Saturday, January 28, 2006

Poll: Public Worried About Federal Deficit

I had this post saved in draft form for the past week, and it sort of gotten pushed aside. Perhaps I wasn't really sure of how to comment on it--still not sure of what to say even now. So here's the post. It is another poll to look at. From Yahoo News:

The public thinks the federal deficit will grow larger by the end of
President Bush's second term and many people think the health care system will be weaker by then, according to a CBS-New York Times poll.

Seven in 10 said in the poll released Friday that they expect the deficit to grow larger by the end of his presidency. Four in 10 said they think health care will be worse, while half said they expect it will be about the same.

The Bush administration's new Medicare drug prescription program, which the administration said would save money for millions, has not inspired much optimism. About half in the poll, 51 percent, said they expect seniors will pay more for prescription drugs by the end of the president's second term. A third said they will pay the same and the remainder said less.

People were divided on whether the economy will be stronger at the end of Bush's presidency.

The poll also found that while many Americans would tolerate government eavesdropping on e-mails and phone calls without warrants to combat terrorism, they're concerned the program the Bush administration is aggressively promoting could encroach on their civil liberties.

While the program has been criticized as illegal by Democrats and some Republicans, 53 percent of the respondents said they supported the eavesdropping "in order to reduce the threat of terrorism."

Bush is viewed unfavorably by 48 percent and viewed favorably by 37 percent as he prepares for his sixth State of the Union address next week. The poll of 1,229 adults was taken Jan. 20-25 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Seventy percent of Americans say that the deficit will grow larger by the end of the Bush presidency. Another disturbing number to reflect on. Rereading this story now, after President Bush gave his SOTU address, I'm struck by the discontinuity between what the president says, and what the American public even believes in. This poll came out before the president's SOTU address, and the public is already worried that the deficit will continue to grow, that health care will continue to get worst, they are worried that the government will illegally spy on Americans without warrants, and that the economy will not grow stronger. We have a divided country here, and I doubt that Bush's SOTU address even made a dent at bridging this division, considering that the SOTU speech was nothing more than a campaign stump speech for this November's midterm elections.

I have a feeling we're going to see more polls like this, showing a complete lack of support for the Republicans and the White House.

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