Americans are more than twice as likely to blame the federal government in Washington (64%) for the economic problems facing the United States as they are the financial institutions on Wall Street (30%).
Reflecting the results of the forced-choice question, the percentage saying the federal government deserves a great deal of blame is 11 points higher than the percentage for financial institutions on Wall Street.
Not surprisingly, Americans who consider themselves supporters of the Occupy Wall Street movement (26% of all Americans) are more likely to blame Wall Street than the federal government for the nation’s economic problems. Supporters of the Tea Party movement (22% of Americans) are overwhelmingly likely to blame the government. Republicans and independents blame the federal government more; Democrats are split essentially in half, with about as many blaming Wall Street as blame the federal government.
As the article notes, this has important political implications. It is a significant shift in Americans’ perceptions of the problems we face. And if I were a Republican candidate, I would take special note of the fact that 65% of Independents believe that government is the problem, not the solution.
This gives me hope. But I have one little doubt whispering to me, and that is: this may reflect the popular belief that Washington “isn’t working” and that if it did, the politicians could solve our economic problems. Which is entirely wrong.
by: Jeffrey Harding