Opinion: Morning Examiner

Do half of the American people really fear terrorists could shoot down a commercial jet in the U.S.?

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Congress,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Barack Obama,2014 Elections,Terrorism,Free Market,Socialism,Capitalism

What does it mean when nearly half of the American people fear that terrorists could shoot down a commercial airliner in the U.S. as Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was blown out of the sky over Ukraine?

Forty-seven percent of the respondents to the latest Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey being released Friday said they are somewhat or very worried about such a terrorist attack within this country.

If that seems like an indicator of failing public trust in the American government, it is but it's not the only such indicator in the survey.

No confidence vote

Three-fourths of the respondents said the recent increase in Transportation Security Administration fees won't increase safety.

The same proportion said the federal government spends transportation funds inefficiently and a whopping 85 percent said they oppose hiking the federal gas tax.

The survey interviewed 1,000 adults, evenly divided between those reached on cellphones and those reached on landlines. The survey has a 3.7 percent plus/minus confidence margin.

Little to cheer Dems

The survey provides little to cheer either congressional Democrats or their vacationing president. Consider these results:

* 42 percent of Americans feel President Obama has expanded the power of the presidency “too much”

* 37 percent approve of the job President Obama is doing on foreign policy

* 84 percent support a constitutional amendment requiring members of Congress to be subject to all of the laws they pass

* 74 percent support a constitutional amendment requiring the federal budget to be balanced

* 50 percent of Americans say they’re open to allowing states to repeal federal laws.

But wait! There's more!

* 74 percent say promoting economic growth is more important than income inequality.

* Only two percent of the respondents said either same-sex marriage or abortion, and only four percent said environmental issues, would be the most important factor in their voting.

* 69 percent said either taxes, government spending or jobs are more important than the gap between the rich and the poor.

Then there is this

Fifty-eight percent have a net unfavorable view of socialism, while 55 percent have a favorable view of capitalism.

And just for the record, 35 percent of the respondents described themselves as independents, 33 percent as Democrats and only 23 percent as Republicans.

On today's

Editorial: Democrats should back postal reform efforts of Obama and Republicans.

Columnists/Byron York: Gloomy, frantic Dems plead for more money.

Columnists/Philip Klein: Washington is divided because it has abandoned federalism.

Beltway Confidential/Sean Higgins: Chicago teacher's union head makes $235K a year, has three homes.

PennAve/Zak Colman: Energy Department is getting out of the way of natural gas exports, so why isn't industry happy?

Legal Newsline/Jessica Karmasek: North Carolina patent troll bill becomes law.

Video/Morning Examiner: Morning Examiner with Steve Doty for Aug. 15.

In other news

Time Magazine: Tensions cool in Ferguson after change of police tactics.

Newsweek: WHO says Ebola outbreak vastly underestimated.

U.S. News & World Report: What the Supreme Court decides on, by the numbers.

Righty Playbook

American Thinker: Israel's disproportionate decency.

Washington Free Beacon: Jeff Bell, the most interesting candidate in the world.

American Conservative: Horton Foote's farewell.

Bonus must-read

The Federalist: Did Southern culture kill race-car driver Kevin Ward Jr.?

Lefty Playbook

The American Prospect: Education alone is not the answer to income inequality.

The New Republic: Obama's executive power discretion isn't what he thinks it is.

The Daily Beast: Putin's sleight-of-hand invasion of Ukraine.

Bonus must-read

Mother Jones: Who said this, Hillary Clinton or John McCain?

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