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. 



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