CLUELESS AMERICANS

11 comments

Posted on 9th March 2011 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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“Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!” – George Carlin

 

Whenever I read the responses of average Americans to questions about the economy and how our government operates, I think of George Carlin. Here is another poll that confirms we are doomed. Americans like big government. They actually think the government creates jobs. They actually aren’t worried at all about peak oil. They actually think we can cut the budget without touching Medicare or Social Security or the Military. The education system in this country has done just as those in power wanted. It has created the most clueless, docile, non-critical thinking flock of sheep ever assembled on earth in one place. They approach the slaughterhouse without a care in the world. Here is teh link to the actual survey. 

http://media.bloomberg.com/bb/avfile/rk74U1tEA.R0

Americans Oppose Government Shutdown, Fault Cuts in Poll

Americans are sending a message to congressional Republicans: Don’t shut down the federal government or slash spending on popular programs.

Almost 8 in 10 people say Republicans and Democrats should reach a compromise on a plan to reduce the federal budget deficit to keep the government running, a Bloomberg National Poll shows. At the same time, lopsided margins oppose cuts to Medicare, education, environmental protection, medical research and community-renewal programs.

While Americans say it’s important to improve the government’s fiscal situation, among the few deficit-reducing moves they back are cutting foreign aid, pulling U.S. troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq, and repealing the Bush-era tax cuts for households earning more than $250,000 a year.

The results of the March 4-7 poll underscore the hazards confronting Republicans, as well as President Barack Obama and Democrats, as they face a showdown over funding the government and seek a broader deficit-reduction plan.

“Americans do not have a realistic picture of the budget,” says J. Ann Selzer, the Des Moines, Iowa-based pollster who conducted the survey. “We all know people who are in debt yet cannot for the life of them figure out where the money goes.”

Overall, public concern about the deficit — which is projected to reach $1.6 trillion this year — is growing, although it’s still eclipsed by employment, with poll respondents ranking job creation as a higher priority.

1% of Budget

More than seven in 10 respondents say slashing foreign aid and pulling troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan would result in substantial savings, and large majorities back such moves. Yet foreign aid accounts for about 1 percent of federal spending, and the Pentagon requested $159 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan this year, less than 5 percent of Obama’s $3.83 trillion federal budget.

Fewer than half of respondents say cutting Medicare benefits or raising the age at which Americans receive Social Security retirement benefits would have a large impact on the deficit, and only 2 in 10 favor cutting Medicare benefits. Such entitlements account for about 40 percent of the budget and are the main drivers of the long-term deficit.

“Those people need those benefits,” says Will Moore, 36- year-old electrician from Dallas, Georgia, in a follow-up interview. Congress instead should eliminate “useless government programs and cut taxes and put money back in people’s pockets to stimulate spending,” says Moore.

Eclipsed by Jobs

When given five choices for the most important issue facing the nation, unemployment and jobs ranked first with 43 percent – – down from 50 percent in Bloomberg’s December 2010 poll — with the deficit and spending cited by 29 percent, up from 25 percent. Health care was chosen by 12 percent, the war in Afghanistan by 7 percent, and immigration by 3 percent.

Asked to choose between jobs and the deficit, 56 percent called creating jobs the government’s more important priority now, while 42 percent said cutting spending was.

Obama and congressional leaders have until March 18 to break an impasse over funding the government through the end of the 2011 fiscal year or risk a shutdown. The Republican-led House last month passed a $1.2 trillion budget that includes $61 billion in cuts. Obama and Democrats call the reductions excessive and propose cutting a total of about $10 billion. The debate is only over the current budget and doesn’t include long- term issues about the debt, including entitlements.

Cautionary Notes

To be sure, the poll holds cautionary notes and signs of opportunities for both parties in the budget battle. It shows the public doesn’t support the Republicans’ deep cuts to social and scientific programs. Solid majorities reject significant reductions in community programs that serve lower-income Americans, medical and scientific research, education programs and the Environmental Protection Agency. Fifty percent oppose significant cuts to public television and radio, compared with 46 percent who are in favor of that.

