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   What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls

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3/21/2009 9:50 am

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Entered 3/21/2009, Updated 3/21/2009

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Many Americans think there’s already too much government in their lives and the government they’ve got either ignores real problems or makes them worse. Take the ongoing economic crisis. Enormous amounts of taxpayer money are being channeled into various stimulus and bailout packages, but 68% of Americans now believe most of this money is going to the very people who created the country’s current economic problems. This feeling is no doubt compounded by the growing outrage over $165 million in bonuses paid to executives of American International Group (AIG), after it received a $170-billion government bailout. Seventy-six percent (76%) of Americans, by the way, say those AIG executives ought to be required to give back those bonuses. As political leaders scramble to explain why they didn’t stop the bonuses, an independent report released on Friday the deficits from the President’s proposed budget will be $2.3 trillion higher than projected. Even before that news broke, reducing the deficit was seen as a top priority for the American people. Americans remain divided over the president’s proposed $3.6-trillion budget, worried in large part by the amount of new spending it proposes. Not surprisingly, the percentage of voters who expect government spending to go up during the Obama years has jumped 18 points to 72%. There’s also been a seven-point jump since last month in the number of voters who worry that the government will do too much in reacting to the nation’s economic problems. Fifty percent (50%) now have that concern, the highest level since Election Day. By week’s end, the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll found that while 35% of voters Strongly Approved of Obama’s job performance, 31% Strongly Disapproved.


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