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New High: 50% Worry Government Won’t Do Enough To Counter Bad Economy

Monday, December 19, 2011

Most voters continue to believe the government bailouts were a bad idea, but at the same time concern that the government won’t do enough in response to the bad economy has reached its highest level in over three years of regular surveying.

Just 39% of Likely U.S. Voters worry more that the federal government will do too much in reacting to current economic problems. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 50% now are more worried that the government will not do enough, up three points from last month.  Eleven percent (11%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

In September 2008, 63% of voters worried more that the government would do too much. That number fell sharply in the months following the financial industry meltdown and reached a low of 36% in August. Until June of this year, a plurality or a majority consistently feared that the government would do too much, but concern has shifted in the opposite direction since then.

Seventy-five percent (75%) of the voters in the president’s party worry that the government will not do enough in responding to the country’s economic problems. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Republicans and a plurality (46%) of unaffiliated voters share the opposite concern that the government will do too much.

Fifty-six percent (56%) of voters still believe the bailouts of banks, auto companies and insurance companies were bad for the country. Only 29% view those bailouts as good for America, while 15% are not sure. Most voters have opposed the bailouts for nearly three years since officials in Washington, D.C. first began proposing them.

The majority of voters across most demographic categories agree that the bailouts were bad for the country, but 74% of the  Political Class think they were a good move.  Sixty-six percent (66%) of Mainstream voters disagree.

In his upcoming book, The People’s Money, Scott Rasmussen notes that the bailouts served as a catalyst to unleash a half-century of voter discontent with the Political Class. He also shows how the budget crisis was created by the Political Class pursuing its own agenda rather than listening to the American people. The solution can be found by recognizing that voters are prepared to make the hard choices and clean up the mess created by their politicians.

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The national survey of 1,000 Likely Voters nationwide was conducted on December 14-15, 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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