Deficit Of Trust In Government
During his State of the Union address, President Obama spoke of the nation suffering from a “deficit of trust” in government.
He’s right. There is a large and growing deficit of trust in government. That’s why health care is in trouble.
Obama’s also a big part of that reason. He’s made some claims that a majority of Americans simply don’t think are true. For instance:
The president in the speech declared that his administration has cut taxes for 95% of Americans. He even chided Republicans for not applauding on that point. However, just 21% of voters nationwide believe that taxes have been cut for 95% of Americans. Most (53%) say it has not happened, and 26% are not sure. Other polling shows that nearly half the nation’s voters expect their own taxes to go up during the Obama years.
Despite what most politicians think, people are not idiots. They’ve watched what Washington has done in terms of spending and spending and spending, and they know someone has to pay for that. They also know the “rich” can’t possibly do that alone and that corporations really don’t pay taxes, they instead collect them. And finally, they understand when they’re being spun. While there may not be an increase in their income taxes this year, they’re seeing all sorts of proposals about new or increased taxes they’ll be paying outside of income taxes. They understand those impose a tax on them that is just as costly as an income tax in terms of their priorities vs. government’s. So the 95% rhetoric was most likely rejected by a good portion of the population as he said it, and another portion has come to realize it was just spin. Result – a deficit of trust in government. And for a good reason.
Then there’s this:
The president also asserted that “after two years of recession, the economy is growing again.” Just 35% of voters believe that statement is true, while 50% say it is false.
Governments and agencies can declare “the economy is growing again” until they turn blue, but until Joe Sixpack sees his lot improve economically, that’s just so much spin as far as he’s concerned. That’s what this number most likely reflects. While the numbers may look good at NEBR, the only number the voters care about are the one’s which directly effect his or her life – and at the moment, most of them are waving the BS flag. For them the recession isn’t over and the economy isn’t growing again until they’re materially benefiting from it. Hearing all this happy talk from government while experiencing 10% unemployment and very tough times equals a “deficit of trust”.
Obama claimed that steps taken by his team are responsible for putting two million people to work “who would otherwise be unemployed.” Just 27% of voters say that statement is true. Fifty-one percent (51%) say it’s false.
I don’t think it takes a political junkie to figure out who make up the 27% that believe this claim. This number is not only highly suspect, there have been a number of stories written about false job reports, stimulus funds to nonexistent congressional districts and zip codes that don’t exist. And we were told that “Sheriff Joe Biden” would be the one monitoring all this and ensuring the funds were spent properly to create jobs. If you can’t get the Congressional districts or zip codes right and don’t know where those funds went, why would anyone believe the job numbers that were supposedly “created or saved?” Again – a deficit in trust.
Personally I like the deficit in trust when it comes to government. That is both healthy and necessary as far as I’m concerned. The truth of anything a politician says, claims or promises should be taken with very skeptical grain of salt. While it is true that there was an era when the public was more accepting of government and considered it to be an ally and a “friend”, government has managed, over the years, to kill that perception (thank goodness). Now people are more readily seeing government for what it is – an intrusive, costly, ever expanding behemoth, bent on gathering more and more power and devouring our national wealth and liberty.
The fact that the public is waking up to this, as the numbers indicate, is a good sign, despite the fact that the statists claim that general skepticism and resistance (a hearkening back to our roots in freedom) makes us “ungovernable.” And perhaps it does. After all, “give me liberty or give me death” certainly smacks of someone who certainly was considered ungovernable by the rulers of his time. Perhaps the “ungovernable’s” time, of necessity, has come again.
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