On the floor of the U.S. Senate Tuesday, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., took it upon himself to speak for the American people, boldly declaring that, when it comes to pork, “the American people really don’t care.”
Is this true? Have Americans become numb to our elected representatives spreading billions upon billion of dollars around to fund their special interests?
According to a just-released ATI-News/Zogby poll, Schumer’s statement is incorrect.
The poll surveyed 7,010 likely voters. It was conducted Feb. 5-9 and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 1.2 percentage points. Here is a sampling of the results:
Question 1: ATI-News/Zogby asked likely voters: “The current stimulus package supported by President Obama contains $650 million, renewing funding to help Americans buy digital converter boxes. Do you favor or oppose this spending provision?”
Overall, 56 percent of Americans oppose this $650 million pork provision, while only 33 percent favor it (11 percent are not sure). Eighty-four percent of Republicans oppose it, as do 61 percent of Independents. Fifty-five percent of young voters age 18-29 oppose, and only 34 percent favor it (11 percent are not sure).
Question 2: ATI-News/Zogby asked voters, “The current stimulus package supported by President Obama contains nearly $4.2 billion for neighborhood stabilization activities that could go to organizations such as ACORN or the League of Women Voters, that would spend it on voter registration activities and other community involvement programs. Do you favor or oppose this spending provision?”
Fifty-eight percent of American voters oppose using the “stimulus” bill to send 4.2 billion taxpayer dollars to community activist organizations. Ninety-three percent of Republicans oppose this pork, as do 64 percent of Independent voters.
Question 3: ATI-News/Zogby asked voters, “The stimulus bill would allow undocumented workers, who are also referred to as illegal aliens, who are working and paying taxes to collect a tax rebate check of $500 per person. Do you agree or disagree with this provision?”
Sixty-eight of all American voters disagree with using the economic recovery bill to give tax rebates to illegal aliens, while only 26 percent agree (6 percent are not sure). Ninety-two percent of Republicans disagree, as do 74 percent of Independents.
It would appear that Sen. Schumer spoke way out of turn. A majority of American voters do care about their elected representatives stuffing the so-called economic stimulus bill full of pork barrel projects that have nothing to do with stimulating the economy.
And why wouldn’t we care? It doesn’t take an economist to figure out that loading hundreds of billions of dollars worth of additional burden on taxpayers is no way to save this sinking ship.