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There was a lot of cheering within Republican circles about how united and vociferous GOP lawmakers were in opposing the stimulus plan. But the public as a whole isn’t applauding. Sixty-four percent of Americans approve of the stimulus plan, according to a Washington Post/ABC News survey. Also, while 71 percent said that they thought President Barack Obama has been trying to compromise with Republicans, only 34 percent thought that Republican lawmakers have tried to compromise with Obama. Talk radio hosts have hailed this as standing up for principles, but the public doesn’t see it as admirable — 66 percent said it was better to compromise and work across party lines than to stick with political positions. And 63 percent of Americans think GOP lawmakers opposed the stimulus plan primarily for political reasons, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll. Perhaps as a result, those surveyed said that they trust Obama more than the GOP on economic matters by 61 to 26 percent.
Good for President Barack Obama for using a more honest method to calculate the government’s budget deficit. In his first annual budget submitted this week, Obama won’t include several accounting gimmicks that President George W. Bush used to make deficit projections look smaller, such as not counting the full cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a result, Obama’s budget will be $2.7 trillion deeper in the red over the next decade than it would have otherwise appeared. But some economists are calling “wildly optimistic” Obama’s goal of cutting the deficit in half by the end of his first term. And even if he were successful, that would still be a deficit of more than $500 billion.
“I call it ‘funny money’ because they didn’t just go down to Fort Knox and make a withdrawal of money that’s backed by hard assets. This is 100 percent borrowing. This is a 100 percent loan.” — House Speaker Mike O’Neal, R-Hutchinson, suggesting Kansas might refuse to take some of the stimulus money, perhaps dollars intended for unemployment benefits
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