A bumper sticker from an earlier era — back when President Obama was in the White House — advised “Don’t tell Obama what comes after a trillion” and proved popular among those who feared the president was spending too much of the taxpayer’s money.
That sentiment could very well apply to President Biden’s first 100 days in office, which has been the scene of trillion-dollar spending, friendly news coverage, and much talk about happy, easier times ahead.
Well, no wonder. At the moment, Mr. Biden is particularly earnest about a new $1.8 trillion “American Families Plan” and a $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan.
The press often forgets to mention who has to pay for all that spending. House Republican Whip Steve Scalise has a reminder.
“There’s definitely a sugar high that comes with this idea of everything being free, but innately Americans know there is no such thing as a free lunch. Somebody’s got to pay for it and usually, it’s everybody in the middle class,” the Louisiana lawmaker told Fox Business Network.
“The lower-income people are the ones who end up paying the bill for these kind of massive spending programs. That’s how history has borne out,” Mr. Scalise predicted, advising that the “very far-left element of the Democrat Party” are the ones controlling Mr. Biden’s agenda.
BIDEN: 22 MILLION VIEWERS
So how did President Biden fare following his joint address to Congress on Wednesday night?
Early data from Nielsen Media Research reveals that some 22.6 million TV viewers tuned in to see what he had to say. It is of note that 43 million watched President Trump’s first speech to a joint session, which he delivered Feb. 28, 2017.
So what did this year’s audience think of Mr. Biden’s offering?
Amazingly enough, a CNN poll of an audience which overall “leaned” Democratic gave Mr. Biden a lesser score than Mr. Trump received when he delivered the same traditional speech in 2017.
And the numbers: The CNN poll found that 51% of the respondents gave Mr. Biden a positive review of his speech. But wait. Mr. Trump received a 57% positive rating in 2017 — this according to the network.
CNN’s chief congressional correspondent Manu Raju revealed the results of the poll himself via Twitter, posting a CNN screen image of the results.
“View of speech watchers, per CNN poll. The speech watchers tonight overall leaned Democratic,” Mr. Raju tweeted.
The CNN/SSRS poll conducted by text message with 589 U.S. adults who said they watched the presidential address Wednesday, the network said.
But wait, there’s more.
“Friday will mark President Biden’s 100th day in office, but most voters don’t give him high marks at this milestone of his presidency,” notes a new Rasmussen Reports poll.
It found that just 36% of likely U.S. voters say Mr. Biden’s first 100 days have been a success, 44% deem the period a failure, and 18% say it’s been “somewhere in between.”
The survey of 1,000 likely U.S. voters was conducted April 27-28.
THEN AND NOW
Civility — or the lack of it — is still a factor on Capitol Hill.
“What a difference a year makes. As she introduced President Biden ahead of his address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not hide her enthusiasm,” wrote Patrick Goodenough, international editor for CNSNews.com
“Members of Congress. I have the high privilege and distinct honor to present to you the president of the United States,” Mrs. Pelosi told the lawmakers, and then had a friendly elbow bump with Mr. Biden.
“Almost 15 months earlier, as Pelosi introduced President Trump for what would be his last State of the Union address, she said simply, ‘Members of Congress, the president of the United States’,” Mr. Goodenough recalled.
And we all know what happened later. Mrs. Pelosi literally tore up a copy of Mr. Trump’s speech on camera, later informing the curious press that she considered the speech “a manifesto of mistruths.”
Records were broken during the 2020 election, says a well-known federal source.
“Despite unique challenges to voter registration and voting created by COVID-19 and heightened concerns about turnout as a result, the 2020 election had the highest voter turnout of the 21st century,” the U.S. Census reported on Thursday.
“The 2020 election featured the largest increase in voters between two presidential elections on record with 17 million more people voting than in 2016,” the agency said.
“In 2020, 67% of all citizens age 18 and older reported voting, up 5 percentage points from 2016. 73% of all voting-age citizens were registered to vote, 2 percentage points higher than in 2016.”
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POLL DU JOUR
21% of U.S. adults say they are now “better off financially” than they were a year ago; 20% of Republicans, 16% of independents and 30% of Democrats agree.
47% overall say they are “the same financially” as a year ago; 51% of Republicans, 48% of independents and 47% of Democrats agree.
24% overall say they are “worse off financially” now than a year ago; 25% of Republicans, 29% of independents and 19% of Democrats agree.
9% are not sure; 5% of Republicans, 7% of independents and 4% of Democrats agree.
Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted April 17-20.
Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.