Why does Camelot lie in ruins? Intellectual error of monumental proportion has been made, and not exclusively by the politicians. Error also lies squarely with the economists. The “academic scribbler” who must bear substantial responsibility is Lord Keynes… James M. Buchanan, in The Consequences of Keynes
The President’s State of the Union Address helped him to a huge bounce in his approval ratings. On the day Obama made his SOTU speech Rasmussen reported his approval index at a -15. But as they say, the polls giveth and the polls taketh away. On Monday, the day the budget was officially released Obamas approval index was at a post-speech high of -4, today four days later it stands at a -12.
Much of the reason for the drop is people’s mis-trust of the President’s budget and his strategy for digging out of our economic crisis. Voter believe that Keynes had it all wrong.
While influential 20th Century economist John Maynard Keynes would say it’s best to increase deficit spending in tough economic times, only 11% of American adults agree and think the nation needs to increase its deficit spending at this time. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 70% disagree and say it would be better to cut the deficit.
In fact, 59% think Keynes had it backwards and that increasing the deficit at this time would hurt the economy rather than help.
To help the economy, most Americans (56%) believe that cutting the deficit is the way to go.
Eighty-three percent (83%) of Americans, in fact, say the size of the federal budget deficit is due more to the unwillingness of politicians to cut government spending than to the reluctance of taxpayers to pay more in taxes.
Rejection of Keynesian economics is found across demographic and partisan lines. Republicans and those not affiliated with either major party overwhelmingly reject the notion that increasing the deficit is the right prescription in difficult economic times. Among Democrats, 21% agree with the Keynesian approach, and 47% do not.
Investors reject deficit spending even more strongly than non-investors.
Of course, not all deficits are created equal. Forty-nine percent (49%) of the nation’s voters believe it’s more important to cut spending than to reduce the deficit. Polling released earlier this week shows a similar attitude as voters prefer lower taxes and deficits to higher taxes and a balanced budget.
“These figures highlight a massive failure of leadership from both Republicans and Democrats among the nation’s political elite,” says Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports. “Given the amount of political chatter about the budget in recent years, it is almost beyond comprehension that neither party has seen fit to highlight the basics so that the American people can make reasoned choices on the fundamental issues before them.”