Since the partial shutdown last fall, Americans have said that government/politicians are the single biggest problem facing the country, according to Gallup survey, but today, we’re seeing a small significant shift in voters’ priorities. People are more concerned about unemployment/jobs than any other political issue:
This poll dropped the same day President Obama celebrated the fifth year since the Stimulus package was signed into office. Republicans call the stimulus a waste of taxpayer dollars.
“If you recall five years ago, the notion was that if the government spent all this money – that, by the way, was borrowed – that somehow the economy would begin to grow and create jobs. Well, of course, it clearly failed,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R) of Florida said Monday on Presidents a Day in a video statement. Also many Republicans argue the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare is costing Americans jobs as more and more business owners try to limit exposure by cutting back to fewer than 50 employers and that is the reason why the president has unilaterally pushed back the start date of the employer mandate. Kathleen Sebelius seemed uninformed when she said this
“There is absolutely no evidence, and every economist will tell you this, that there is any job loss related to the Affordable Care Act,” she said on Monday.
Heritage Foundation, James Sherk—an economist who doesn’t fall under “every economist,” according to Sebelius—plainly states that “The Affordable Care Act has discouraged companies from creating jobs and workers from accepting them.”
The unemployment rate did tick down to 6.6 percent in January, the labor force participation rate the month before, for example, was the lowest in more than three decades (although this trend can’t be blamed on this president’s alone). Nevertheless, it’s not just Republicans who are overly concerned not enough jobs are being created; respondents from all political parties (including Independents) agree:
Interestingly, this administration is currently pushing comprehensive immigration reform; but only 3% of Democrats say “Immigration/Illegal aliens” is their top concern. Strange. Why, then, is the president pushing immigration reform when his own party has seemingly bigger and more pressing problems to tackle? I would argue it’s about gaining a political advantage since the party which gives illegal aliens a free pass into the United States will be the party to likely gain those votes. I believe Democrats may think they stand to gain from an influxes of a new voter block. With illegal Hispanics coming into the political scene democrats think they might regain and maintain all political houses. What Democrats don’t seem to care about is what they seem to talk about. They’re not overly anxious about solving income inequality. At most, just 0.5% and 5% of Democrats, respectively, say their top concern is “lack of money” and “Poverty/Hunger/Homelessness.” These are statements I conclude from the statistics I name here.
The obvious takeaway, then, is that Americans from both political parties want leaders in Washington to focus primarily on – not immigration reform, and to the extent the conversation is about healthcare it’s not on ObamaCare. What Americans want is jobs and the economy to get back to normal. Americans need jobs, and neither political party is doing anything about that.