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Gallup poll from March, 2010....
I don't think I'm stretching it too far when I say that the most important concern for Tea Partier Republicans after Obama was inaugurated and passed a stimulus bill.....was government deficits and government debt.
However, the March Gallup poll demonstrated that 8% of Americans polled ranked the federal budget deficit as the nation's most important problem. Only 8%. A liberal blogger, like myself, could have concluded in March, 2010, that the number one Tea Party concern was out of the mainstream of most Americans' concerns. Come to think of it....I did.
On the other hand, from the same March Gallup poll, 55% of those polled considered unemployment and the national economy as our most important problems to be confronted.
That was in March of this year.
Gallup's latest.....posted November 16, 2010.....
64% of Americans now think the most important problems facing the country today are jobs and the economy. How many Americans polled last week were oh-so-concerned about that runaway federal budget deficit? 9%
These statistics would seem to suggest that the loud and boisterous Tea Party rhetoric of deep, deep worry and concern over federal deficits is just so much misleading hot air. The main concern of fringers, maybe.....extreme libertarians.....but not regular Americans. Americans want jobs and they are worried about the overall economy.....federal deficits and debt? not so much.
Now I suppose a person could simply dismiss those two polls by Gallup as so much noise.....but those polls exhibit a consistency in the American public's ability to identifiy the most important national problems.....and national deficits and debt don't concern 91% of Americans as much as unemployment and the overall weakness of the national economy does.
This is no small deal. Politicians, of course, habitually run their mouths, telling Americans what we actually want from the federal government. It's always annoying to hear these condescending politicians tell us what it is that we most want from government.
Smaller government and less government spending are what Tea Party Patriots and their now-elected officials have been running their mouths about, claiming deficits and debt as our number one problem needing solved. There will be no compromising, we are told. But what Americans have been telling Gallup, by a 9-1 margin, is that jobs and the economy are what government should be addressing.....only 1 in 10 Americans identify our most serious national problem as debt and deficits.
All of this polling would suggest that Tea Party conservatives with their one-note-johnnie worries about deficits and national debt are out of touch with the American people and their primary concerns. There seems to be a major disconnect between what Americans say they want and what Teapublicans say that Americans want.
Since the midterms, the Tea Party Republicans....(are there any other kind of Republicans now?)......have been flexing their newfound muscles in their mouths by claiming a mandate from the voters to attack, attack, attack America's number one problem. As these out-of touchers see it.....that would equate to cutting deficit spending and the national debt. As Americans see it....by 91%.....Republicans should be working with Democrats to increase jobs and stimulate the economy.
Because of this out-of-touchness, because of this disconnect.....since the midterms we have been treated to little more than Teapublican Political Theater (TPT). Kabuki.
Sober and extremely serious out-of-touchers, like South Carolina's disconnected Senator Jim DeMint, have been raising so much hell in the last few days over earmarks in the federal budgeting process that even corporate shill, Mitch McConnell, agreed to support banning earmarks.
Earmarks, of course, are no concern for Americans.....because Americans realize that the money designated by earmarks for state and local projects will be spent by the government anyway. Earmarked budget items add a whopping less-than-1% to the national budget. Eliminating earmarks would have little-to-no effect on government deficits and debt.
Like I said, it's all theater....out-of-touch theater. Right now, Americans don't care about deficits and debt as much as they do care about job creation and stimulating the economy. So what do the disconnected Tepublicans bolt out of the midterm gate with? Agreeing to put on a political symbolism show over earmarks to satisfy 9% of Americans.....an entirely hollow gesture.
Expect a lot more of the same from America's new, disconnected, out-of-touch political party....the Tepublican Party.