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Americans Divided Over Whether Government Will Do Too Much or Not Enough For Economy

As the nation struggles with high unemployment and a depressed housing market, voters are evenly divided about which worries them more—that the government will not do enough to fix the economy rather than do too much. 

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 45% of Likely Voters say, in reacting to the country’s financial problems, what worries them more is that the federal government will not do enough.   Forty-three percent (43%) are worried the government will do too much, while 12% are not sure.  (To see survey question wording, click here.) That’s the first time since December 2010 that a plurality has worried more about the government not doing enough.

In September 2008, just after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, 63% feared the government would try to do too much to help repair the crumbling economy.  By January, 2009, voters were evenly divided about which they feared most. Meanwhile, fear that the government will not do enough has risen to the highest level ever recorded.

In terms of government responses, however, just 28% of voters believe the bailouts of the banks, auto and insurance companies was good for the United States.  Fifty-three percent (53%) feel the bailouts were bad for the country, and another 20% are undecided.  These findings have remained fairly consistent since late April 2009

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The national survey of 1,000 Likely Voters nationwide was conducted on July 8-9, 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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