Monday, March 14, 2011

Consumer Confidence Reaches New Lows in Poll

The economic recovery of our nation sputters on. With starts and stops and conflicting signs, recent polling shows that consumer confidence is sliding again.

The Rasmussen Consumer Index, which measures the economic confidence of consumers on a daily basis, rose three points on Sunday. At 78.0. the Index is still 15 points below the high-water mark for this year. The Consumer Index is down five points from a week ago and 12 points from a month ago.

The budget process drama continues in Congress. Another short term continuing resolution is begin written, this one a three week operating budget. Though it was the Democratically controlled Congress of 2010 that failed to produce a budget - for the first time since the 1970's - the President and the Democrats would like for you to think it is the duty of the GOP to produce a budget.

Barack Obama employs a governing pattern of allowing - insisting - that the Democratic leadership on Capitol Hill do his dirty work. He tries to remain above the fray as Democrats produce bad legislation (like Obamacare) and then he signs it into law as the will of the people. He is trying desperately to do the same for the federal budget.

There is a shortage of Democrats with actual business experience in Congress. Unfortunately, those such as Senator Chuck Schumer (lawyer and career politician) to put forth the wisdom of big government programs as the solution to huge budget shortfalls. On a Sunday talk show, Schumer pointed his finger at House Republicans for insisting on budget cuts that Democrats would like to hang on to. He even used examples of programs that do cancer research and food safety regulations as economy strengtheners. Democrats do not fathom that a bloated federal government must be whittled down to produce some fiscal sanity. Redundant agencies and bulging payrolls on the backs of the taxpayer should be first on the cutting block.

Senator McConnell wrote an op-ed and spoke to the different approaches of the Republicans versus the Democrats on reining in the federal budget.

As a matter of political ideology, Democrats in Washington and in statehouses across the country are committed to defending every dime that government spends. That’s why even when the president or Democrat leaders pay lip service to the need for cuts, they usually follow it up with an assertion that the money could be better spent elsewhere — not by the American people, but by them.

Republicans, on the other hand, are committed to reining in not only wasteful spending, including the kind outlined in a recent bombshell report on government waste commissioned by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. But also by reforming out-of-control entitlement spending that makes the kind of day-to-day spending Congress is currently arguing about look trivial by comparison.

McConnell addresses the lack of leadership from Barack Obama:

So the recent debate in Washington over discretionary spending is just a dress rehearsal for the big stuff — and so far Democrats are showing they’re just not up to it. They either lack the stomach or the courage, and President Obama, as members of his own party point out, is nowhere to be found on the issue.

It’s no secret that the best time to solve the kind of fiscal crisis we face is when the two parties share power in Washington. Everyone knows that we either address these problems together, or they won’t be addressed at all.

And everyone knows that the president of the United States has to take the lead. Nothing becomes law without his signature, and no one party in Congress will move ahead without an understanding that the other side will not use it against them politically.

That’s precisely why presidents from both parties have chosen to address the big issues during periods of divided government in the past. That’s why many of us are calling on the president to do the same for the good of the country today.

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