Poll shows Americans believe country doing badly, economy getting worse and debt-limit bill ‘benefits the rich’

Online Staff Report

A CNN poll released Aug. 8 showed 75 percent believe the country is doing badly and 60 percent believe the economy is getting worse.

The poll of 1,008 adult Americans, conducted Aug. 5-7, came after Standard & Poor’s downgraded the nation’s AAA credit rating Aug. 5 for the first time in its history.

The current poll shows a 24 percentage point increase since April in the number of people who believe the economy is in a downturn.

Quoted in a Politico report, CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said: “Since the question was first asked in the spring of 2009, the number of Americans who said the economy was in a downturn had never been higher than 40 percent. The jump in economic pessimism is across the board — a majority of every major demographic and political subgroup thinks the economy is in a downturn and getting worse.”

Also under examination in the poll was Congress’ passing of a bill to raise the federal government’s debt ceiling through 2013 and make major cuts in government spending.

According to the poll, 50 percent of Americans disapprove of the bill, while 48 percent approve. Two percent had no opinion.

Furthermore, 48 percent said the debt-limit bill did not go far enough in cutting spending, 27 percent said the cuts were “about right,” while 21 percent thought the cuts went “too far.”

When asked whether they believe the debt-limit bill “treats all Americans fairly” or “benefits the rich at the expense of the poor and middle class,” 62 percent said the bill “benefits the rich.” Twenty-seven percent believed the bill “treats all fairly” and 11 percent had no opinion.

“Democrats dislike the agreement because they think it benefits the rich,” Holland said in the Politico report. “Republicans dislike the agreement because they think the spending cuts don’t go far enough. Independents dislike the bill for both reasons — a majority of them see it as unbalanced, and also believe that the spending cuts should have gone further.”

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