Monday, September 6, 2010

The American People Speak on the Economy and It Ain't Good

The American people as a group have always had a fairly good grasp of the condition of the US economy. They may not always be smart, but they know what they see. As we move into the mid-term elections the economy will weigh heavily on the elections. All the media hype about the Republicans re-capturing the Congress is necessarily true. Also in the final analysis it makes no difference for 2 reasons:

1. Uncle Sam and the Fed are largely out of policy options. After all how do you get the US consumer to start spending when they are tapped out and they face unemployment rates hovering around 10%? The cover story in the Investors Business Daily that came on Saturday states that at the current trend the unemployment rate would not return to pre-2008 levels until 2017.

2. Ultimately Washing DC is so out of touch with the American people. They don't know what to do.

Test in bold is my emphasis. From

A new national poll released Sunday indicates that eight in 10 Americans say that the economy is in poor shape, and the number that say conditions are very poor is on the upswing after steady declines through the spring.

And according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, more people blame the Republicans over the Democrats for the country's economic problems.

Eighty-one percent of the public rates the county's economic conditions as poor, with 18% describing the economy as good. Forty-four percent of people questioned describe economic conditions as very poor, up seven points from July.

The poll indicates that roughly half the country says that conditions have not improved in the past two years. The other half says that the economy has gotten better, but many of them expect things will get worse in the near future.

"Roughly a third of all Americans say that the economy has gotten better and will continue to do so," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But one in five say that things have gotten better but will take a turn for the worse in the months ahead -- essentially predicting the "double-dip" that many economists are worried about."

So which party gets the blame for the country's current economic problems?

According to the survey, more Americans hold the Republicans responsible than the Democrats, with 44% blaming the GOP and 35% picking the Democrats.

"And when George W. Bush's name is added to the mix, the number who blame the Republicans rises to 53%, with just a third saying that Barack Obama and his party are at fault. That indicates why the Democrats are likely to mention Bush's name every chance they get between now and election day," Holland said.

But according to numbers released Friday, just four in 10 Americans say they approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing on the economy.

The 40% who give Obama a thumbs up is a new low for the president on the economy in CNN polling.

The CNN/Opinon Research Corp. poll was conducted Wednesday and Thursday, with 1,024 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

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