What a difference a month can make. Last month, a majority of Americans said they liked the job President Barack Obama was doing leading this country. Today, that’s no longer true, according to the latest CNN/ORC International poll.
In May, according to the pollsters, 53 percent of Americans said they approved of Obama’s performance, and 45 percent disagreed. Now, 54 percent say our Teleprompter in Chief is doing a poor job, while 45 still support him.
The overall decline in his approval rating was partially fueled by a plunge in support from younger Americans, a huge base of Obama’s support.
Last month, nearly two-thirds of those in the 18-29 age group gave the president a thumbs up. His approval rating among that bracket fell 17 points in Monday’s poll and now stands at 48%.
And it isn’t just Obama’s personal popularity that has suffered. In every category that was measured, Americans have become more negative about Obama’s leadership:
• The number who thinks he’s doing a good job on the economy fell by 2 points, from 44 percent who supported him in April to just 42 percent today.
• Obama’s handling of foreign affairs has also taken a hit, with his support here dropping from 49 percent in April to 44 percent today.
• Approval of his leadership on immigration is down even more, falling from 44 percent in April to just 40 percent, according to the CNN pollsters.
• Americans have an even lower opinion of Obama’s leadership on our deficits. His approval fell from 38 percent in April to 34 percent today.
• The scandal over the government’s surveillance of Americans’ phone calls and emails has also hurt the president. Just 35 percent say Obama is doing a good job here, while 61 percent disagree.
And it isn’t just Obama’s leadership on important national issues that has taken a hit. Our trust in the man personally has also fallen, according to the poll. Last month, 58 percent of respondents said that Obama was honest and trustworthy. Now, that number has dropped to 49 percent. (Among my friends, the number is closer to zero.)
And here’s what may be the best news of all: Nearly two-thirds of the people who participated in the poll responded affirmatively to the following question: “Do you think the federal government has become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens, or not?”
Yes, 62 percent of the people surveyed say that the federal government poses “an immediate threat” to our rights and freedoms. Isn’t that wonderful?
Given all of this, you won’t be surprised to learn that a huge majority of Americans now believe that the country is heading in the wrong direction. In the most recent poll by Real Clear Politics, only 31.3 percent of Americans feel the country is on the right track. While almost twice that number, 59.4 percent, says the country is on the wrong track.
Clearly, despite all of the efforts of the mainstream media to defend and excuse the present Administration, the wave of recent scandals is taking its toll — as well it should. When the Justice Department targets respected journalists as potential criminals, the Internal Revenue Service harasses patriotic organizations and the National Security Agency collects billions of phone records and millions of emails from virtually every citizen of the country, no wonder so many fear and mistrust our leaders.
And we get new evidence almost every day to support our position. One of the latest examples concerns the government program to give away free cellphones.
Have you heard about the scandal over the “Obama phones”? It’s a mind-blowing example of how the welfare state has run amok.
It started as one of those ideas that liberals just love: Give poor people access to telephones, to help them look for work and call for assistance in case they face an actual emergency. And thus the Lifeline program was born.
But guess what? Turns out that giving folks something for nothing leads to all sorts of abuse and corruption. And thanks to some conservative activists armed with a video camera, we can see for ourselves just how rotten the program has become. (To see video, click here.)
Investigators for a group called Project Veritas took their hidden cameras along when they applied for some of the free phones. They told the people processing the applications that as soon as they got them, they intended to sell the phones and use the money to buy drugs.
“No problem” was the typical response. One representative even suggested the investigator visit a pawn shop, to find out how much cash he would receive. “Yeah, I don’t care what you do with it,” the clerk can be heard to mutter.
In another encounter caught on tape, one of Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe’s investigators says she has to sell “a lot of phones” to pay for her Louis Vuitton handbag. The woman dispensing the free cellphones makes it clear that her job is just to give away the phones — not to question what the recipient will do with it.
Oh, one rep did point out that selling the free phones was illegal — but then suggested “pleading the Fifth” if caught. The Project Veritas video illustrates this last point with another knee-slapper — a clip from IRS official Lois Lerner pleading the 5th Amendment in her appearance before a Congressional committee last month.
We have Project Veritas and its founder to thank for this maddening report of how taxpayer funds are being so badly misused. You may remember the group from the exposure it did back in 2009 of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), one of Obama’s favorite “community activist” organizations. ACORN employees were caught on camera promoting child prostitution, human trafficking and tax evasion. (See video here.)
As a result of the scandal, the House and Senate voted to stop all federal subsidies to the group. The U.S. Census, which had provided many of the grants that funded the organization, severed its ties with the organization. Ultimately, ACORN was forced to disband.
We enjoyed a wonderful victory then. Now, we’ll discover what lawmakers will do when presented with undeniable evidence of fraud and deceit in the $2.2 billion Lifeline program.
By the way, if you’re one of the suckers who actually pays for your telephone service, take a closer look at the next bill you receive. You’ll see a “Universal Service Charge” somewhere on it. That’s the fee you pay to help fund this $2.2 billion giveaway.
I’ll grant you, having a majority of Americans say they mistrust and fear big government isn’t the same thing as getting them to vote for candidates who will actually do something about it. Nor is it the same as finding candidates who will keep the promises they made back home once they get to Washington.
But Obama’s plunging popularity means a lot of our friends and neighbors share our concerns. Our job now is to get more of them to agree with us on the solutions.
We’ll find out next November how good a job we’ve done there.
Until next time, keep some powder dry.
Chip Wood was the first news editor of The Review of the News and also wrote for American Opinion, our two predecessor publications. He is now the geopolitical editor of Personal Liberty Digest, where his Straight Talk column appears weekly. This article first appeared in PersonalLiberty.com and has been reprinted with permission.