February 2-8, 2013
According to Fox News, when given two choices, 15% of registered voters (11% of Independent registered voters) said increasing spending would be more likely to strengthen the economy. 73% (76% of Independent voters) think cutting government spending would be more likely to help. 7% (8% of Independents) said neither would help.
According to Fox News, 83% of registered voters (87% of Independent registered voters) say the federal government has a spending problem. 14% (11% of Independents) say it does not.
President Obama: Average approval from mid-January to early February was 51% according to RealClearPolitics. Average disapproval was 43.6%. (The average one week ago, which covered early to late January, was 52.3%. Average disapproval was 42.8%)
Here are the polls released this week on presidential job approval:
- Economist: 46% of adults approve and 46% disapprove.
- Fox News: 49% of registered voters approve, up from 48% in February 2012; 45% disapprove – the same number as one year ago. Among Independent registered voters, 43% approve and 48% disapprove.
- Public Policy Polling: 49% of registered voters approve and 48% disapprove.
- Quinnipiac: 46% of registered voters (40% of Independent registered voters) approve and 45% (47% of Independents) disapprove.
Gallup tracks President Obama’s job approval on a weekly basis. The average one week ago (Jan. 21-27, 2012) showed 52% approved and 43% disapproved. The latest weekly numbers available (Jan. 28-Feb. 3, 2012) showed 53% approve and 42% disapprove. Last year at this time (Jan. 30-Feb. 5, 2011), 46% approved and 47% disapproved.
Rasmussen conducts a daily tracking poll. One week ago (Feb. 1), 56% approved and 44% disapproved. On Feb. 8, approval was 52%; disapproval was 47%. Last year at this time, the President’s approval was 50% and his disapproval 49%.
Congress: Average approval for early January to early February was 15.6% according to the RealClearPolitics average. Average disapproval was 78.7%. (The average one week ago, which covered early to late January, was 15.4%. Average disapproval was 78.6%)
Here are the polls released this week on Congressional job approval:
- Economist: 11% of adults approve and 64% disapprove.
- Fox News: 17% of registered voters approve, up from 13% in February 2012; 77% disapprove, down from 79% one year ago. Among Independent registered voters, 12% approve and 84% disapprove.
Right Track/Wrong Track: According to the RealClearPolitics average, which covered mid-January to early February, 37.4% think the country is headed in the right direction while 55.6% think it is headed in the wrong direction. (One week ago, the right track average, which covered mid- to late January, was 37.4%. The wrong track average was 55.8%.)
Here are the polls released this week on the direction of the country:
- Economist: 30% of adults think the country is headed in the right direction and 54% think it is headed in the wrong direction.
- Rasmussen: 39% of likely voters think the country is headed in the right direction and 53% think it is headed in the wrong direction.
According to Fox News, 24% of registered voters (23% of Independent registered voters) think the country is stronger and more powerful than it was five years ago; 48% (49% of Independents) think it is weaker and less powerful; and 27% (the same number of Independents think it is the same.
According to Fox News, 65% of registered voters (62% of Independent registered voters) say it is still possible to achieve the American Dream if an individual works hard. 29% (31% of Independents) say it is not.
Budget Deficit & Spending:
According to Fox News, 54% of registered voters (56% of Independent registered voters) think the proposal to withhold lawmakers’ pay until they pass a budget is a gimmick. 40% (41% of Independents) think it is a serious proposal that could result in Congress passing a budget.
According to Rasmussen, 36% of likely voters think the president and Congress should stop the automatic spending cuts from going into effect next month. 30% ay Congress and the president should not stop the automatic spending cuts; 34% are undecided.
According to the Economist, 58% of adults think the budget deficit is a “very important issue” facing the U.S.
President Obama approval on the issue:
- Economist: 33% of adults approve and 51% disapprove.
- Fox News: 33% of registered voters (26% of Independent registered voters) approve and 61% (69% of Independents) disapprove.
Economy & Jobs:
According to Fox News, 40% of registered voters (44% of Independent registered voters) think the worst is over when it comes to the economy’s problems. 52% (51% of Independents) think the worst is yet to come.
According to Rasmussen, 45% of adults believe it would be bad for the economy if the government does more hiring. 10% think it would have no economic impact, while 15% are not sure.
According to Gallup, “U.S. Economic Confidence improved to -13 in January, matching the five-year monthly high set in November 2012. Economic confidence improved steadily from September to November before falling back to -17 after the presidential election, but has now returned to its pre-election peak.”
According to the Economist, 80% of adults think the economy is a “very important issue” facing the U.S.
According to the Economist, 24% of adults believe the economy is getting better, X35% believe it is getting worse; and 33% believe it is stuck in neutral.
President Obama approval on the issue:
- Economist: 37% of adults approve and 49% disapprove.
- Fox News: 42% of registered voters (38% of Independent registered voters) approve and 55% (60% of Independents) disapprove.
According to Rasmussen, 56% of likely voters say, as long as they are able to cover the cost of their decision, people should have the right to pick their own Social Security and Medicare retirement age. 24% don’t think Americans should have that option; 19% are unsure.
According to Fox News, 34% of registered voters (34% of Independent registered voters) say the 2009 federal stimulus worked. 60% (58% of Independents) say it did not.
According to Fox News, 29% of registered voters (24% of Independent registered voters) would favor another stimulus bill. 61% (67% of Independents) would oppose it.
According to Fox News, 61% of registered voters (the same number of Independent registered voters) say their paychecks are smaller this year because of taxes being taken out. 26% (25% of Independents) say their paychecks are not smaller.
According to Fox News, 68% of registered voters (72% of Independent registered voters) say middle class taxes will go up this year. 25% (22% of Independents) say they will not.
