by Jason Williams, Wed Jun 15, 2011 at 02:52:57 PM EDT
Americans aged 30 to 49 -- who are the most worried about funding their retirement -- are also the most likely to say Social Security and Medicare are in a crisis. Additionally, Gallup has found non-retirees increasingly likely to believe they will have to fund their own retirement, relying more on 401(k)s and other self-directed retirement plans and less on Social Security and pensions than today's retirees. Thus, it is not surprising non-retirees' future financial security is a significant worry for them.
The sharp drop in economic confidence in early June is consistent with the deterioration in the jobs situation, six consecutive weeks of decline on Wall Street, and fears of a global economic slowdown. Even a recent decline in gas prices to $3.78 a gallon has not been enough to offset the decline in consumer optimism -- possibly in part because overall pump prices remain more than $1 per gallon higher than they were a year ago.
There are a lot of takeaways from both Gallup polls here but most obvious for Democrats and the President (or obvious to everyone but the Democrats and the President?) is that Republicans are a) winning the messaging war on the social safety net gloom and doom even if they're losing the messaging war on what to do about it, and b) have backed Obama into a corner, gleefully reporting job numbers and negative projections as if they had no part in it. The economy is going to need more than extending the tax holiday, Republicans know it, and they aren't going to let it happen.
Bad place for an incumbent to be.
But it's early. Democrats need to toss the finger pointing -- albeit justified -- own the poor state of things and offer an aggressive plan. If recovery remains slow a politically impossible plan that dies on the House's tea party altar is still going to be a bigger boost than telling voters you did everything you thought you had the votes for knowing it wouldn't be enough.
UPDATE: Looks like the TeaGOP isn't even going to give him the tax cuts. Welcome to the perpetual Republican campaign.