The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Americans Rate Personal Financial Situation Even Worse Than Last Year


Hey, cheer up, Americans! I’m sure we’re headed into another Recovery Summer!

Americans are down in the dumps about their personal finances, but still think the American dream is alive and kicking.

Only 32% of Americans consider their own personal finances excellent or good, a nine point decline from last year and 23 points lower than 2007, before the economy tanked, according to a new poll from the Pew Charitable Trusts.

At the same time, 68% of respondents feel they have achieved or will achieve the American dream.

But when asked if their kids will have a higher standard of living than they currently enjoy, only 47% said yes. That’s down from 62% in 2009.

This Pew poll also found 83 percent of Americans support a government role in promoting upward economic mobility. At first glance, that might be seen as a call for government intervention in the economy, but it’s worth noting that conservatives believe government can and should promote upward mobility — by securing the border and reducing the number of illegal immigrants who bring down wages, by promoting free trade and helping U.S. companies export goods, by reducing the tax burden and removing unnecessary and arduous regulations and red tape, etc.

Oh, and this finding should unnerve the Obama administration:

Americans don’t think the government is doing a particularly good job of it. Eighty percent say the government is ineffective at helping the poor and middle class . . .

Thirty-seven percent say the government is pursuing the wrong polices, while 43% say the government is inefficiently performing the correct policies.

Tags: Barack Obama , Economy Polling


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