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73% Think Most Bailout Money Went To Those Who Caused Economic Crisis

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Americans believe more strongly than ever that most of the government bailout money for the financial industry went to those who caused the economic meltdown and that the government hasn’t tried hard enough to bring Wall Street criminals to justice.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 73% of American Adults now think most of the bailout money went to the people who created the economic crisis.  That’s up from 68% early last month, a finding that hadn’t changed since March 2009, just a few months after the bailout began.

Only 14% feel the majority of the bailout money hasn’t gone to those who caused the crisis, while 13% more are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Just 12% of adults think the federal government has been aggressive enough in pursuing possible criminal behavior by major Wall Street bankers. Seventy-two percent (72%) disagree and say the government has not been aggressive enough in going after possible criminal wrongdoing by these bankers. That’s up eight points from 64% in May.  Sixteen percent (16%) are not sure.

Eighty percent (80%) continue to believe that Wall Street benefited more than the average taxpayer from the government bailouts of the financial industry. This finding has remained largely unchanged from July 2009 when the level of skepticism jumped from 63% the preceding October.  Only nine percent (9%) now think the taxpayer benefited more, but 11% are undecided.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on November 16-17, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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