Still, the results indicate the public embraces the Republican argument that spending cuts will improve the economy and create jobs and doesn’t agree with Obama’s plan to invest in such areas as infrastructure to jumpstart a recovery.

Fifty-three percent say the drive to cut spending and taxes would improve the economy, while 44 percent say spending money on high-speed rail, expanding access to broadband Internet and developing new sources of alternative energy, as Obama proposes, would lay the groundwork for growth.

The poll also found that 61 percent say it’s possible to bring down the deficit substantially without raising taxes, while 37 percent said it isn’t possible.

Partisan Divide

While large majorities of both Democrats and Republicans want to avoid a government shutdown, that feeling is stronger among Democrats: Only 6 percent of Democrats say the issue of spending cuts is important enough to warrant a shutdown, compared with 92 percent who said they want to avoid that; 29 percent of Republicans say deep reductions need to be made even if it means closing down the government for a time, while 69 percent say that should be avoided. Just over 7 of 10 independents say they want compromise.

Overall, 77 percent say while cuts need to be made, an accord should be reached to avert a shutdown, compared with 20 percent who say a shutdown would be tolerable.

“I don’t think that allowing the government to shut down is acceptable,” says Suzanne Ray, a 67-year-old retired state employee from Richmond, Virginia, who describes herself as an independent. “We have elected people who should be able to reach reasonable decisions instead of acting like a bunch of spoiled children.”

Hands Off Medicare

While the broad majority that wants compromise on the budget may signal peril for Republicans, 45 percent say the party would benefit more than Democrats from a shutdown for having taken a strong stand against spending; 34 percent say Democrats would gain.

People are reluctant to touch Medicare, with more than three-quarters opposing any reduction in benefits to the insurance program for the elderly. Fifty-one percent say that would make little difference to the federal deficit, compared with 44 percent who say it would have a big impact.

Respondents split over whether gradually raising the age of eligibility for retirement for Social Security to 69 would produce at least modest savings: 47 percent say it would produce very or fairly large savings, compared with 48 percent who say it would have little impact.

The public may be opening up to the idea of raising the eligibility requirement for Social Security. From December, there was a 7-point increase in the percentage of Americans who support raising the retirement age, to 44 percent. While just 22 percent say Medicare benefits should be reduced, that’s a 7- point jump from three months ago.

Do Something

And 40 percent say Medicare should be replaced with a system in which government vouchers would help participants pay for their own health insurance.

“Something has to be done,” says Stanley Stein, a 75- year-old retired X-ray technician from Sahuarita, Arizona, who endorses raising the retirement age and means-testing Social Security benefits. “Otherwise, there’ll be nothing for anybody.”

There’s also a partisan split in public perceptions of the threat posed by the deficit.

Forty-six percent of Republicans and 47 percent of Tea Party supporters call the deficit and government spending the most important issue facing the country, compared with 16 percent of Democrats, for whom jobs ranks first. Almost 7 in 10 Republicans and Tea Party backers say spending is the more important priority over jobs, while 77 percent of Democrats choose job creation over the deficit. Jobs are the higher priority for independents, by a margin of 55 percent to 42 percent — almost identical to respondents overall.

The poll of 1,001 adults has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

11 Comments
  1. ecliptix543 says:

    Drawing all these sweeping conclusions from a sample of a whole 1001 people, eh? Generally, these polls are rigged, manipulated bullshit tossed out like feed corn to the braindead mass that constitutes the American public. Classic marketing technique, well researched and well proven: convince people that a majority holds an opinion and they’ll follow the herd – straight to the slaughter in this case. Fools.

    9th March 2011 at 10:39 am

  2. Administrator says:

    ecliptix543

    If the sample is random, then a 1,000 person survey can properly reflect the opinions of Americans. The answers seem like the answers you would get from the people in my neighborhood.

