Gallup: More Americans Blame Economic Woes on Government than Wall Street

A recent Gallup survey shows that Americans are far more likely to blame the federal government than Wall Street for the nation's economic problems. When asked to choose between the two, 64% of respondents say the government is more responsible for economic struggles, while only 30% blame financial institutions on Wall Street. Although Americans tend to blame the government more, as Gallup notes, "There appears to be no shortage of blame for either of these entities."

In an earlier poll, Gallup asked respondents to express their opinions on the two institutions separately, and the results were not favorable. Writes Gallup: "More than three-quarters of Americans, in both cases, say these entities deserve a great deal or a fair amount of blame for the economic problems facing the U.S." Even then, however, the federal government came out worse: "Still, reflecting the results of the forced-choice question, the percentage saying the federal government deserves a great deal of blame is 11 points higher than the percentage for financial institutions on Wall Street.Among partisan groups, Republicans are more likely (82%) to blame the federal government for the nation's economy than Democrats (49%). And while Occupy Wall Street supporters attach more responsibility to Wall Street (54%), on the other side, Tea Party supporters are far more likely to blame the government (82%).
Gallup notes: "These attitudes have significant political implications. Both the Tea Party movement, which has targeted the federal government, and the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has targeted big financial institutions, are in sync with significant segments of the U.S. population." To win political favor, it is likely that politicians who align themselves with one side more--the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street--will have to reach across the line and appeal to voters from the other side.

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