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The Upcoming Election

A new poll finds that by an astounding two-to-one margin, likely voters in next week’s election think that federal taxes have gone up, believe the economy has shrunk, and are under the distinct impression that the money lent to banks as part of the TARP program won’t be recovered.

The truth is that Obama cut taxes for 95% of the population (including most of those voters), yet by 52% to 19%, likely voters say that federal income taxes have gone up for the middle class in the past two years. Even a plurality of Democrats think that Obama has raised taxes.

Most of the TARP money has been paid back by banks as the economy improved, and the government is likely to make a $16 billion profit on those loans. Yet 60% of those polled believe most of the TARP money was lost.

And the economy has been expanding for the past nine months, with the S&P Index rising 75%, stocks recovering, and businesses showing profits. Yet over half the respondents think the economy is still spiraling down.

So, where in the world would they possibly get these crazy ideas?



  1. Richard wrote:

    What Jon Stewart should have asked Obama is, “how did you let the Republicans and Tea Party folks steal your narrative?”

    This is yet another example of Rove’s “project chaos” and it’s like a sleeper meme that won’t let go.

    Saturday, October 30, 2010 at 4:54 am | Permalink
  2. Jonah wrote:

    well, the only time i watch fox news is when i see clips poking fun at it on the daily show. CNN has been pretty fair and balanced on the stimulus but the problem is that a large amount of people watch fox and what a large portion of americans believe depends on what fox shows. There seems to be a natural distrust of government and thats understandable but the extent to which people believe the crap coming, probably from sources like fox, is disconcerting. Hindsight is 20 20 but perhaps obama should have tried to take over the banks and fired all its CEO’s and let himself be branded as a socialist rather than let the public see the bank execs continue to receive million dollar bonuses while the middle and lower class of americans stood at the unemployment line.

    Saturday, October 30, 2010 at 6:53 am | Permalink
  3. patriotsgt wrote:

    TARP was a Bush program blessed/approved by Obama and McCain. Problem was/is people saw this bailout of wall st, bankers rolling in that same bailout money and continuing to pay themselves and management bonuses (even though Obama/Geithner tried to make them stop)so politicians stopped talking about it. While it was bad Obama said he inherited that mess from Bush and stopped talking about it. Main st did not want it, some perhaps because it was a Bush/Paulson deal, others didn’t like it because they didn’t think we should reward stealing and corruption.

    No banker/broker has been indicted, questioned or had their license even suspended through this whole mess. Why you ask, because Paulson and Geithner are “Wall Street” and Bernanke is their personal banker. We keep putting the fox in charge of the hen house and congressional oversight is a joke until after something goes wrong so they can all point fingers in front of the camara.

    Yes the economy has been expanding at a very small rate, things are improving, but unemployment has remained relatively unchanged. Foreclosures are rising, wages are flat, and many other economic indicators are anemic at best. The 1st stimulus, for and I quote, “shovel ready projects” actually went to many other, nothing to do with a shovel, pet projects and state bailouts. This is where distrust comes from. Then the Pres says well we’ve learned there are never many shovel ready projects. Now we are asked to support 50 more bill for more “shovel ready” infrastructure projects because we need it, really?

    We really did need Stewarts “Restore the Sanity” rally, all of us.

    Saturday, October 30, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Permalink
  4. BTN wrote:

    Once again, I have to agree with PatriotsGT. I’d also like to add that (for once), people saw through the direct questions:

    1) Have middle-class income taxes gone up? (No)
    2) Will TARP lose money? (No)
    3) Is the economy improving? (Yes)

    and instead answered the real questions:

    1) Will taxes on the middle class go up in the future based on decsions/laws passed under Obama’ administration? (Yes)

    2) Will all of the various bailouts and perks (including 0-0.25% interst loans) to the financial industry (including AIG, FNM, and FRE) cost more to taxpayers in terms of direct costs as well as higher future inflation thatn the benefit to the average taxpayer? (Yes)

    3) Is the middle class economically better off than they were 3 years ago? (Debateable)

    Sunday, October 31, 2010 at 10:52 am | Permalink
  5. ZJD wrote:

    BTN, your #’s 1 and 2 are highly speculative. In other words, I need to ask: how do you figure?

    I do agree with your answer to #3 though; it is debatable. What is not debatable, however, is the trend in socioeconomic status of the middle class leading up to this point and the policies affecting that trend. What is also not debatable is the question of which party wants to remedy that trend and which party wants to exacerbate it.

    Sunday, October 31, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Permalink
  6. patriotsgt wrote:

    ZJD – I believe what BTN is trying to say about the unseen costs of the bailouts (and congress’ attempt to make things safer via regsulation) is costs for money have already gone up. Credit has tightened to the point of being strangled and that is due to regs. Bank fees have risen, mortagage costs have risen, credit costs have risen. These are the fallout of congressional meddling, the unintended consequence if you will.

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at 5:36 am | Permalink
  7. Dan wrote:

    I’m sorry, BTN and PATRIOTSGT, but I call BS.

    You can’t complain that taxes will go up, and then when they go down, complain “but they will go up in the future”. Classic shifting the goalposts.

    “Sanity” does mean thinking, but it does not mean using sophistry just to support your cause.

    If you don’t like the questions, complain about that. You might reasonably argue that the questions were leading (no), the questions were too specific (perhaps for your tastes), or that some of the answers are unknowable/ill-defined (possibly on #3).

    That would make you reasonable.

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at 10:55 am | Permalink