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Solid seal of disapproval for Obama

The Augusta Chronicle An anonymous “ranter” complained this week that this page’s handlers “must have graduated from the college of negativity” for all our criticisms of Barack Obama. Blame The Chronicle all you like. But if anyone thinks this page is alone, or even off base, in its urgent criticism of this president’s misbegotten policies, they’re just not tuned in to reality. First off, Barack Obama’s popularity has plunged in a fireball down a mountainside and into a ravine over the past year: After enjoying positive ratings of near 70 percent following his inauguration, Rasmussen Reports said this week that 43 percent of voters strongly disapprove of Obama’s performance, as opposed to only 22 percent who strongly approve. Perhaps most troubling for the president is the fact that, among independents — the nation’s swing voters — those numbers are 45 to 17. He’s losing the country, if he hasn’t already lost it. And in an astonishing online poll by CBS News, people were asked to grade Mr. Obama on nine issues or characteristics and to give him an overall grade. In each and every case, a plurality — or a whopping majority — gave him an “F.” In every area. Certainly, it’s an unscientific poll — but consider the source: CBS News, hardly a right-wing organization. Nearly 80 percent gave the president an overall grade of “F.” But his worst grade was reserved for his signature issue, health care: 82 percent gave him an “F.” That isn’t just a national consensus. It’s a deluge. Mr. Obama isn’t likely to be judged any more kindly should he insist on taking the country, kicking and screaming, off the health-care cliff he’s guiding us toward. Consider these numbers: - 57 percent believe his health-care plan will hurt the economy. - 66 percent believe the Democrats’ health-care plan will increase the national deficit. - 78 percent believe taxes will have to be raised on the middle class to pay for health-care reform, despite Mr. Obama’s campaign pledges to the contrary. - 81 percent say the health-care plan will cost more than official estimates. Given the federal government’s track record for cost estimates, on such things as Medicare, that 81-percent majority is likely right. You don’t need to go to college to see what’s wrong.

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