Why the debt-ceiling deal isn’t selling in Peoria 

Which part of “No more deficit spending” don’t the professional politicians in Washington understand?

Within minutes of signing the bipartisan debt-ceiling deal worked out by congressional leaders, President Barack Obama stood in the White House Rose Garden demanding new “key investments” — which means spending more money the federal government doesn’t have and will have to borrow from China or somebody else.

This time, it’s for an “infrastructure bank” championed by 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry. The Massachusetts Democratic senator assures America that his proposal will create jobs in the construction industry by making tax-funded loans to finance new projects.

Of course, we’ve already been down this road before with the failed $859 billion economic stimulus program, approximately one-fourth of which funded all those “shovel-ready infrastructure projects.” Two years later, with unemployment still above 9 percent, business and consumer confidence at historic lows, and the economy nosing over into the second dip of a double-dip recession, Obama recently conceded that those “shovel-ready projects weren’t as shovel-ready as we thought.”

But previous failures of government programs never stop Big Government obsessives from slapping catchy new titles on the same old failed ideas and promising, “Trust us, this time we promise it really will put construction workers to work right now.”

Professional Washington politicians would have us believe that the outcome will be different this time because, instead of wasting billions of tax dollars by letting Department of Transportation bureaucrats hand them out, we’ll just create another government-funded “bank” to write the checks.

The latest national survey by Rasmussen Reports suggests that only 22 percent of more than 1,000 likely voters surveyed Aug. 1-2 approve of the debt-ceiling deal, while 53 percent disapprove. It’s no surprise that three-fourths of conservative voters reject the deal, but so do more than half the moderates.

Even among Democrats, more voters (40 percent) reject the deal than approve (34 percent). Why the skepticism? “One reason for the disapproval may be that most voters (58 percent) say it’s unlikely the deal will lead to a significant decrease in federal spending over the next few years. Only 35 percent consider such spending cuts even somewhat likely,” Rasmussen said.

Put another way, most people outside Washington no longer believe the professional politicians in that town. So when the president hails a debt-ceiling deal, then within minutes proposes new spending that will drive the debt higher, he’s confirming a major disconnect with most Americans. No wonder the latest Gallup Poll shows Obama with a 48 percent disapproval rating.

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Monday, Sep 15, 2014

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