February 23rd, 2009
04:07 PM ET
6 years ago

Poll: On economy, more trust for Washington than for Wall St.

Nearly two-thirds in a new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll said they had confidence that Democrats in Congress would make the right economic decisions.
Nearly two-thirds in a new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll said they had confidence that Democrats in Congress would make the right economic decisions.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Pennsylvania Avenue beats out Wall Street in a new national poll: the survey suggests Americans have more confidence in economic decision-making coming from the White House and Congress than from Wall Street, the banks or auto executives.

And that may be one reason why a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Monday suggests that the public opposes plans to provide more taxpayer dollars to the banks and the major domestic automakers.

Three out of 10 questioned in the poll said they're confident that Wall Street will make the right decisions to help the country overcome the current economic recession. That number drops 2 points to 28 percent when asked about bankers and financial executives. And only 26 percent said they're confident that auto executives will make the right economic decisions.

But 53 percent of those questioned said they have confidence in Republicans in Congress making the right calls regarding the economy. Even more - two out of three - expressed confidence that the Democrats who control Congress will make the right economic decisions. And three out of four said they think President Barack Obama will make the right moves when it comes dealing with the recession.

"You know times are tough when Republicans have more confidence in a Democratic president than they do in bankers or Wall Street investors, but that's what the poll is showing now," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Among Republicans, 37 percent say they are confident in Obama's ability to make the right economic decisions, but only 31 percent of Republicans feel that way about Wall Street."

"Labor union leaders don't fare badly either," added CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider. "Nearly half the public has confidence in them. But Wall Street investors? Bankers and financial executives? Auto company executives? No more than 30 percent have confidence in them. Right now, Americans trust political leaders more than business leaders. That's new and it has consequences."

The poll suggests those consequences. Only 37 percent of those questioned in the survey favored more government for the ailing domestic automakers. Two of the major U.S. auto companies have asked the federal government for a program that would provide them with several billion dollars in assistance; money that Detroit says they may need to stay out of bankruptcy. Sixty-one percent opposed the assistance.

When it comes to taxpayer dollars to help the banks and financial institutions, just 36 percent favored providing the remaining $350 billion of the $700 billion allocated by Congress to assist the banks and other large financial institutions, with 62 percent opposed.

"Business scandals everywhere! Alleged multibillion-dollar swindlers Bernie Madoff and Robert Allen Stanford. ... Swiss banks helping Americans hide their money. ... Huge bonuses for Wall Street executives. Does the public expect those people to bail the country out? Well, no," Schneider said.

But what about homeowners who can't pay their mortgages?

"Government programs to help ordinary Americans are much more popular," Holland said. "Six in 10 favor federal assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure and seven in 10 support government programs to lower health-care costs."

Schneider added, "They're generally seen as ordinary people who made bad financial decisions. The majority says they deserve government help."

The poll also asked about a program that would increase the federal government's influence over the country's health-care system in hopes of lowering costs and proving health-care coverage to more Americans.

"The last time the government tried that, back in 1994, it didn't work. The health-care business put up fierce resistance," Schneider said.

But, Holland noted, "more than seven in 10 [in the current poll] say that they would favor a proposal that would increase the government's influence over the health-care system in an attempt to reduce costs and expand coverage."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll was conducted Wednesday and Thursday, after the president signed the stimulus package into law, with 1,046 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.


Filed under: CNN poll • Economy
soundoff (196 Responses)
  1. ray ray

    Democrats have been in control of the purse strings for the last 2+ years. Any economic problem we find ourselves TODAY can be placed at the feet of Nancy, Harry and Obama.

    It's hillarious, though. Dems want to blame BUSH (who spent money like a liberal) but Obama & co just DOUBLED-DOWN on high-spending and MORE troops into Afghanistan!!??

    February 23, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  2. dumbocrat alert

    I'll keep my money, my freedom and my guns and president Pelosi and community organizer Obama can keep the change.

    February 23, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  3. Steve (the real one)

    Another crazy poll! So we trust Congress more than Wall Street. I believe it but Congress shouldn't be proud! This poll doesn't say much at all, execept we trust one set of crooks less than we trust the other set of crooks! It's like asking me if I want to be killed by a grizzly bear or a lion! Some choice!

