November 8, 2010

FRANK LUNTZ: WHAT AMERICANS WANT:

Over the past two years, I’ve polled tens of thousands of Americans. Their top complaint about politicians is that they fail to “say what they mean and mean what they say.” Their top complaint about government is that it lacks “accountability.” Their top complaint about Washington is that “government has grown too big, too inefficient, and too out of control to do even the bare minimum things it is supposed to do.”

These concerns explain why Hurricane Katrina ended President George W. Bush’s presidency three years before his term expired. They explain why the gulf oil spill disaster crystallized voters’ concerns that Obama is in over his head. And they explain why the stimulus – after all those billions in debt, unemployment is still near 10 percent – has been deemed a failure.

Americans’ agenda is simple. In broad terms, they want the government to spur job growth, but not by subsidizing more government jobs with taxpayer dollars. They want Washington to balance the budget and reverse the growing influence of government on daily life. They want the government to encourage success, allow failure, punish those who break the law – and then get out of the way. And above all, they want politicians to follow through on their promises, even if that means tempering those promises in the first place.

And huge majorities, Luntz reports, agree with the Contract From America. No surprise. It was crowdsourced.

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