Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Effort Award?

Bush's new approval ratings came out, and while his overall approval rating went to 52% (an eight-point spread over those who disapprove of his job), the story is quite different on individual issues. 50% approved of his handling of the economy, and that's his highest marks on the economy in a year. 75% approved of his handling of the tsunami, and this is where the title of this post comes from. I'm not saying I think that Bush handled the tsunami poorly, but might this skew the results a little bit? I mean, was there really any kind of real choice made by Bush with regards to handling the tsunami?

There's a 14-point spread (56% to 42%) on disapproval of the war in Iraq. And surprisingly enough, to me, there's an 11-point spread (52% to 41%) on disapproval of Bush's Social Security plan. A full 55% of Americans feel that partial privatization is a bad idea.

But that doesn't mean that Bush's war of rhetoric has been lost; far from it. 18% of Americans describe Social Security as "in crisis," and 53% described it as having "major problems." Only 24% said that its problems were minor, and 3% said that it faces no problems.

Pretty funny that for a system that's been continuously changed and appended over its 70-year history (payroll tax caps, tax amounts, retirement ages), all of a sudden the assumption is that its supporters just want to keep it stagnant, exactly as it is now.