With public support for the stimulus package eroding with every passing day while the legislation is bogged down in the Senate, President Obama has taken to the pages of the Washington Post to argue for immediate action on the bill, suggesting that this is what the American people want:
What Americans expect from Washington is action that matches the urgency they feel in their daily lives — action that’s swift, bold and wise enough for us to climb out of this crisis.
These are the actions Americans expect us to take without delay. They’re patient enough to know that our economic recovery will be measured in years, not months. But they have no patience for the same old partisan gridlock that stands in the way of action while our economy continues to slide.
In fact, the Gallup poll showed the exact opposite of what Obama claims. It found that only 38 percent of Americans want the stimulus plan to pass as proposed, while 37 percent say it should be passed only with “major changes,” and 17 percent want it to be rejected all together. In other words, a majority of Americans don’t have a problem with the delay.
Obama also writes that:
[E]ach day we wait to begin the work of turning our economy around, more people lose their jobs, their savings and their homes. And if nothing is done, this recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse.
So in other words, if we don’t enact the exact policies that President Obama advocates, then we will face dire consequences. Isn’t that what candidate Obama used to call the “politics of fear”?