Morning Examiner: Obama following Bush’s second term footsteps

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

Few presidential second terms were as ineffectual as President Bush’s second term. But a new Washington Post poll shows President Obama is rapidly following in his predecessor’s footsteps.

According to The Post, Obama’s job approval as president has fallen five points to just 50 percent since he was inaugurated in January. “At 50 percent, Obama’s overall standing in the poll is lower than that of most other modern second-term presidents at this point in their terms. Of the seven second-term presidents who have been in office since Harry S. Truman, only George W. Bush had a positive rating as low as 50 percent at this stage,” The Post’s Jon Cohen writes.

Obama’s failure to produce an economic recovery is the main cause of his fall in the polls. “Seventy-three percent of those who say they sense economic growth approve of the way the president is doing his job,” The Post reports, “and an identical 73 percent of those who don’t see a recovering economy disapprove of his performance in office.” Accordingly, The Post also found that most Americans give Obama negative marks on handling the economy.

Even worse for Obama, a plurality of Americans now trust Republicans more on fiscal issues. Asked, “When it comes to finding the right balance between cutting government that is not needed and continuing government spending that is needed, who do you trust more?” 44 percent chose Republicans while just 43 percent chose Obama.

Obama got every dime of tax hikes he is ever going to get as long as Republicans control the House this January when taxes went up by $600 billion. Every second Obama spends chasing a “grand bargain” that he hopes will include more tax hikes, is a second wasted not moving on the rest of his agenda … which is not looking good either. The Gang of Ocho has made zero progress on immigration reform since January and and Senate Republicans have abandoned the Democrats on gun control as well. The best Obama can hope for over the next four years is that Obamacare does not turn out to be an epic failure and that federal courts to do not throw out the rest of his energy and financial regulatory agenda.

From The Washington Examiner
Examiner Editorial: Paul Ryan’s budget cuts spending, preserves safety net
Byron York: The GOP congressman who destroyed Obama’s sequester scare story
Sean Higgins: Postal unions still peddling pension funding myth
Joel Gehrke: White House attacks legislative push to shore up welfare work requirement
Michael Barone: Cardinals would be wise to ignore journalists’ advice

In Other News
Associated Press, Applying for Obama plan not easy: Applying for benefits under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul could be as daunting as doing your taxes. The government’s draft application runs 15 pages for a three-person family. An outline of the online version has 21 steps, some with additional questions.
The Washington Post
, Obama’s approval drops as Americans take a dimmer view of his economic policies: The afterglow of President Obama’s reelection and inauguration appears to have vanished as increasingly negative views among Americans about his stewardship of the economy have forced his public approval rating back down to the 50 percent mark, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The Wall Street Journal, U.S. Steps Up Alarm Over Cyberattacks: The nation’s top spies warned Tuesday of the rising threat of cyberattacks to national and economic security, comparing the concern more directly than before to the dangers posed by global terrorism.
The Los Angeles Times, Natives soon will outnumber newcomers in L.A. County: this year, for the first time in well over a century, native-born Californians will be a majority in Los Angeles County, according to projections by USC’s Population Dynamics Research Group.
Politico, Obama’s tax problem: It now seems likely that $600 billion in tax increases is all the new revenue Obama gets. That’s a far cry from the $1.6 trillion he wants, or even the $1 trillion-plus many Republicans were discussing in previous grand bargain talks.
Roll Call, Debt Ceiling Looms Beyond Spending Fight: Conservatives are privately debating how much space to give House leaders to follow through on promises made at their Williamsburg, Va., retreat in January, with a wait-and-see approach embraced by key veterans and a smaller movement of mostly newer lawmakers wanting to push leadership harder.
The Hill, Senate Democrats’ budget includes nearly $1 trillion in new taxes: The first budget from Senate Democrats in four years includes nearly $1 trillion in new taxes but would not balance the budget.

Lefty Playbook
Ryan Grim reports on How Bill Clinton Inspired The 47 Percent Filmmaker
Robert Greenstein calls the Ryan budget “Robin Hood in reverse — on steroids.”
Ezra Klein calls the Ryan budget “Social engineering with a side of deficit reduction.”
Jonathan Cohn says the new Ryan budget looks a lot like the last one.

Righty Playbook
Peter Kirsanow on likely Labor Secretaty nominee Thomas Perez.
Jillian Kay Melchior on Obamacare’s ‘Extremely Thorny’ Calorie-Count Rules.
Steven Hayward posts a photo of a seven foot stack of Obamacare regulations and writes, “if Congress passes a statute–even one that is 1,600 pages long like Obamacare, but the law can’t go into effect as written, it is not really a law at all.”

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