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RNC Survey Suggests Draft, Welfare Expansion Are on 'Obama Agenda'

Cross-posted from 44.

The Republican National Committee has sent Virginia voters a questionnaire suggesting that the president and Congressional Democrats want to expand welfare benefits with "no time, education or work requirements" and re-institute the military draft -- all while raising the budget deficit well beyond what is projected by nonpartisan experts.

The fundraising survey, received this week by a Post reporter who lives in Northern Virginia, is called the RNC "2009 Obama Agenda Survey" and comes as less than a month remains in the hard-fought gubernatorial race between Democrat Creigh Deeds and Republican Robert McDonnell for control of the swing-state.

The survey on an array of divisive hot-button topics was accompanied by a letter from GOP chairman Michael Steele describing the items in the survey questions as "Obama's top priorities" and declaring, "I want you to know that the Republican Party is not dead."

Some of the 15 "Obama Agenda Survey" questions:

1. Do you agree with Barack Obama's budget plan that will lead to a $23.1 trillion deficit over the next ten years?

3. Do you support amnesty for illegal immigrants?

4. Should English be the official language of the United States?

6. Are you in favor of expanded welfare benefits and unlimited eligibility (not time, education or work requirements) that Democrats are pushing to pass?

9. Do you support the creation of a national health insurance plan that would be administered by bureaucrats in Washington?

13. Are you in favor of reinstituting the military draft, as Democrats in Congress have proposed?"

Surveys designed to persuade rather than survey are a common though dirty tactic in the political arena, the text equivalent of telephone push-polls.
In August, href="">
the RNC suggested in a similarly formatted "Future of American Health Care Survey" that "GOP voters might be discriminated against for medical treatment in a Democrat-imposed health care rationing system." A Republican Party spokesperson called that survey "inartfully worded" following a public outcry from Democrats who received it.

The "$23.1 trillion deficit over the next ten years" figure in the new survey appears to confuse the deficit with the national debt and consequently massively overstates projected fiscal deficits over the next decade.

According to recent White House figures, the budget deficit in 2019 is projected to be $917 billion, not $23.1 trillion. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects the accumulated national debt from a decade of deficits approaching or exceeding $1 trillion each year under Obama spending plans could
to nearly $23 trillion by 2019 from the
$11.8 trillion
public debt reported for August 2009.

Other charges in the survey are also overstated. Obama has not made moves as president in support of a reinstituted military draft. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) has several times introduced a measure to bring it back, but his bill has little support among Democrats. And while the president has said that while he would prefer that a public option be offered as part of a health-care reform package, that provision did not emerge from the months of Senate Finance Committee negotiations that concluded in the wee hours of Friday morning and Obama has also said it is not an essential component of the reforms.

"This isn't the first time that Republicans have used push polls in recent weeks to malign what the president is offering," said Democratic National Committee spokesman Hari Sevugan. "Dirty tricks and lies is what they are resorting to in lieu of any new ideas or plans to lower the cost of health insurance."

A GOP spokesperson declined to discus the poll. "Our policy is not to comment on fundraising," said Gail Gitcho.

-- By Garance Franke-Ruta

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  October 3, 2009; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Election 2009  
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Next: A McCain-McDonnell Event on the Horizon?


Nope, not dead, just lying per usual.

Posted by: EricS2 | October 3, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Oh goodness, here we go again. Got no positive proposals to move this wonderful county forward and out of the Bush economic ditch so instead the Republicans make up totally ridiculous fiction.

Let's work together to keep America a strong vibrant county and not waste our time on fictitious arguments.

Mr. Deeds is the best gubernatorial candidate to address the reality of the economy and the Republican House of Delegates to bring Virginia's economy back to being great for all residents.

Posted by: Willis3 | October 3, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

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