For Barack Obama, the time for talking never ends. And it just ain’t doing the kind of “good” it once did. Guess a fresh faced outsider offering vague visions of hope and change while a media-maligned mad man occupies the White House has greater appeal to the American people than a big-government loving liberal selling specific increases in government spending and federal control.
After stumping in two swing states, Pennsylvania and Missouri, the Democrat’s off to another–Ohio–next week. Local Democrats in the Buckeye State will apparently be turning out in greater numbers for the presidential visit than they did in the Show Me State.
Even a leading San Francisco Bay Area liberal, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), the co-chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, doesn’t think all this talk will do much “good” (as she sees it):
“I think the entire debate that’s been going on — For what, a year or so? — has reached a point where we’re glad to hear the president speak out, and say what’s on his mind and what he wants us to do, and get the country revved up,” Woolsey said during an appearance on MSNBC. “But I don’t think it’s going to change a lot of minds.”
The president, as pollsters Scott Rasmussen and Doug Schoen, the latter a Democrat, pointed out in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, can’t move the numbers on health care:
One reason may be that he keeps talking about details of the proposal while voters are looking at the issue in a broader context. Polling conducted earlier this week shows that 57% of voters believe that passage of the legislation would hurt the economy, while only 25% believe it would help. That makes sense in a nation where most voters believe that increases in government spending are bad for the economy.
When the president responds that the plan is deficit neutral, he runs into a pair of basic problems. The first is that voters think reducing spending is more important than reducing the deficit. So a plan that is deficit neutral with a big spending hike is not going to be well received.
But the bigger problem is that people simply don’t trust the official projections. People in Washington may live and die by the pronouncements of the Congressional Budget Office, but 81% of voters say it’s likely the plan will end up costing more than projected. Only 10% say the official numbers are likely to be on target.
The president is right when he says the time for talk is over. We’ve had this debate–and don’t want the overhaul he’s selling. So, let’s quit the talking and cut the spending, you know like he promised in his campaign.