April 8th, 2009
05:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Schneider: Americans less pessimistic about the economy

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/08/art.getty.pelosi.flags.jpg caption=" CNN's Larry King asked House speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday if the economy is turning around."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - There is evidence that the country's economic outlook is improving. But you have to look very closely.

CNN's Larry King asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday if the economy is turning around. She said yes. "I do believe it is," she said. "I do believe it is. And I think the American people have confidence that it will." Do they?

The number of Americans who say things are going well in the country has crept up a few points, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll. In December, 20 percent of Americans said things in the country were going "well." Now, 23 percent do.

But let's take a magnifying glass and look more closely. The number who say things are going "pretty badly" has shot up, from 39 percent in December to 51 percent now. The number who say very badly has gone down, from 40 to 26 percent.

Aha! A trend! It's not a sudden burst of economic optimism. It's less pessimism.

The Obama administration will take what it can get. "Where we've moved, where we've acted, you can start to see some signs," said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on Sunday.

Does the U.S. economy stop at the water's edge? Geithner said it doesn't. "We need the countries around the world moving with us," he said.

The public agrees. Most Americans believe the United States cannot recover on its own. Almost 60 percent say the country will come out of a recession only if the global economy improves.

At the G20 summit in London, there was some finger-pointing at the United States. Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, said of the United States: "After all, it was there that the problem started."

Don't point fingers at us, Americans say. Only 34 percent say the country is primarily responsible for the world's economic problems. The rest say other countries are just as responsible for the downturn.

The American public's view? We're all in this together.

Filed under: Economy
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Terry

    I would be more confident if the House of Representatives had a different Speaker. Rep. Pelosi comes across to me as a career politician whose focus is always on her career and her power. Her goal for America is to have her in an important position over it. Her career was shaped during the bad old days when Conservatives were running the government like an ATM machine for the upper class. We need a fresh vision.

    April 8, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  2. Linda Pitmon

    I am so disappointed in our government that you would consider Pelosi so important as to request a larger aircraft when the economy is depressed. Not big enough...How big is she? Our government officials have given themselves raises when we are trying to pull in our belts. The old addage of what is good for the goose is good for the gander seems to be lost in the retoric of the government. You in government wonder why the American population is so disheartened, look in a mirror.

    My politics have changed this year. I supported my government even under the last administration but now it seems you don't support the American people. How can you be trusted with the government when it seems you are so power hungry and selfish?
    May God forgive your foolishness and bring your pride to an appropriate level. Not even Christ puffed himself up when he was the Son of God. He lowered himself as a servant. Oh that our politicians would do the same.

    April 8, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  3. No Incumbents 2010

    When there was no major crisis in the first place, it is easy to stop speaking negatively and begin to put a positive spin and presto chango the economy is in a recovery.
    P.T. Barnum was right.

    April 8, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  4. Tom P

    Less troubled? With Obama, Reid and Pelosi running things? Please. We'll be lucky if the economy ever turns around.

    April 8, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  5. yCalifornia

    Nancy Pelosi doesnt know what she is talking about...ever.

    Republicans say its not getting better
    Democrats say it is getting better...


    April 8, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  6. debbie

    During the Bush years we were surrounded by doom and gloom. Terrorists wanted to kill us. The world hated us. Etc etc. Things ARE bad, and people ARE scared. But we have hope that they can improve. This recession was already in place when Bush was in charge...I cannot imagine if he was still running things how terrible it would be.

    April 8, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  7. Lori

    Of course the economy will turn around. Our President and the Democrats are doing everything they can to right the wrong that the previous Republican administration did.

    April 8, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |