"Not because I believe in bigger government – I don’t." -- President Barack Obama -- Address to Joint Session of Congress, February 24th, 2009
During his not-State of the Union Speech, President Obama denied that he believes in bigger government. Despite his denial, a new poll finds most people - 77% - think Obama believes in bigger government that provides more services.
There is no partisan divide on this issue:
It isn't just Republicans who hold the view that Obama is a big government supporter, although almost all of them do (85 percent). Some 76 percent of Democrats think Obama believes in bigger government, as do 70 percent of independents.
We should think Obama believes in bigger government. Even if we disregard Obama's cajoling of Congress to give him the biggest spending bill in history -- the so-called stimulus bill, Obama's budget overview is nothing if it is not a road map to bigger government. Obama's bigger government vision is more expensive than we can comprehend -- a national debt busting $4 trillion, a $1 trillion tax increase, a $634 billion down payment to partially pay for so-called health reform, and deficit spending that will cost Americans another $4.5 trillion by 2018.
The poll also found Americans are still philosophically Reaganesque and favor smaller government and lower taxes:
A 56 percent majority thinks the federal government is too big today. And by a 20 percentage point margin -- 55 percent to 35 percent -- the poll finds Americans would rather pay lower taxes and have a smaller government rather than pay higher taxes for larger government.
The poll was conducted for Fox News by Opinion Dynamics from March 3 to March 4 and has a margin of error of 3%.
A recent Rasmussen Reports survey found that 59% of voters agree with President Reagan that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”
So it is puzzling that the Opinion Dynamics poll found that 49% said the economy needs Obama policies right now. Like Abraham Lincoln said, "you can fool some of the people all of the time."
Do those people forget, or were some even taught, that when Ronald Reagan took office January 20, 1981, he too faced terrible economy? Reagan called it an "economic affliction of great proportions":
"These United States are confronted with an economic affliction of great proportions. We suffer from the longest and one of the worst sustained inflations in our national history. It distorts our economic decisions, penalizes thrift, and crushes the struggling young and the fixed-income elderly alike. It threatens to shatter the lives of millions of our people."
When Reagan became President, inflation and interest rates were in the double-digits. The mortgage I took in 1981, carried an initial interstate rate of 17.5%. Reagan inherited a recession that began in 1979 and didn’t end until late 1982. Unemployment was at 7.5%, ever so slightly better than the 7.6% when Obama took office, and it grew to 10.8% in December of 1982. There was also a crisis in the financial sector then as well. In 1981, 3,300 out of 3,800 Saving and loan institutions lost money.
It was in the face of an economic challenge similar to the one we confronted as Obama was sworn in, that Ronald Reagan spoke his one of his most famous lines:
"Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”
You can watch President Reagan say it at just past the 6:00 mark in the following video clip:
Reagan did not respond to the challenge with an Obamanomics borrow and tax spending orgy. No, under President Reagan we had a policy of monetary restraint and tax cuts.
So why did more people tell Opinion Dynamics they favor Obama's big government policies? The only answer I have is Lincoln's, "you can fool some of the people all of the time...." The fact that most people think Obama believes in bigger government proves Lincoln had it right -- "you can not fool all of the people all of the time"