Thursday, July 12, 2012

Polls: Obama changed America for worse

Barack Obama promised change in 2008. In 2012, it seems that many Americans are realizing that change is not always positive. Change can be for the better or for worse.

Unfortunately for voters, while he was campaigning, Barack Obama did not get into many specifics on how he would change America. His slogan, “Change we can believe in,” left people to fill in the blanks for themselves. For many voters, that seems to have led to a giant case of buyer’s remorse.

According to a new poll commissioned by The Hill, a political news site, 66 percent of likely voters agree that Barack Obama has kept his promise of “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” The bad news for Obama is that 56 percent of those polled believe that Obama’s changes have been negative. Only 35 percent believe that Obama has had a positive impact on the country.

This is easy to understand when you consider some of the changes that Obama has wrought. He changed the unemployment rate from 7.8 percent in January 2009 to 8.2 percent today according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This change was the result of spending spree that changed the federal debt from $10.6 trillion in January 2009 to $15.8 trillion today according to Treasury Direct. When stymied by Congress, he changed the constitutional requirement that Congress make the laws by having agencies of the executive branch circumvent Congress and unilaterally enact new legislation. In launching a war in Libya, Obama changed from the traditional policy notifying Congress and seeking approval when going to war. Most notably, President Obama became the first president to change taxes from a source of revenue to a means of forcing American citizens to buy a private product. Obamacare also represented a change from his promise of no individual mandate and lower premiums according to CBS News.

The numbers in the Hill poll are similar to Rasmussen’s Right Direction or Wrong Track poll. In the most recent sampling, Rasmussen found that 62 percent believed the country was on the wrong track. Thirty-two percent disagreed. These polls are troubling for a president who is five months away from re-election and reflect a deep discontent with the president’s job performance even though his personal approval rating is higher.

Obama’s promise can seen as a promise kept, but Americans seem to have learned that not all change is for the better and that things can get worse. Perhaps this fall voters will seek more specifics from candidates and be less willing to accept generalities. Let the voter beware.


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