrowed, passing the burden to taxpayers unborn. This increases the deficit, without a plan in place to reduce it. One assumes they simply believe that an expanding economy will automatically work to reduce the debt. So long as there is a continuing desire to expand the government, this is not likely.

Second, the distribution of stimulus funds is "planned". It seems to be directed at salvaging failing governmental units. Money spent on "capital improvements", under the Prevailing Wage law, will flow first to union workers. That seems unfair to non-unionized workers, they are told to wait until the "multiplier" gets to them. I wonder if any serious thought was given to simply distributing funds to taxpayers (I think the sum was $15,000 per taxpayer) and let them "stimulate"?

Posted by: Warrington Faust at August 22, 2012 11:10 AM
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