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These poll numbers were released earlier today by Rasmussen Reports -- "an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information."


Deficit of Trust: Most Voters Don't Believe President's Assertions About Economy

Saturday, January 30, 2010

During his State-of-the-Union address Wednesday night, President Obama spoke about a deficit of trust between the American people and political leaders. New Rasmussen Reports polling on the president's speech shows just how deep that trust deficit has become.

The president in the speech declared that his administration has cut taxes for 95% of Americans. He even chided Republicans for not applauding on that point. However, just 21% of voters nationwide believe that taxes have been cut for 95% of Americans. Most (53%) say it has not happened, and 26% are not sure. Other polling shows that nearly half the nation's voters expect their own taxes to go up during the Obama years.

The president also asserted that "after two years of recession, the economy is growing again." Just 35% of voters believe that statement is true, while 50% say it is false.

Obama claimed that steps taken by his team are responsible for putting two million people to work "who would otherwise be unemployed." Just 27% of voters say that statement is true. Fifty-one percent (51%) say it's false.

It's likely that the president recognized public opinion on these points and is beginning an effort to sway that opinion. Polling conducted in the nights following his speech indicate that enthusiasm for the president among Democrats has increased .

It's important to note that the deficit of trust applies to all politicians, not just President Obama. "Americans are united in the belief that our political system is broken, that politicians are corrupt, and that neither major political party has the answers," according to Scott Rasmussen in his new book, In Search of Self-Governance ,

Seventy-five percent (75%) of Republican voters say their party's representatives are out of touch with the party's base . Other data shows that, among all voters, 45% believe people randomly selected from the phone book would do a better job than the current Congress . Only 36% disagree. Overall, only 12% say that Congress is doing a good or an excellent job .

On all the points raised in the president's speech, there is a huge partisan divide. On the question of cutting taxes for 95% of Americans, hardly any Republicans or unaffiliated voters believe it's true. However, Democrats are evenly divided: 34% say the tax cuts have been delivered, 29% say they haven't, and 38% are not sure.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of Democrats agree with the president's statement that the economy is growing again. Seventy percent (70%) of Republicans and 60% of unaffiliated voters disagree.

As for the claim about two million jobs, 46% of Democrats say it's true, while 77% of Republicans say it's not. As for those not affiliated with either major party, 24% say it's true, and 59% say it's false.

Regarding another initiative detailed in the speech on Wednesday night, just nine percent (9%) of voters believe the president's proposed freeze on discretionary spending will have a big impact on the deficit .

In the speech, Obama also proposed a college lending program that would give preferential repayment terms to government workers. That may be a tough sell at a time when most Americans already believe government workers are overpaid. Government workers are more bullish about both the economy and their own financial condition than private sector workers.

Rasmussen Reports has compiled a summary of voters' views on topics raised in the State-of-the-Union speech .

The tax issue is especially significant in a troubled economic time. Sixty-one percent (61%) of voters believe that tax cuts are good for the economy . As Scott Rasmussen noted in a Wall Street Journal column shortly after Obama was elected, the current president won the White House by campaigning like Ronald Reagan: "Down the campaign homestretch, Mr. Obama's tax-cutting promise became his clearest policy position."