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57% Still Believe Bailouts Were Bad for US

Most voters continue to believe that government bailouts were a bad idea, and a plurality still fears the government will do too much to help the economy.

Looking back, just 30% of Likely Voters think that the bailouts of banks, auto and insurance companies were good for the United States. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 57% believe the bailouts were bad for the country, while 13% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

By a 49% to 38% margin, voters are more worried the federal government will do too much in reacting to the struggling economy than not do enough. Those results are little changed from last month. 

The 30% who now think the bailouts were a good idea is virtually identical to the 28% support for the plan when it was first proposed in the fall of 2008. Ever since, voters have consistently opposed the bailouts for both the financial sector and the auto industry. Last month, 31% said the bailouts were good for the United States, while 53% said they were bad.

Just before the Wall Street bailouts were approved by Congress, only seven percent (7%) of voters thought the federal government should use taxpayer funds to keep a large financial institution solvent. Sixty-five percent (65%) said the government should let the company file for bankruptcy.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on February 10-11, 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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