July 26, 2010 – 2:35 PM | by: Lee Ross
Seemingly convinced that the Obama administration has not done enough to improve the country’s economic outlook, a survey of liberals and progressives show a majority believe the nation is now in the midst of a serious long-term economic decline.
The straw poll from this weekend’s Netroots Nation convention of activists reveals that 53% of those surveyed believe the current economic difficulties will last for the foreseeable future. Only 35% think a positive correction is right around the corner.
In a video statement played at the convention Saturday, President Obama talked about the timing of an economic recovery that seems to match up with these numbers. “It took years to get here,” Obama said. “It will take time to get us out.”
Nearly three quarters of the people surveyed believe Washington lawmakers should make the nation’s sluggish employment marketplace their top priority. Concerns over the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as other issues, lagged far behind.
AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka took aim at the current (and past) administration and Wall Street with what he calls a “two-fer” solution to increasing job opportunities and punishing the financial industry for the current economic climate.
“We figured out a way to bail out the banks who created this problem. We figured out a way to pay for wars. We figured out a way to do everything you decided to do, we can figure out a way to pay for these jobs as well and I think that Wall Street really should start paying for their fair share of what they’ve done.” Trumka specifically calls for a financial transaction tax that he says will put $150-$300 million into the federal treasury that can be used for job creation.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not talk about Trumka’s “two-fer” but did speak for nearly an hour Saturday and was warmly received by the crowd. She trumpeted legislation from the past 18 months and credited the laws with creating or saving 3.6 million jobs and said the Obama administration will soon surpass job creation figures from the eight years preceding Obama under President George W. Bush.
93% of convention goers say they want the federal government to play the leading role in job creation. Only 4% felt reductions in government spending and tax cuts will be the best way for the private sector to create jobs.
Pelosi talked about a new push from Democrats called “Make it in America” that focuses on the government’s push for increased employment. “We have a big manufacturing strategy for creating jobs in the U.S.,” Pelosi said to mild applause and then noted that, “of course, we’ll be talking about how we do this and reduce the deficit at the same time.”
The voluntary straw poll was conducted on-line and via text message with 306 conventioneers by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and Democracy Corps, in conjunction with Revolution Messaging. Approximately 2,000 people attended the fifth annual gathering.