    February 23, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. gt

    thank godness for honest politican like sen burris , gov ,blago , barney frank , ...

    February 23, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  5. Otto

    It makes no difference what the sleazy Republicans think or say. They had eight years of George Bush ignorance and now they can't take the fire.

    I say, give them hell Barry! You won the election, you are President, and you make the rules and not Bush or Cheney.

    Oh wait, the Republicans will be irrelevant come 2010 and the Senate will be squarely Democratic. The time of fear mongering is over, there are no more yellow, red or green warning light to scare the crap out of us. This is not 2004 election whereby they said; if you are not with; you are against us! Let em have it!

    February 23, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  6. TjayeInLA

    All Republicans have their fingers in their ears saying 'LA LA LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!'

    February 23, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  7. Matthew, Detroit

    Great picture of that bag PELOSI.

    Barack could have solved this whole crisis by taking 1.4 trillion of all this spending crap and given each homeowner ( of which there is 52 Million homeowners) $20,000 each in a tax break that goes directly to their principal stretched over 2 years. This would have given liquidity to the banks.

    Instead these clowns DID NOT spend money on infrastructure as they claimed. BARACKs guys said today that there should have been more money on infrastructure instead of on general spending.

    In a MONTH they are going to admit they were wrong and did not handle it properly. I just wonder are they going to criticize congress in the month ahead or are they going to give them a pass.

    GET IT TOGETHER AMERICA. STOP THE SPENDING.
    IF YOU ARE BROKE YOU CANT SPEND MONEY, SO HOW CAN OUR GOVERMENT.

    February 23, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  8. Matthew, Detroit

    Great BIG picture of that bag PELOSI.

    Barack could have solved this whole crisis by taking 1.4 trillion of all this spending crap and given each homeowner ( of which there is 52 Million homeowners) $20,000 each in a tax break that goes directly to their principal stretched over 2 years. This would have given liquidity to the banks.

    Instead these clowns DID NOT spend money on infrastructure as they claimed. BARACKs guys said today that there should have been more money on infrastructure instead of on general spending.

    In a MONTH they are going to admit they were wrong and did not handle it properly. I just wonder are they going to criticize congress in the month ahead or are they going to give them a pass.

    GET IT TOGETHER AMERICA. STOP THE SPENDING.
    IF YOU ARE BROKE YOU CANT SPEND MONEY, SO HOW CAN OUR GOVERMENT.

    February 23, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  9. Ryan

    Lately, when I read all the comments here and on the "liberal" blogs that I've been reading and usually agreeing with over the past few years, it really astounds me just how misguided and/or uninformed most people are when it comes to the financial crisis. It amazes me how a group of people that are right on many social issues like health care are so wrong when it comes to business. It's one thing to not know and keep quiet, but the vast majority of rhetoric that I've been reading lately really frightens me for what it could to the global marketplace and most of it is very off target in terms of facts.

    Oh, and BTW, I voted for Obama, but when he or members of his economic team don't come to the press conferences with detailed plans, they're not helping the markets. Bush did help cause this, but Obama & Geithner have not provided the inspiration to turn things around, and in some cases have been exacerbating the problem.

    And for those saying "Well give him more time," you don't seem to have the same level of patience from the banks (you know, the ones that you are shareholders of and need to thrive so that you don't lose your stakes as taxpayers). That $350 billion bailout that everyone complains about did significant things when it came to thrawing the credit markets.

    February 23, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  10. Steph

    Of course we do...now that the adults are back in the White House.

    February 23, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  11. the idiot

    Brandon@ is still stuck in the thumb up your butt, SNL election mode. Grow up non worker.

    February 23, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  12. MICK in MESA

    And the reason? Just look at how all those "girlie men" on Wall Street are acting because they no longer have Dubya and his flock of sheep to cover their butts anymore. They are tanking the Dow. So much for America first...
    The newest Wall Steet slogan:
    "No bail out for us baby, and we bail out on you"

    February 23, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  13. True Conservative

    This is classic media bias in action...you did a poll and asked people
    for a preference.....the crooks or the thieves.....the thieves do better in the poll so now you celebrate the thieves!

