Voters Think Debt Deal Will Be Bad for the Economy

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 3 2011 2:40 PM

Voters Think Debt Deal Will Be Bad for the Economy

Insofar as they actually understood what the hell was in it, this USAT/Gallup poll is both inspiring and depressing. Inspiring, because it seems like they actually understand the effects of spending cuts on short-term job growth.

In the survey, 41% say the deal will make the economy worse; 17% say it will make it better. A third predict it won't have much effect.

Among the 41 percent: Democrats who voted for the deal! The Democrats who opposed it were usually a little more honest about the choice. Rep. Jesse Jackson, D-Ill., whose resilience in office despite multiple scandals threatens to turn this into an item about negative effects of ultra-safe racial gerrymandering, opposed the deal but said the choice was between "job-killing default and job-killing austerity." And it was.

We're mocking the White House now for announcing yet another to "pivot to jobs" -- depending on how you count the articles and reports, there have been 12 of these since Obama took office. Fair enough. But the initial "pivots to jobs" actually led to job growth. Take it away, Steve Benen, with your chart showing job numbers during months of Bush's presidency in red and months of Obama's presidency in blue.

See there? Job creation. Just not enough of it, which allows Obama critics to say that spending didn't work and imply that spending cuts will. Washington seemed to believe that voters agreed. But they didn't -- they don't believe in Keynesianism, and they're despondent about the other choices.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Jurisprudence

Scalia’s Liberal Streak

The conservative justice’s most brilliant—and surprisingly progressive—moments on the bench.

Colorado Is Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

Culturebox

Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey

No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Cliff Huxtable Explains the World: Five Lessons From TV’s Greatest Dad

Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show Right Now

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
The Slate Quiz
Sept. 18 2014 11:44 PM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.