According to Rasmussen, when given four options, 43% of adults believe the sales tax is the one that is most fair. 26% rate an income tax is the most fair 6% said property taxes and 5% said payroll taxes.
According to Rasmussen, 49% of adults believe they pay more than their fair share of taxes. 29% don’t think they pay more than their fair share. 23% are not sure. Only 24% of adults believe wealthy Americans pay their fair share in taxes. 21% think wealthy Americans pay more than their fair share in taxes, while 49% feel they pay less than their fair share.
View of Government:
According to Fox News, 58% of registered voters (65% of Independent registered voters) say the federal government is too powerful and is restricting freedoms 38% (29% of Independents) say they are comfortable with the current role of the federal government.
Public Notice is an independent non-profit dedicated to providing facts and insight on the economy and how government policy affects Americans’ financial well-being.
Wealth is not Created at the Top: It is Only Devoured There
The UK has left the EU and we can argue about the minutiae of Wealth until we’re blue in the face. But the overriding factors are apparent and in one of the richest countries in the world it is shocking that so many people can’t even be sure if they are going to be able to eat enough today or provide for their loved ones.
These days, politicians from the left to the right assume that most wealth is created at the top. By the visionaries, by the job creators, and by the people who have “made it”. By the go-getters oozing talent and entrepreneurial-ism that are helping to advance the whole world – Opinion by Rutger Bregman
… across the spectrum virtually all agree that wealth is created primarily at the top and so entrenched is this assumption that it’s even embedded in our language. When economists talk about “productivity”, what they really mean is the size of your paycheck. And when we use terms like “welfare state”, “redistribution” and “solidarity”, we’re implicitly subscribing to the view that there are two strata: the makers and the takers, the producers and the couch potatoes, the hardworking citizens – and everybody else.
Bankers, pharmaceutical giants, Google, Facebook … a new breed of rentiers are at the very top of the pyramid and they’re sucking the rest of us dry
In reality, it is precisely the other way around. In reality, it is the waste collectors, the nurses, and the cleaners whose shoulders are supporting the apex of the pyramid. They are the true mechanism of social solidarity. Meanwhile, a growing share of those we hail as “successful” and “innovative” are earning their wealth at the expense of others. The people getting the biggest handouts are not down around the bottom, but at the very top. Yet their perilous dependence on others goes unseen. Almost no one talks about it. Even for politicians on the left, it’s a non-issue.
To understand why, we need to recognise that there are two ways of making money. The first is what most of us do: work. That means tapping into our knowledge and know-how (our “human capital” in economic terms) to create something new, whether that’s a takeout app, a wedding cake, a stylish updo, or a perfectly poured pint. To work is to create. Ergo, to work is to create new wealth.
But there is also a second way to make money. That’s the rentier way: by leveraging control over something that already exists, such as land, knowledge, or money, to increase your wealth. You produce nothing, yet profit nonetheless. By definition, the rentier makes his living at others’ expense, using his power to claim economic benefit.
But here comes the rub. Most rentiers are not as easily identified as the greedy banker or manager. Many are disguised. On the face of it, they look like industrious folks, because for part of the time they really are doing something worthwhile. Precisely that makes us overlook their massive rent-seeking…
The problems we face are that the politicians are firmly in the hands (pockets) of the uber wealthy. We live in a corporate plutocracy and those holding all the wealth and therefore power have no intention of changing the status quo, even if it isn’t sustainable. They remind me of bacteria (or cancer) devouring the host body more and more even though eventually it will kill them too.
Donald Trump Forgets Important Lesson From Grandad:
Harper’s Magazine reprints an interesting letter from US President Donald J. Trump’s own grandfather that may get you thinking. Here is it then:
The Emigrants – By Friedrich Trump – From a letter written in 1905 by Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump’s grandfather, to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. Trump had been ordered to leave Bavaria for failing to complete mandatory military service and to register his initial emigration to the United States twenty years earlier.
Prince Luitpold rejected Trump’s request for repatriation; the family later settled in New York. Translated from the German by Austen Hinkley.
Most Serene, Most Powerful Prince Regent! Most Gracious Regent and Lord!
I was born in Kallstadt on March 14, 1869. My parents were honest, plain, pious vineyard workers. They strictly held me to everything good — to diligence and piety, to regular attendance in school and church, to absolute obedience toward the high authority.
After my confirmation, in 1882, I apprenticed to become a barber. I emigrated in 1885, in my sixteenth year. In America I carried on my business with diligence, discretion, and prudence. God’s blessing was with me, and I became rich. I obtained American citizenship in 1892. In 1902 I met my current wife. Sadly, she could not tolerate the climate in New York, and I went with my dear family back to Kallstadt.
The town was glad to have received a capable and productive citizen. My old mother was happy to see her son, her dear daughter-in-law, and her granddaughter around her; she knows now that I will take care of her in her old age.
But we were confronted all at once, as if by a lightning strike from fair skies, with the news that the High Royal State Ministry had decided that we must leave our residence in the Kingdom of Bavaria. We were paralyzed with fright; our happy family life was tarnished. My wife has been overcome by anxiety, and my lovely child has become sick.
Why should we be deported? This is very, very hard for a family. What will our fellow citizens think if honest subjects are faced with such a decree — not to mention the great material losses it would incur. I would like to become a Bavarian citizen again.
In this urgent situation I have no other recourse than to turn to our adored, noble, wise, and just sovereign lord, our exalted ruler His Royal Highness, highest of all, who has already dried so many tears, who has ruled so beneficially and justly and wisely and softly and is warmly and deeply loved, with the most humble request that the highest of all will himself in mercy deign to allow the applicant to stay in the most gracious Kingdom of Bavaria.
Your most humble and obedient,
… Well then. Long ago, yes.. Still applies? You tell me.
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