    February 23, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  14. Jero

    "Among Republicans, 37 percent say they are confident in Obama's ability to make the right economic decisions, but only 31 percent of Republicans feel that way about Wall Street."
    These are the people who once said, to quote a famous and beloved President, "Government doesn't solve our problems. Government is the problem." Well right now it seems like they think the market is the problem and the government must fix it.
    Thanks to the republicans they've plunged us in to even bigger deficits than in 2001. Lead us into 2 wars, one that should have NEVER been waged in the first place, and costs us billions of dollars.
    And brought the greatest economic meltdown on us since the great depression. I AM ABSOLUTELY NEVER EVER EVER GOING TO VOTE FOR A REPUBLICAN AGAIN! They have double standards! Don't take responsiblility for their actions and most of all, THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE DOING!

    February 23, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  15. NYC REPUB

    Since we are built on free market, and a great capitalist society, these financial types should be hard at work bringing our economy back, and helping the government make informed financial decisions....... if they can't do that, and are speculating on what the government will do for them....... then they are not worht the billion dollar companies they promote!!!!! Damn wall St. screw the DOW!!!!!! The DOW should rally on economic talent and knowledge, not goverment spending....... This was for Kevin, who is so worried about hoe Wall St. views Obama, which really shows their disdain for the avg. American.

    February 23, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  16. Independent Paul

    Wow, this is scary. Do people realize why Wall St. failed? Because Congress, specifically Dodd and Barney Frank, blocked regulation for oversight on Fannie and Freddie, which led to unsuitable loans. Couple that with Congress's decision to change the Mark-to-Market rule, and you have the makings of a depression.

    Congress is the problem. Wall St. capitalized while it could, then when things went bad, their congressional buddies ran from them so they could get re-elected.

    If you honestly think that Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid knows anything about running the economy, then you are an idiot.

    February 23, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  17. Mark

    To "Republicans Mislead America" I am amazed at your ignorance. You read the first house bill which was 670 pages. I know, I read it too. It was full of spending. The bill that was actually passed was 1071 pages long. They are 2 different versions. To say you read one and it is the same as the other when it almost doubles the pages is just stupid.
    2. I would give up my SS and medicrap benefits if I got all my money back and didn't have to support liberals like you. Of course you want me to give up my benefit, but you don't want me to stop contributing so you can get yours.
    3. Liberals criticized Bush saying he was an alarmist. Saying the war on terror was worse than it was. Obama is doing the same thing. Funny how before election the most repeated words were hope and change. Then after his election all he talks about is catastrophe, gloom and doom. You don't mind that Geitner was part of that bail out in NY or that Obama's financial advisers during his campaign were the idiots stealing from Freddie and Fannie. Since it was Obama that is a ok with you.
    4. Again you blame everything on Bush. Clinton can't even take credit for his part. It was during his administration that he deregulated banks. Bush brought this up in 2003, but he was ignored by the congress. Yes, congress made that mistake because they wanted deregulation, but deregulation does not me NO OVERSIGHT. It amazes me how you say "Be a REAL American and get behind OUR President or get out of the way so patriotic citizens can help Obama succeed" but you and your party were all criticizing, demonizing, chastizing, and insulting Bush from the moment he got elected. So now it is your guy so I am just supposed to drink the kool aide too.
    5. What lies and misleading data? The congressional buget committee is not biased. You must not remember back when Carter was president and he brought up 14% interest rates for morgages, unemployment not seen since the great depression, and the community reinvestment act and he did it with the 60 democrats in the senate. The republicans brought you the low mortgage rates, increase in private businesses to higher people with higher salaries. More millionaires were made in the last 30 years than any other time in history even with accounting for inflation. You are just bitter and angry that you don't posses the intelligence to do something with your life other than hold your handout to the government.

