Archive for Friday, April 24, 2009

After Obama’s 100 days, U.S. on right track

April 24, 2009

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— Millions of people jobless. Billions of dollars in bailouts. Trillions of dollars in U.S. debt. And yet, for the first time in years, more Americans than not say the country is on the right track.

In a sign that Barack Obama has inspired hopes for a brighter future in the first 100 days of his presidency, an Associated Press-GfK poll shows that 48 percent of Americans believe the United States is headed in the right direction — compared with 44 percent who disagree.

The “right direction” number is up 8 points since February and a remarkable 31 points since October, the month before Obama’s election.

Intensely worried about their personal finances and medical expenses, Americans nonetheless appear realistic about the time Obama might need to turn things around, according to the AP-GfK poll. It shows, as Obama approaches his 100th day in office next Wednesday, most people consider their new president to be a strong, ethical and empathetic leader who is working to change Washington.

“He presents a very positive outlook,” said Cheryl Wetherington, 35, an independent voter who runs a chocolate shop in Gardner, Kan. “He’s very well-spoken and very vocal about what direction should be taken.”

Nobody knows how long the honeymoon will last, but Obama has clearly transformed the yes-we-can spirit of his candidacy into a tool of governance. His ability to inspire confidence — Obama’s second book is titled “The Audacity of Hope” — has thus far buffered the president against the harsh realities of two wars, a global economic meltdown and countless domestic challenges.

Even if they don’t always like what he’s doing, Americans seem content for now that the president is taking action to correct the nation’s course. He’s doing something, anything, and that’s better than nothing.

“Some steps have been taken, and I can’t say that they’re the right ones, but steps have been taken,” said Dwight Hageman, 66, a retired welder from Newberg, Ore., who voted against Obama.

Other AP-GfK findings could signal trouble for Obama:

l While there is evidence that people feel more optimistic about the economy, 65 percent said it’s difficult for them and their families to get ahead. More than one-third know of a family member who recently lost a job.

l More than 90 percent of Americans consider the economy an important issue, the highest ever in AP polling.

l Nearly 80 percent believe that the rising federal debt will hurt future generations, and Obama is getting mixed reviews at best for his handling of the issue.

And yet, this is the first time since January 2004 than an AP survey found more “right direction” than “wrong direction” respondents. That fleeting 2004 burst of optimism came shortly after the capture of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

In recent years, the U.S. public has tended to be more pessimistic than optimistic about the nation’s future. The exceptions lasted just a few months: the start of the Iraq war, the Sept. 11 attacks and late in the Clinton administration.

Comments

craigers 6 years, 4 months ago

On the right track to suspend individual rights and business rights. I understand a need possibly for a credit card bill of rights but not allowing credit card companies to charge different rates for people who consistently don't pay on time? I read my fine print when I got a credit card, why can't the next person? I guess not everybody is responsible enough to do that, but they are responsible enough to have a credit card?!

Flap Doodle 6 years, 4 months ago

Which way is President Finger-in-the-wind pointing this morning?

jafs 6 years, 4 months ago

Nancy,

The point is that more folks think we're on the right track now than not, and that this is the first time in many years that that's the case.

I agree it's a slim margin, but it's seems good to me that it tips in that direction.

LiberalDude 6 years, 4 months ago

Good article! I agree, America is back on track. Thank you President Obama!

notajayhawk 6 years, 4 months ago

"Millions of people jobless. Billions of dollars in bailouts. Trillions of dollars in U.S. debt."

And he forgot more troops to Afghanistan, and probably a few other things. And this is the "right track."

Never, ever underestimate the stupidity of the American voting public.

Satirical 6 years, 4 months ago

I agree 100%, the U.S. is on the right track with Obama...the right tract towards socialism. Although with the Obama administration seeking greater and greater control of business which took bailout money (and even some that didn't), it is arguable we are on the tract towards communism.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 4 months ago

The erosion of civil rights continues. "WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is asking the Supreme Court to overrule long-standing law that stops police from initiating questions unless a defendant's lawyer is present, another stark example of the White House seeking to limit rather than expand rights." http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-090423-obama-defendants-rights,0,7827903.story

Satirical 6 years, 4 months ago

Oh no, an insult! What-ever-should-I-do? Should I respond by giving a similar insult and engage in playground politics and childish name calling? Or realize I am an adult, recognize the source, and move on? I will chose the latter.

