What Does The Public Think About Occupy Wall Street?

The Occupy Wall Street movement, which spread all over the country, has been hard to define. But in essence the 99%ers want to see more economic equality and opportunity, with the 1%ers contributing more. They also want to see more accountability for those responsible in deceptive and fraudulent acts. Yet he message is not always so clear-cut. So what do Americans feel about the protests that have been taking place?


A poll from ORC International taken Oct. 28-31 36% agreed with the overall positions of Occupy Wall Street, while 19% say they disagree. That reflects an increase in support since early October, when 27% of those polled said they agreed with Occupy Wall Street’s position. But a newer national survey from Public Policy Polling found public opinion turning fairly fast on the Occupy Wall Street movement, with only 33% support to 45% opposed.


When looking at the issues that the Occupy Wall Street protesters stand for, the Public Religion Research Institute in November published data from a survey they took in September, stating that overall a slim majority of Americans (53%) believe that “one of the big problems in this country is that we don’t give everyone an equal chance in life.” A larger majority of Democrats (70%) believe this is a big problem, while just over one-third of Republicans (38%) feel the same way. Independents (a growing block in the electorate) are divided. Half (50%) say not giving everyone an equal chance in life is a big problem, while 43% say it isn’t.


According to this survey, a larger majority (60%) of Americans say: “Society would be better off if the distribution of wealth was more equal.” Affluent Americans obviously were less likely than poor Americans to agree. And, older Americans are less likely than younger Americans to agree. There are also big differences by party affiliation. Over three quarters (78%) of Democrats believe that economic inequality is a problem, compared with about one-third (35%) of Republicans.



Super Committee Not So Super

When Congress and the administration couldn’t reach a meeting of the minds over the deficit, a bipartisan Super Committee on the federal debt was formed in July. This committee was compromised of 12 members and directed to come up with $1.2 trillion in savings to avoid a severe round of automatic government budget cuts. The cuts would affect Medicaid, education, food safety, transportation, and defense, and would take place January 2013.


The deadline for the plan was November 22, and to no one’s surprise the Super Committee failed. Of course, Democrats and Republicans blamed at each other for the inability of the committee to find a way to make the cuts. President Obama was also blamed for the failure of the Super Committee because of what some say was his refusal to help the Super Committee as it attempted to reach an agreement on reducing the federal budget deficit. Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) stated: “The president actively made our jobs more difficult. He issued veto threats.”


Democrats on the committee wanted to raise taxes before they cut any dollars. Republicans wanted the Bush tax cuts to remain, with Democrats claiming that the most significant block to doing anything is the GOP’s commitment to the Grover Norquist pledge (no tax increases) and extending the Bush tax cuts.


What does the American public want when it comes to taxes?  A CNN poll released in November found that 67% of all Americans and 69% of Independents side with Democrats and believe that taxes should be raised on businesses and the wealthy. When asked what they thought should be included in the Super Committee’s deficit reduction proposal, over two thirds (67%) of those surveyed thought the proposal should contain a tax increase on businesses and higher income Americans. Only 32% believed that it shouldn’t.


Most Americans (60%) also want to see major cuts in spending on domestic government programs, while at the same time most (57%) don’t want to see major changes to Social Security and Medicare.


Obama: Two-Termer Or One Trick Pony?

Incumbent President Barak Obama has come under heavy fire since taking office, but will the GOP nominate one of the Republicans hopefuls who can win the election? President Obama has had it tough, criticized by both the right and the left, and has battled the Senate and the House since the mid-term elections in 2010 in an attempt to pass legislation that is in step with his campaign promises.


He passed healthcare reform, despite much opposition – not exactly giving the left what they wanted and coming under fire from the right for the mandate that many feel is unconstitutional. In fact, the Supreme Court will be taking up this issue in 2012 to determine whether the mandate is lawful under our Constitution.


President Obama bailed out the autoworkers when the opposition was against doing so, passed a stimulus package that, depending on which side of the aisle you’re on, felt it either fell short of what was needed to get us out of a recession or saw it as excessive spending in a time when expenditures should be cut. He raised fuel-efficiency standards yet back-tracked on other environmental issues. He, of course, ordered the killing of Osama Bin Laden to pay for his crimes against our nation.


The election may be his to win or lose, but many feel he is getting plenty of assistance from the Republican hopefuls. While they battle amongst themselves, with one or another candidate taking the position of front-runner from one week to the next, President Obama begins his campaign by citing all of the legislation he has been able to pass in the past three years – good or bad – again, depending on your viewpoint. Of course, there is still the issue of the economy and jobs, which is his biggest challenge to overcome with so many unemployed.


In fact, more than 50% disapprove of President Obama’s job performance, and it’s something the opposition will use to their advantage. His approval rating has been a source of disappointment for Democrats throughout his presidency. Yet, despite these facts, many believe that if the Republican Party does not nominate a strong enough candidate for the race, the President could very possibly be re-elected.


Is Mitt Romney the option for the party? How about Newt Gingrich? There are many in both parties that feel that neither man can topple Obama’s bid for re-election, although right now the numbers are favoring Gingrich according to a poll by Rasmussen. Romney must shed his “moderate” label if he is to win the hearts and minds of staunch Republicans across the nation. And, Gingrich, if nominated will have to work hard to overcome some of his past indiscretions. For more on Long Term Disability Insurance find out more from Doctor Disability Insurance.


Who in the GOP Is This Week’s Flavor Of The…Week?

We write this update knowing that things can change at any moment given the ups and downs the GOP presidential hopefuls have experienced during this primary season.


While Newt Gingrich currently holds the distinction of “frontrunner” in the GOP class of aspiring Presidential nominees, his primary concerns is his lack of support among Washington lawmakers, a mere eight, compared to Romney’s forty-six (Rick Perry has thirteen), and the fact that he has been losing steam in political circles as far back as 1994.


Meanwhile, Herman Cain’s campaign has fallen by the wayside amid several allegations of sexual misconduct. Over the weekend of December 3rd, he announced that he has suspended his campaign although vehemently denying the latest allegation of a 13-year extramarital affair.


Michele Bachmann continues to verbally shoot herself in the foot, by voicing opinions and making statements that are clearly out of step with reality. She recently stated that the U.S. should not have an embassy in Iran, even though there hasn’t been a U.S. Embassy in Iran since 1980. Yet despite her low numbers in polls across the country, she is making it known that she has a list of possible Vice-Presidential running mates she is considering.


Rick Perry’s own campaign has been a subject of some concern, with his off-kilter appearances, debates and speeches causing harm to his already worrisome persona, and he has fallen behind in most polls that once had him leading Mitt Romney in several states.


This chart shows how the field of candidates was shaping up in early 2011, when Huckabee, Palin, Trump, and several others were vying for the nomination. With the emergence of Perry and then Cain, and most recently Gingrich, the list of presidential hopefuls dramatically decreased, giving us the current crop of contenders of Romney and Gingrich vying for the nomination.


As for Mr. Romney, his recent endorsement by New Hampshire State Senate President, Peter Bragdon, raises the number to nine Republican Senators currently giving their support to Romney’s nomination. Bragdon cites Romney’s experience, skills, and background as key components to his being the best candidate to give President Obama a run for his money in the upcoming election. Romney has drawn his attention on Iowa, focusing on campaigning heavily in that state, hoping a win there will essentially wrap up the nomination.