NYTimes: Bush Stumbling at Home, Public Says

The New York Times reports the results of a new poll finding that the American public sees President Bush and his administration as being out of step with their thinking on Social Security reform:

“Notwithstanding Mr. Bush’s argument that citizens should be given more control over their retirement savings, almost four out of five respondents said it was the government’s responsibility to assure a decent standard of living for the elderly.”

Big-government types and nanny state fans will surely enjoy reading that passage. (That is, if they can overlook the incorrect usage of the word assure; the right word in that situation is ensure, or barely possibly insure, but definitely not assure unless the sentence is recast to say “assure the elderly that they will have a decent standard of living.” Sheesh.)

The better news for the president is that the public believes that the situation in Iraq is going “very or somewhat well.”

Still, the public does not see the president as doing nearly as good a job at home. According to the Times story, “63 percent of respondents say the president has different priorities on domestic issues than most Americans.”

The budget deficit appears to be a matter of great concern to the public. According to the Times story, 60 percent of respondents said that they did not like the way Bush was responding to the federal budget deficit. This was true even of 48 percent of conservatives. You may count me among those unimpressed with Bush’s handling of the deficit, but for reasons the Times would probably not find amusing—an intense dislike of the vast increase of domestic spending during the administration of Bush the Younger.

Bush’s approval rating among the public remains at 49 percent, the paper reported, exactly where it was a month ago.

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