By Dick Morris - 06/09/09 04:51 PM EDT
According to a Rasmussen poll, more voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats to handle the economy, by a margin of 45-39. Scott Rasmussen notes that “this is the first time in over two years of polling that the GOP has held the advantage on this issue.” Last month, he had the Democrats holding a one-point lead, but they lost it in June’s polling.
A Gallup poll also confirms that the president’s personal ratings are high, but the underlying data less so. While 67 percent of voters give Obama personal favorable ratings and 61 percent approve of his job performance (Rasmussen has his job approval lower, at 55 percent), they give him much lower ratings on specific issues.
Gallup shows Obama getting only 55 percent approval on his handling of the economy (down from 59 percent in February) and finds that only 45 percent approve of his handling of federal spending while 46 percent approve of his treatment of the budget deficit.
As it becomes clearer that the deficit caused by spending has landed us in a new economic crisis, entirely of Obama’s own making, his popularity and job performance are likely to drop as well.
The old recession — that the public says was caused by Bush — shows signs of winding down. But the new recession and/or inflation — triggered by Obama’s massive deficits — is just now coming upon us.
If Obama refuses to cut back on his spending/stimulus plans (despite convincing evidence that Americans are not spending the money), he has three options:
a) He can raise taxes, which will trigger a deeper recession;
b) He can print money, which will trigger huge inflation;
c) He can pay more interest to borrow money, which will send the economy diving down again.
The blame for these outcomes will fall squarely on Obama’s deficit and spending policies. The fact that Americans are aware of these issues, and already disapprove of Obama’s performance on them, indicates that they will be increasingly receptive to blaming him for the “new” recession.
All this data suggests that Obama might run out of steam just as he gets to his healthcare agenda. As unemployment mounts, month after month, and Obama’s claims of job creation (or savings) ring hollow, it is possible that he will not have the heft to pass his radical restructuring of the healthcare system. The automaton Democratic majority may pass it anyway, but it will be a one-way ticket to oblivion if they do.
Morris, a former adviser to Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and President Bill Clinton, is the author of Outrage. To get all of Dick Morris’s and Eileen McGann’s columns for free by e-mail or to order a signed copy of their new best-selling book, Fleeced, go to dickmorris.com.