Public sides with Obama in sequester debate

As the latest drama in Washington heats up, more Americans are throwing their support behind the president. Republicans, however, seem unmoved by the polls.

By Jonathan Berr Feb 21, 2013 6:02PM
U.S. President Barack Obama holds a news conference from the White House /Larry Downing/Reuters President Obama's job approval rating stands at a three-year high while Republicans' popularity stands at a record low, which may complicate efforts to head off $85 billion in automatic spending cuts, also known as the "sequester," from starting March 1.

The thumbs-up for Obama, who recently began his second term, comes courtesy of a Bloomberg National poll Wednesday showing his job approval rating at 55%, the highest level since September 2009. That same survey showed support for Republicans at 35%, the lowest since the poll began in September 2009. A poll released Thursday by the Pew Research Center and USA Today drew similar conclusions.

Democrats and Republicans say they want to avoid the sequester partly because of the massive disruptions it will cause in the lives of many Americans. At the Defense Department alone, about 700,000 employees could be furloughed along with a slew of other government workers ranging from FBI agents to rangers at national parks. Government contractors may also be affected.

Compromise in hyper-partisan Washington, though, remains as elusive as it was during the recent showdown over the fiscal cliff. Worries about the sequester are dragging down the stock market, which this week posted its worst two-day drop of the year.

Economists such as Nigel Gault of IHS Global Insight argue that the sequester would harm the economy. He estimates that it would shave 0.5% from projected U.S. economic growth this year, which, though not catastrophic, couldn't be made up through other means such as by action of the Federal Reserve.

"We don't need to be implementing more austerity now," he said in an interview, adding that there are more effective ways to cut federal spending.

Some House Republicans are balking at the Obama administration's plan to avoid this calamity through a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts because, as The New York Times notes, a direct conflict with Obama "is a badge of honor" for many representing conservative districts.

Like many issues in Washington, the sequester may get resolved at the last possible moment.  Worse still, politicians may punt on making a tough decision, kicking the can down the road to another day.

--Follow Jonathan Berr on Twitter @jdberr.

More on moneyNOW

Feb 21, 2013 9:30PM
Walmart is no longer the best deals around. After Sam passed they changed for the worse and have a don't care attitude toward consumers. It has become a greed stricken giant and should change their name to We Love Money.
Feb 21, 2013 8:24PM
I am part of the "public" and there is no way in h-e-double hockey sticks that I agree with Oblame-ah's lies.
Feb 21, 2013 8:03PM

Repukelicans, Looneytarians and Teabagtards = Imbeciles, Whiners and Losers


Also in the news, another false Christian in Texas doing their usual evil deeds, by abandoning a baby placed in a plastic bag. Repukelicans are disgusting human excrement!

Burn in hell a$$wipes!


God bless my Compassionate Christian Socialist America!

Feb 21, 2013 7:26PM
No one would patronize a business with a 55% approval rating.
Feb 21, 2013 7:24PM
The 2% reduction in spending with sequester, and still project a defecit for the year tells you there are NO real cuts in spending. It would be the same as me projecting I will spend $100,000 next year knowing I only make $50,000, so I revise it to $80,000 and declare it is a savings. Obama math.
Feb 21, 2013 7:19PM

So what? Generally speaking americans dont even know which coast Washington D C is on. Seeking popular consensus is largely a media sales job equal to anything Goebbels could have cooked up for Nazi causes. As far as the sequester is concerned-NO COMPROMISE. Compromise is how we got into this fiscal mess. As painful as it may be, I believe the only way for the american  people to wake up is for spending cuts, loss of government jobs, reductions in giveaways, all to be dramatically reduced, even at risk of recession.

If public opinion were a valid consideration for legisation, we wouldnt have Omama care or $5 gasoline.

Feb 21, 2013 7:00PM

I think the reason the public sides with Obama, is because the public doesn't understand all of the facts.  The Obama scare tactics are working.  Remember when Bush scared America into attacking Iraq?  Same thing here, the Obama machine is working overtime to scare America into submission.  People don't learn, an emergency every week in the Obama White House, and the sheeple just follow along.  Too bad.

Feb 21, 2013 6:14PM
Tax and spend, tax and spend- that all dumbocrats know how to do!!!!!!!!!!
Feb 21, 2013 6:12PM
Yeah, but this is the same dumb group that re-elected him.
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

Trending NOW

What’s this?


[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages climbed out of the gate with the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the lead. The blue chip index trades higher by 0.4%, while the S&P 500 has added 0.3% with all ten sectors showing early gains.

Cyclical sectors have displayed noteworthy strength with five of six growth-oriented groups trading in-line with or ahead of the broader market. However, the technology sector (+0.1%) has yet to catch up to the broader market. Oracle (ORCL 40.10, -1.45) ... More