    9th March 2011 at 10:43 am

  3. Smokey says:

    Administrator,

    You are wasting your time explaining that to Miss ecliptix.

    If she knew anything about statistics, she would understand how a presidential election can be called accurately with only 2% of the vote in.

    Or why companies even take the time to do these random surveys. She understands nothing of random samplings.

    Because she is a dumbass.

    9th March 2011 at 11:08 am

  4. ecliptix543 says:

    Yes, if it is sufficiently random. And yes, the answers do represent a large degree of the thinking, or lack thereof, that reflects our current clusterfuck. It simply seems to me as if these ‘polls’ are constructed not to measure actual public opinion, but to measure the MSM’s effectiveness in propaganda promotions and whether they have ‘stayed on message’. I agree Americans are clueless for the most part. I also don’t necessarily blame them specifically for this unfortunate condition, except that we, as a nation, almost universally lack curiosity to find the right questions and the critical thinking skills to make decisions about them. All else flows from that fundamental flaw in this society at present, imo.

    9th March 2011 at 11:11 am

  5. ecliptix543 says:

    Oh hi there Smokey! I didn’t think you’d be back after the cock spanking you and your little pals received over the past couple of days. Good to see you up and walking about.. it’s gotta be painful to move around with SSS’ implement of destruction upinya…

    9th March 2011 at 11:14 am

  6. Pirate Jo says:

    The basic problem seems to be that Americans don’t know what makes up the spending pie. They talk about things like cutting funding for NPR, or foreign aid, and those things don’t make a dime’s worth of difference. $61 billion? $10 billion? How meaningless, compared to the sheer size and scope of the problem, which let’s face it – boils down to entitlements. The reason the defecit is so big is that the government borrows money and spends it on US! Or more accurately, on the old people. And that is where people flinch. What? I don’t get to enjoy 30 years of retirement even when I haven’t saved for it? What? I don’t get to have millions of dollars to spend prolonging my life by six months? Hmm. I guess I won’t think about it, and will just pretend that the debt can continue to grow forever. Instead I will complain about what the government spends on NASA.

    9th March 2011 at 11:51 am

  7. Pete says:

    “…boils down to entitlements.”

    And what the vast majority of Americans don’t realize is if you eliminate the guaranteed money for hospitals/healthcare providers that is Medicare, the health care prices have to come down to where the most amount of people can afford them.

    9th March 2011 at 1:44 pm

  8. Plato_Plubius says:

    Pete,
    “And what the vast majority of Americans don’t realize is if you eliminate the guaranteed money for hospitals/healthcare providers that is Medicare, the health care prices have to come down to where the most amount of people can afford them.”

    Adam Smith’s invisible hand would argue this; however even if we did eliminate the guaranteed money my fear is that our current rigged market capitalist system would prevent true price discovery in order to line the pockets of the insurance/pharma industries.

    9th March 2011 at 2:40 pm

  9. mikeinaz says:

    There’s a commercial on the liberal radio show out here about hospice care. The quote is – “Call today and get the hospice care you are entitled too.” Unfriekingbelievable! I never know when the show stops and the commercials start. Progressives…Fuck ‘em all!

    9th March 2011 at 2:57 pm

  10. KaD says:

    I fully support a government shutdown. The longer the better. Hopefully it can be stretched out to permanent.

    9th March 2011 at 5:14 pm

  11. flash says:

    Speaking of worthless fucks. Calling Ralphhhhhh

    Mar 9, 7:00 PM EST

    Gingrich: Love of country contributed to affair

    By SHANNON McCAFFREY
    Associated Press
    ATLANTA (AP) — Newt Gingrich says his passion for his country contributed to his marital infidelity. In an interview posted Wednesday by The Christian Broadcasting Network, Gingrich – who recently converted to Catholicism – said he had sought God’s forgiveness for mistakes in his past.

    GINGRICH-CLUELESS.jpg

    9th March 2011 at 7:52 pm

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