It’s no secret that Americans have grown increasingly disgruntled with President Barack Obama. Less than half of the country (42.8%) approves of his job as president and 45.3% of Americans view him unfavorably. These numbers reflect random samples of ordinary Americans. As the Bloomberg Global Poll makes clear, financial professionals worldwide have perhaps an even more negative assessment of Obama. A majority (57%) of Bloomberg’s customers that were surveyed have an unfavorable view of the president; an even larger majority (74%) of these folks are pessimistic about Obama’s policies as they relate to the investment climate of the United States.
In an effort to right his reputation and jump-start the economy, Obama has been on a tear around the country trying to drum up popular support for his jobs bill, the American Jobs Act. The proposed legislation offers, among many things, tax cuts for both workers and employers, federal dollars for school modernization and a National Infrastructure Bank. Obama has said he would pay for these programs by increasing taxes on households making more than $250,000 and promoting the “Buffett Rule,” which would increase taxes on people who earn more than $1 million per year. Note: Don’t confuse these people with the mega- or ultra-rich, as Warren Buffett himself clarified.
It stands to reason that Bloomberg’s savvy insiders would be generally unsupportive of the president’s policy proposals to create jobs and generate revenue to trim our massive deficit, given the 74% who are pessimistic about his policies. But no, in fact, most of the respondents favored the idea of a millionaires tax and believed infrastructure spending would significantly reduce the unemployment rate in the U.S.
While both Congress and Obama seem unable to make any progress in solving the nation’s economic problems, the GOP has proved adept at taking control of the narrative.
These views closely mirror those of Americans generally, who also mostly favor the president’s jobs bill and stance on taxes while at the same time tend to disapprove of his job performance.
Why is the Obama administration having such a difficult time winning support for his economic policies, both here at home and among the financial community at large?