If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


50% Say Government Puts Wall Street Ahead of Main Street

Americans feel more strongly than ever that the government is more concerned with making Wall Street firms profitable than making the financial system work for the rest of us.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 50% of Adults believe the federal government is more concerned with making Wall Street firms profitable than with making sure the U.S. financial system works well for all Americans. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

That’s up 12 points from 38% in June. But in September 2009, after some Wall Street firms began reporting sizable profits, 46% felt this way.

Thirty-one percent (31%) of adults now take the opposite view and say the government cares more about making the financial system work for all Americans, a number that has shifted little over the past year. Another 19% are undecided.

As for the government bailouts of the financial industry that began when the Wall Street meltdown broke into the headlines in September 2008, 81% of Americans say Wall Street, not taxpayers benefited more. Only seven percent (7%) say the average taxpayer benefited more from the bailouts, while 12% are undecided.

These numbers have changed little from July 2009 just after Goldman-Sachs announced that it had recovered and was reporting a record profit. Prior to that, in February 2009, just 67% thought Wall Street benefited more from the bailouts than the average taxpayer.

(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 Adults nationwide was conducted on January 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. 

Want to read more?

Become a Rasmussen Reader to read the article

Have an account?

Log In

Become a Reader


Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.

We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.

To learn more about our methodology, click here.