Aaron Task: What a difference a year makes. The stock market has come a long way in the past 12 months and so have President Obama’s approval ratings, but in the opposite direction.
The latest WSJ/NBC News poll shows Obama’s approval ratings have slipped below 50% for the first time in his presidency and have suffered the steepest first-year decline in modern American history.
There’s good reason Obama’s poll numbers have fallen, most notably his mishandling of the banks, as Henry and I discuss here and in the accompanying clip. Obama may talk tough about “fat-cat bankers” but the actions of his administration suggest policy is still being conducted at their behest.
Beyond “bailout fatigue”, Americans are upset with Obama about the ongoing spending spree in Washington. On Thursday, the Democrat-controlled House passed a $290 billion increase to the government’s debt ceiling as well as a $154 billion package aimed at boosting jobs and aiding state governments.
In his Dec. 8 speech at the Brookings Institute, Obama declared: “Even as we have had to spend our way out of this recession in the near term, we have begun to make the hard choices necessary to get our country on a more stable fiscal footing in the long term.”
But again, actions speak louder than words, and it’s clear to most Americans we are still in the “spending our way out of the recession” phase. That might be the “right” thing to do with unemployment and foreclosures at startling levels, but many taxpayers understandably worry about what happens when the bill come due for all this spending.
Meanwhile, Obama has disappointed his liberal base on a number of fronts, including the Afghan troop surge, the absence of a public option in health-care reform and lack of progress at the Copenhagen climate meeting.
Given all that, it’s not surprising Obama’s ratings have fallen and just 35% of Americans feel positively about his party vs. 49% in February, according to the WSJ/NBC poll.
With incumbents of all stripes feeling the heat, that bodes poorly for the majority party in the 2010 mid-term elections. About the only good news for President Obama is he’s not up for reelection until 2012 so he has time to right the administration’s ship, which needs a “change” of course.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.