JHOK32 6 years, 4 months ago

Obama is doing a great job considering the 100,000 tons of manure that Bush left behind to clean up. Bush's foreign & domestic policies were total complete failure & total incompetence! It is unbelievable that any one person could screw up the entire country this bad. I hope he's happy with his legacy being the worst President in U.S. history!

beatrice 6 years, 4 months ago

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managialamiseria 6 years, 4 months ago

Well, JHOK32, you are right about one thing, it's unbelievable that one person could screw up an entire country, 'cause one person didn't. The screw up started over 30 years ago, you can read just about any objective article to get that info.

If Bush's foreign & domestic policies were so bad, how do you explain the fact the Bush got more help from our neighbors around the world, while BHO came away with nothing? And remember, the main thing, we haven't been attacked again on Bush's watch.

Let's hope our new president can continue that legacy.

notajayhawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Well, gee, JHOKer - if by 'cleaning up' you mean adding another trillion dollars to the deficit you're complaining Bush left behind, throwing billions more to bail out the corporations you're complaining Bush bailed out, sending more troops to Afghanistan to support a war you're complaining Bush was waging, etc., etc., etc., then I guess he's doing a marvelous job.

managialamiseria 6 years, 4 months ago

Way I see it, the potential for downside risk far outweighs any upside. That is, if the Obamanations are wrong, we're screwed. Screwed financially with a screwed up health care system and screwed for national safety. He is trying too much too quickly.

managialamiseria 6 years, 4 months ago

Another way to put it, would anyone in their right mind trust the likes the Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Chuck Schumer & Harry Reid to run this country? Well, wouldja?

Daytrader23 6 years, 4 months ago

The world markets have stabilized and are going back up. Sure he spent a lot of money but it was needed to prevent 90% of Americans standing in bread lines. Spending (even if I don't agree with it) was successful. And here is the kicker, this is not tax payer money, this is federal reserve money. Meaning China is paying for it not you. (gotta love that political spin machine that gets the joe six packs all riled up) Spending success

Foreign Affairs. Notice how world leaders are tripping over themselves to be in a photo shoot with Obama. The U.S has friends again. Foreign affairs Success

Socialism The markets were screaming at Obama saying he should nationalize the four big banks who were in trouble. Sure he gave them bailout money to stay afloat so they can then continue to make loans to small businesses but he did not nationalize them. Socialism fail, free markets success. Keep your "socialism" rhetoric for the half wits. Giving guidelines to corps. receiving bailout money is just common sense, not socialism. Free market Obama success.
Yes the U.S is on the right track, but we went so far off course that it will take time to get back to where we once belong.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 4 months ago

"...it was needed to prevent 90% of Americans standing in bread lines." I loves the smell of hyperbole in the afternoon.

jaywalker 6 years, 4 months ago

Aren't those the Pep Boys, managial?

I'm torn on Obama's start. Encouraged by some of his actions, disappointed in others. But if polled I don't believe I could have declared we're on the right track. Yet.

managialamiseria 6 years, 4 months ago

Agreed Jay. On one side of their mouth, Obama supporters say 100 days in office is not enough time to say how things are going, on the other hand it seems plenty of time to proclaim him a success. I don't get it. Which is it?

As for his porkulus package being the reason the economy has shown SOME slight recovery (as in not as BAD as projected), that is just incorrect.

The majority of the porkulus package has not even been spent. If things are better, it's optimism, not porkulus $.

And, I too, run into few people that like Obama OR think he's doing a good job. They polls must be calling deadbeats at home during the day who are on the dole.

The last question for the polled people should be Howard Stern's question as he polled Obama voters, "what do you think about Obama's choice of Sarah Palin for vice president?". Most of them thought she would work out fine.

Daytrader23 6 years, 4 months ago

snap_pop_no_crackle (Anonymous) says…

“…it was needed to prevent 90% of Americans standing in bread lines.” I loves the smell of hyperbole in the afternoon.


