Care must be taken in reading too much into the results of the Iowa Republican Party "straw poll" on Saturday. Relatively few people were involved and, by definition, all of them were committed Republican Party supporters.
Still, the event should send a message to President Barack Obama and Congress that they are wrong if they underestimate the level of concern among Americans about government spending beyond its means.
The straw poll serves as something of an official kickoff for Republican candidates for president. Those who do well in Iowa are stimulated to stay on the campaign trail. Those who don't do well sometimes drop out of the race, as former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty did Sunday.
On Saturday, the big winners in Iowa were U.S. Reps. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.; and Ron Paul, R-Texas.
Republican, Democrat or Independent, all politicians in federal office or running for federal office must understand that America needs to get its financial house in order.
The extreme partisanship and uncertainty being created at the federal level only serves to perpetuate the belief that our government in Washington, D.C., is too big and too partisan to solve complex problems.
The government's deficit spending is a drag on the economy. Will government will be a partner in growth - or an obstacle to it?
As matters stand, neither consumers nor business people have any reason to believe Republicans and Democrats will take the partnership approach. The outlook actually is negative
Unless that changes, announcements like the one by Federal Reserve officials last week that they will hold interest rates at record lows for the next two years will likely do little to spur economic and job growth.