That’s what Politico is trying to push:
When CNBC’s Rick Santelli argued last week that President Barack Obama’s mortgage bailout plan would force hardworking Americans to pay for their neighbors’ mistakes, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs dismissed him as a know-nothing derivatives trader out of touch with Main Street.
But if the White House simply dismisses Santelli’s point, it may do so at its peril: A Rasmussen poll released Monday found that 55 percent of those surveyed thought federal mortgage subsidies to those most at risk of losing their homes would be “rewarding bad behavior.”
Now this might seem like a stark contrast to the CBS/NYTimes poll that showed people supporting helping the homeowners by over a 2-1 margin, but a closer look at Rasmussen’s poll quickly explains why. For starters, the question that Politico nitpicked really doesn’t say much. Sure people might think its rewarding “bad behavior”, but that doesn’t mean they reject the idea of giving that help. Many people views TARP in the same light, but they are still willing to give that help.
But there is more to this. For example:
Seventy-six percent (76%) of Americans are not willing to pay higher taxes to help people who cannot afford to make their mortgage payments. Fourteen percent (14%) say higher taxes for this purpose are okay with them. Ten percent (10%) are undecided.
Where in the plan does it say taxes are raising? This is something Rasmussen is making up in order to craft their desired response, much like this:
Most Americans–53%–also oppose a plan for the federal government to pay off a portion of the mortgages only for people who can’t afford their current payments. Thirty-two percent (32%) think it’s a good idea. Support for that plan is even lower among homeowners.
When President Obama announced the plan he said people who went out there and knowingly got in over their heads would not be helped. So this question can also be considered a moot point, but not as much as this:
There is also little support for a plan that directly subsidizes all homeowners. Just 33% of all adults support having the federal government to pay up to $100,000 of the mortgage balance owned by every single homeowner in America.
Where does this $100,000 number come from? I have read nothing that says the government is going to “pay off $100,000” of every single mortgage. Again – this is baiting to the final result.
So Politico took what can only be described as a push poll and tried to turn it into gospel. Way to go Politico, but I will trust the honest questions posed by the CBS/NYTimes poll.