Last night, Fox News talking head Sean Hannity unveiled his new anti-Obama slogan for 2012″ – “Can you afford four more?” Now that would be a great slogan if it was used by John Kerry in 2004 regarding George Bush’s reckless policies but will not resonate with most voters in 2012. The average American would not survive four more years of a GOP/Tea Party administration neither would their social safety nets of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Hannity’s slogan certainly would not resonate with Democrats. All you have to do is look at the latest Gallup poll for the week ending July 24 showing a 78% approval rating of the president’s job performance. This also takes into account that he has been the only adult in the room looking for a compromise in the current budget debate. In fact despite all the current challenges and obstacles being thrown at him by the right, the president is still scoring better than Democrats Kennedy, Carter and Clinton for the same period during their terms. So “yes” an overwhelming amount of Democrats will have four more. As for the general public, the president’s job performance approval has been fairly steady in 2011, except for a temporary uptick after bin Laden’s death. His average 47% approval rating in the first half of 2011 is identical to his average rating for all of 2010 and viewed as a positive for the president, particularly given ongoing challenges with the economy. So the president appears to be in good shape going into 2012, despite what the right will have you believe.
Hannity’s slogan is based on the false premise and daily talking point of “he caused this mess” as in President Obama. As President Obama so aptly noted in his speech the other night, by the end of the Bill Clinton’s presidency the federal budget had a surplus for the first time in decades. George Bush comes into office and decides to have no part of a budget surplus. Instead, he presided over massive tax cuts that gave the largest benefits to the people at the top – millionaires, billionaires, and the largest U.S. Corporations that were already taking advantage of tax loopholes. Bush then launches two major wars and enacts a huge prescription drug benefit for Medicare, all without paying for them. The failure of Bush economic policies—fiscal irresponsibility, regulatory indifference, fueling of an asset and credit bubble after theformer president aggressively pushed the largest banks to make over 1.1 trillion in low income and minority loans, a failure to focus on jobs and incomes, and inaction as the economy started slipping— also contributed mightily to the nation’s current economic situation.
If Sean Hannity were honest, he would remind the Tea Party that today’s budget deficit was largely driven by George Bush’s policies. If the Tea Party were honest they would ask themselves if we’re “Taxed Enough Already” who’s going to pay for the previous administration’s years of reckless spending. Who benefitted the most from the Bush Tax cuts? Any rational thinking person will would know it was everyone and every company in the top tax bracket. The newly elected Tea Party supports a plan that pays for the reckless tax cuts and war spending by taking Medicare away from people under 55 and means testing Social Security. They would prefer to attack the social safety net of seniors instead of considering tax hikes for the top tax bracket in the country. They would even go so far as to send the country over a cliff to accomplish it.
So instead of asking ”Can you afford four more?” you really should be asking “Had enough Tea yet?”