    February 23, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  18. Gary

    This is a crazy poll. Washington (Rs & Ds) have spent wildly, money that we don't have. Now we are in recession and their strategy is to borrow $4 Trillion dollars and spend it. Are they kidding? Obama will increase the national debt more in 4 years than Bush did in all 8 years (and I think Bush was fiscally irresponsible!). You can't trust Washington or Wall street. We need a third party that can say no to spending. A party that will closely monitor and support banks and investment companies without nationalizing them. We really need to balance the budget not borrow more to stimulate a fake, debt ridden propped-up economy. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Obama ought to be ashamed of themselves for mortgaging our childrens future to avoid dealing with our financial problems today.

    February 23, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  19. Tim

    Snifet said :
    "Looks like Wall Street's GOP-fueled "Tea Party" temper tantrum over the stimulus package and the potential that their high-rolling casino-style investment "

    ------–
    Exactly!!

    Businesses and banks want their money withouit strings attached. Its the only way they will be 'happy'.
    Aint gonna happen. WAll Street is no longer the barometer for the economy.
    They had their party....now the hangover is here.

    So I guess Wall street can take the DOW all the way down if they want. Its the deregulation of 'business' that got us where we are (in part) too bad they feel like they gotta 'punish' the market by throwing their temper tantrum.

    February 23, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  20. Matthew, Detroit

    NO ONE DUMPED THIS ON BARACKS LAP.

    The EGO MAINIAC ELITIST that he is wanted the job. He WANTS the

    power and the prestige. HE NEVER WORKED for a community

    organization. He made POWER POLITICAL moves and I say he made

    them correctly. His wife got a job in the MAYORS office.

    THIS WAS ALL A PLAN. THE GUY IS NOT AN IDIOT. HE IS A SMART POLITICIAN. HE DOES NOT LIKE AMERICA. HE DOES NOT LIKE THE CONSTITUTION. HE WANTS TO CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION.

    BY THE WAY I AM NOT COUNTING ON SOCIAL SECURITY, BUT NO YOU CANT HAVE IT JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE LAZY AND STUPID.

    They are going to NATIONALIZE the banks. This means you liquidate the assets of the stockholders when the goverment takes over. They determine spending and lending practices. They can loan to those at the bottom and insulate it by charging others at the top.

    They are going to NATIONALIZE the oil companies. Three congress women in CALIFORNIA have already been floating the idea in Congress. Again you eliminate the stockholders and private investors. You take their shares and you then declare them of no value. You can raiser or lower prices, you can also spend the profits as you see fit.

    THIS IS SOCIALISM. KILL OFF THE MIDDLE CLASS and NOW you have a lower class with NO upward mobility possible.

    THIS IS EXACTLY how CASTRO took over CUBA after he was VOTED into office.

    This is exactly how CHAVEZ took over in Venezuela after he was VOTED into office. He now has changed the Constitution and controls all the judges, military, and police. Controls industry.

    PUTIN did the same thing in RUSSIA and has nationalized both the banks and now the oil companies.

    THIS IS HOW IT BEGINS. BUSH WAS an IDIOT but THIS IS WORSE. I for one do not like either of them.

    February 23, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  21. Matthew, Detroit

    STOP SPENDING.

    STOP SPENDING.

    STOP SPENDING.

    BOTH PARTIES ARE SPENDING FREE HOOKERS.

    February 23, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  22. J

    Stock prices go up and down based on expected future earnings...market is sending a clear signal that it does not believe what Obama, Pelosi, and the rest of the democrats are doing is going to help anything. This is a simple fact. No matter what side of the isle you are on people do not want this plan to fail becuase everyone is loosing money but the truth is the market is saying that this plan is a joke.

    February 23, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  23. True Conservative

    This is true media bias in action...you do a poll
    Who do you prefer...the crooks or the thieves
    The thieves do better in the poll
    So you celebrate the thieves!

    February 23, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  24. Gorbashov - Long Beach, Ca.

    Ok, enough Kevin bashing already. Leave the poor guy alone he is still nursing his Bush hang-over. Once he detox's his Kool Aid soaked cerebral cortex I'm sure he'll have a different perspective. One that deals in the reality of our current situation.

    We are pulling for you, buddy!

    YES YOU CAN!

    February 23, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  25. b

    The headline "pols" is a misspelling.

    February 23, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
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