So what would of happened if the markets crashed and all foreign investors pulled their money out of the U.S? You think you'd still have a job driving a truck? (or whatever else you do) People do not realize that the U.S economy was on the brink of total collapse. Consider it a domino effect, only the first few fell but the rest of the chain was saved. Imagine if it kept going. The haters should be thankful the U.S still has an economy, even if it is half the size of what it once was. And what saved it? The spending or the optimism? How about the spending and the actions of the Obama admin created the optimism.

managialamiseria 6 years, 4 months ago

Daytrade......maybe you could be more specific? What jobs, or job sectors did the Obama admin. have an impact on?

managialamiseria 6 years, 4 months ago

I don't think the porkulus package created much optimism. Most people are not too optimistic about trillions of dollars of debt.
. The most obvious example of the porkulus NOT working: We pumped billions of $s into GM only to watch the inevitable happen, bankruptcy & layoffs & restructuring.

Daytrader23 6 years, 4 months ago

managialamiseria (Anonymous) says…

Daytrade……maybe you could be more specific? What jobs, or job sectors did the Obama admin. have an impact on?

The whole freaking world economy, To be specific on which aspect of the U.S economy I will say again, the whole freaking world economy, which is what the U.S economy depends on. Of course wall st. is always about 6 to 8 months ahead of main st. So expect the jobless claims to fall in late 2009. Housing numbers are getting better which was the nail that let all the air out, Buy a house NOW, if you have the money. You won't see them this cheap probably for the rest of your life.

One final note, when will people realize that wall st. and main st. are the same street called the United States of America? The name changes at the railroad tracks, but rest assured what happens at one end of the street effects the other end.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 4 months ago

Barry spent a few days being Mr. Gloom & Doom to help stampede Congress into passing the Porkulus bill that most of them didn't ever read. Look for that behavior to be repeated next time there's a crisis to be exploited.

managialamiseria 6 years, 4 months ago

Daytrade, Wall St. & Main St. are the same? I wouldn't compare providing a haircut to stock market speculation.

And, last I heard, the whole freaking world economy was in a tail spin. Face it, even though David Broder cites some ridiculous pole as the reason for Obama accolades, things have not turned around....for the US or for the world.

Daytrader23 6 years, 4 months ago

managialamiseria (Anonymous) says…

I don't think the porkulus package created much optimism. Most people are not too optimistic about trillions of dollars of debt.

The markets say otherwise. Just take a look at the Dow Jones, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ. Investors are optimistic, foreign money is returning to the U.S, the markets are up. Don't need an opinion poll to see that. As far as this debt is concerned don't worry, once the markets recover all of the losses this debt will be easily paid off. You just have to understand how it's structured which is too long and complicated to explain it here, but trust me it is not the tax payer who has to pay for it. Even though the political spin doctors would like you to believe that you have to pay for it you don't. And even they know that, but then again both parties rely on keeping the masses uninformed.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 4 months ago

How bad was unemployment during the Great Depression? "A worldwide depression struck countries with market economies at the end of the 1920s. Although the Great Depression was relatively mild in some countries, it was severe in others, particularly in the United States, where, at its nadir in 1933, 25 percent of all workers and 37 percent of all nonfarm workers were completely out of work" http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/GreatDepression.html BTW, "nadir" means the lowest point.

managialamiseria 6 years, 4 months ago

Well, Day, let's hope you're right. Sooner or later the pendulum will swing.

Daytrader23 6 years, 4 months ago

managialamiseria (Anonymous) says…

Daytrade, Wall St. & Main St. are the same? I wouldn't compare providing a haircut to stock market speculation.


Really? So when the barber buys a new pair of scissors, which is made from steel, he is indirectly affecting the price of steel by supply and demand. Speculators do not create the price, the buyers and sellers do. The buyer being the barber, or the welder, or the auto manufacturer. The seller being the steel mills. The speculator is trying to gage how many barbers need new scissors and make a profit if demand increases which pushes the price up. Just one example. So wall st. and main st. are connected, just don't say that to the pundits.

camper 6 years, 4 months ago

I remember back in 2000, news agencies commented on the unfinished mess in Somalia that was inherited by the new administration.

Times have changed considerably. Obama was surely handed a challenging agenda in comparison. Two conflicts (or wars), an economic recession, a financial crisis, and an energy crisis.

I think, all things considered, we are on the right track though I don't agree with the proposed plan in Afganistan and believe the withdraw from Iraq is too slow. However, I am on board with the economic plan. I still see it as Keynesian economics rather than a move toward Socialism. In my mind we are looking at a long recession, and these "Keynesian" initiatives just might prevent us from hitting total rock bottom and downward spiral (which could lead to depression). My bet is on Obama.

