- The Washington Times - Friday, November 14, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

EDITORIAL:

Seventy-two percent of Americans think the United States is now in a recession. For them, the signs are evident.

Companies are cutting back, consumer confidence is down and unemployment rolls are growing. Even in the nation’s capital, where the financial picture doesn’t dim as soon as other regions because the local economy is superficially held up by the government’s employment, signs of the recession have become evident. Large historical institutions, like the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, have had to lay off employees. As the president-elect prepares to take office in January, the question of what action the government might take is on taxpayers’ minds.

Rasmussen Reports has broken down what voters would like to see happen at this point. Fifty-two percent of voters think the federal government should do more to deal with the current economic problems, but only 20 percent actually want more government spending. What action the 52 percent for government intervention would like to see taken is not clear from the poll. Obviously, Americans want help without having to pay more taxes, as 63 percent still want tax cuts. A very circumspect 39 percent think the government has done enough. In fact, 46 percent of voters fear the government will do too much.

Republicans favor tax cuts by 80 percent for stimulus and 74 percent of Democrats want more government action. Moreover, 72 percent of Republicans fear too much government action and 60 percent of Democrats are worried the government won’t do enough. The prudent action in light of citizens’ pinched wallets would be for the government to cut programs so that higher taxes are unneeded. The extra money could then be used to pay for the damage already incurred by the bailout and paying for the war. And average Americans could avoid further pain during a recession.

This current economic crisis is similar to what Ronald Reagan and Franklin D. Roosevelt faced during their respective presidencies - i.e., it is a huge crisis, indeed.

One last note, the blog Instapundit by Glenn Reynolds has run a small unscientific poll of 2,631 people. So far, 96 percent of the respondents do not think Mr. Obama will cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans as promised. How’s that for consumer confidence?

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