Friday, April 22, 2011

April 22, 2011

     The latest New York Times/CBS News poll says we Americans are in a down mood these days, the most pessimistic we've been since President Obama's first two months in office when the Great Recession (if the Times capitalizes it, that must be right) was still officially alive.
     The number of Americans who think the economy is getting worse has jumped 13 percentage points in just one month, the survey says, which is a very quick shift indeed in public opinion.
     Congress is divided now, of course;  Republicans control the House, Democrats the Senate. 75% of those polled disapprove of the way Congress is doing its job.  But 57% disapprove of the way President Obama is handling the economy--not great news for a man who presumably will seek reelection next year.  72% did support the president's suggestion to end tax cuts for households making more than a quarter of a million dollars a year.  About three-quarters of those polled agree with the prez that the federal government should provide health care for the elderly, while 56% think it should help the poor.
     Still, the poll found a small majority agreeing with Rep. Paul Ryan (R, Wisc) that we should change Medicare from a program that pays doctors and hospitals to one that helps elderly patients pay for private plans.
     Confusing numbers, but mostly gloomy.  Personally, I'm feeling pretty good right now but that's probably because my baseball team, the ever-hapless Chicago Cubs, is playing .500 ball right now.  In a couple of weeks, after they've lost, say, ten straight, I'll probably join the ranks of the gloomy too.

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