Assuming we get out of this and the economy becomes healthy once again, we should pull back from this agenda and allow the pendulum to swing back. I just might vote Republican once again.

Daytrader23 6 years, 4 months ago

LiberalWiner (Anonymous) says…

Obama is guilty of fiscal child abuse!


Yes he is! And fiscal abuse is something completly new to politics as this has never happened before. We must do something about this. Like throw a tea party or succeed from the Union.

managialamiseria 6 years, 4 months ago

Daytrade, to explain things in terms someone with your moniker SHOULD understand, your example of the barber buying the scissors was an example of demand for a manufactured good. Your steel TRADER is not making anything, or relying on free market supply & demand.

He is speculating, flipping steel contracts around in the air (market) and NEVER actually producing, using, taking control or delivering a product. And THIS is why Wall. St. & Main St. are quite different.

managialamiseria 6 years, 4 months ago

And Daytrade, you are wrong. Speculators DO create and drive the price of a stock much quicker than consumers can influence the supply & demand market.

Maybe you should change your name to DayCare?

PrincessD 6 years, 4 months ago

Ahhhh, it is so refreshing to have such an intelligent President and knowing there is hope, for a better tomorrow!

Thank you... Mr. President!

Flap Doodle 6 years, 4 months ago

The sooner George Soros goes up against a wall, the better off we'll all be. (may contain hyperbole)

camper 6 years, 4 months ago

Managialmiseria ("what energy crisis"), you raise a good point. In fact, I'm not sure Obama inherited an energy crisis. But, when we were paying $4/gallon several years ago.....and nothing happened, I scratched my head. I knew that something would eventually result, and somehow I believe that those high energy (transportation) costs would eventually contribute to a recession and inflation (which has not happened yet for some reason I can't figure out). But I know that increased gas prices was one of the first dominoes that fell and put increased pressure on other flawed institutions like the home motgage biz.

So while Obama may not have inherited an energy crisis, it is something his administration will have to monitor. Like it or not, oil is a large part of our currency, and we will need to change....something we should have started long ago. One case where Nixon was right.

Corey Williams 6 years, 4 months ago

snap_pop_no_crackle (Anonymous) says… "The sooner George Soros goes up against a wall, the better off we'll all be."

As long as Limbaugh is right there beside him. George Will? We'll just make him wear jeans for the rest of his life.

managialamiseria 6 years, 4 months ago

Heard him talking about domestic drilliing.....Bush got hammered when he talked about that, but it's the only solution for independence.

labmonkey 6 years, 4 months ago

If America was a tree, George W. Bush chopped at it with a hatchet from the right. Obama has been cutting with a chainsaw from the left. It is only a matter of time before the tree falls and tramples the people.

LiberalDude 6 years, 4 months ago

I love how the idiot conservatives on here say, "I don't know how that poll could be right. I don't know anyone who likes Obama".

Haha, of course you don't know anyone who likes Obama. You live in the conservatvie, red state of Kansas and you only hang out with other idiot conservatives like yourself. Of course they don't like Obama. You all sit around and listen to Rush Limbaugh and watch Fox News. You and your friends have a very conservatively biased view of the world. Try leaving Kansas for a change and you'll find that most Americans like Obama and think he is doing a great job. You're living in an idiot bubble.

Daytrader23 6 years, 4 months ago

managialamiseria (Anonymous) says…

Daytrade, to explain things in terms someone with your moniker SHOULD understand, your example of the barber buying the scissors was an example of demand for a manufactured good. Your steel TRADER is not making anything, or relying on free market supply & demand.

He is speculating, flipping steel contracts around in the air (market) and NEVER actually producing, using, taking control or delivering a product. And THIS is why Wall. St. & Main St. are quite different.

Like I said, Were are on the same street, just opposite sides of the railroad tracks. So traders don't produce anything right? How about the houses we buy, the gardeners or the barbers we pay? The restaurants we support and on and on and on. If you think being a speculator or a trader is by any means a bad way to earn money then China or North Korea has a great system that goes with your values. Blaming speculators for a recession is the most ignorant excuse I have ever heard. If you had any clue about how the markets actually work you would understand this but since your not smart enough to be your own boss then you of course have to blame someone else for your failure in this game called life/

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