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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Last of the Obamicans Watch

I think that I was very very confused when I wrote that I was one of the last diehard obamaniacs. I said I'd reject him if he didn't get the making work pay tax cut extended and didn't make a huge stink. OK so technically he didn't get the making work pay tax cut extended, but he did get the 2% payroll tax cut which is less progressive but twice as large so I remain an Obamaniac.

But many of my fellow self proclaimed liberal Democrats are weirdly docile Obama followers. In the Washington Post ABC News poll 31% of self proclaimed liberal Democrats said that they supported extension of all the Bush tax cuts including those for the rich. That is about the same as the fraction of all US adults who supported such a policy before Obama caved.

And Obama repeats whenever asked that he opposes extending income tax cuts for the rich. I think a huge number of self described liberal Democrats flipped just because Obama decided to oppose in principle but cave in practice.

I'm shocked.

Part of the issue is (surprise surprise) phrasing of the question.

For each item I name, please tell me if it's something you support strongly, support somewhat, oppose somewhat or oppose strongly.

Extending the Bush-era tax
cuts for all taxpayers,
including wealthy people as
well as the middle class"

It isn't clear what the alternative is -- extension for the middle class only or no extension for anyone. The poll gives a choice between extension for all and ... well something else but it isn't clear what. I'd guess many people thought that opposing that provision means allowing all the Bush-era income tax cuts to expire. That is a sensible proposal, but it has never been supported by more than a tiny minority.

1 comment:

Neuroskeptic said...

You're not quite alone. I'm also still a big fan. The Onion seem to be.

My impression (and my hope) is that Obama's ratings will start to bounce back in the second half of his term as people realize:
* He's actually done quite a lot of good stuff, if less than they'd have liked and
* The Republicans are a) crazier than ever b) the reason he couldn't do more and c) a threat in 2012.