Eight of ten say we’re ‘on the wrong track’

More than 80 percent of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, the highest such number since the early 1990s, according to a new survey.

The CBS News-New York Times poll released Thursday showed 81 percent of respondents said they believed “things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track.” That was up from 69 percent a year ago, and 35 percent in early 2002.

The survey comes as housing turmoil has rocked Wall Street amid an economic downturn. The economy has surpassed the war in Iraq as the dominating issue of the U.S. presidential race, and there is now nearly a national consensus that the United States faces significant problems, the poll found.

A majority of Democrats and Republicans, men and women, residents of cities and rural areas, college graduates and those who finished only high school say the United States is headed in the wrong direction, according to the survey, which was published on The New York Times’ Web site.

Seventy-eight percent of respondents said the country was worse off than five years ago; just 4 percent said it was doing better.

The newspaper said Americans are more dissatisfied with the country’s direction than at any time since the poll’s inception in the early 1990s. Only 21 percent of respondents said the overall economy was in good condition, the lowest such number since late 1992. Two in three people said they believed the economy was already in recession.

Still, the approval rating of President George W. Bush did not change since last summer, with 28 percent of respondents saying they approved of the job he was doing.

The poll also found that Americans blame government officials for the housing crisis more than banks or home buyers and other borrowers. Forty percent of respondents said regulators were mostly to blame, while 28 percent named lenders and 14 percent named borrowers.

Americans favored help for people but not for financial institutions in assessing possible responses to the mortgage crisis. A clear majority said they did not want the government to lend a hand to banks, even if the measures would help limit the depth of a recession.

Respondents were considerably more open to government help for homeowners at risk of foreclosure. Fifty-three percent said they believed the government should help those whose interest rates were rising, while 41 percent said they opposed such a move.

The nationwide telephone survey of 1,368 adults was conducted from March 28 to April 2. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.


  1. Carl Nemo

    Hi SEAL…

    They won’t need much education laboring in a U.S. based, Chinese owned coal mine, quite possibly against their will too… : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  2. SEAL

    Sandra: I saw the government statistics for 2005-2006 a week ago that showed one-half of high school students in our cities drop out and do not graduate. Three out of ten students in the suburbs drop out.

    No improvement is indicated for 2007.

    That means that no matter what they teach, over 40% of our children will never see it. You can’t educate someone who isn’t there.

    Why is it we never hear about this problem? This should be a major campaign issue.

  3. Carl Nemo

    Thanks SEAL for your thoughts on this subject. What’s tragic is that folks that have been financially responsible throughout their lives are being damaged too.

    The Federal Reserve~U.S. Treasury “funny money” scam is printing up bogus cash like there’s no tomorrow. Of course that’s Ben Bernanke’s modus operandi. He was known in financial circles as “helicopter Ben” even before his appointment to Fed chief because he believes he can fix any problem with a printing press?! I’m not joking either. He’ll fly around the country in a chopper if necessary kicking out bales of freshly printed bank notes to solve our financial problems…:))

    Bernanke and the current Federal Reserve policies are virtually suicide for this nation’s currency. Soon the Chinese, Japanese and the wealthy arabs are going to bail on the USD and when that happens America will be reduced to a beggar among nations.

    Bernanke has lowered interest rates to ridiculously low levels to facilitate an easy recovery for Wall Street and the banking sector while it’s to hell with hard-working responsible Americans, most with their life savings tied up in CD’s etc.

    Many retirees at one time depended on their interest income to bring up the bottom line in their twilight years, but not anymore unless they move their money into riskier investments such as the bond market or worse yet stocks. The only stocks that are somewhat safe are dividend paying stocks issued from a company that has paid a steady dividend along with “dividend growth” over a long period of time. But, again there’s always the risk of a major downdraft in the market which can cause even dividend paying stocks to drop below the payback enjoyed via a dividend check.

    In summation our government is bailing out the crooks on Wall Street and the banking sector by ripping off the many for the benefit of the few with their so-called “bailout” packages.

    It’s not going to slow repossessions by any means. In fact the money that’s being handed out to the banks is not being loaned out. The bankers are using the money to fill in the “red ink” potholes in their portfolios while raising rates to borrowers and creating stiff requirements to even get a loan which is not necessarily bad, but that’s not what the so-called help from the Fed intended. It was meant to increase market liquidity, but instead they are pouring cash into a black hole event horizon.

    This is just the beginning and there’s dozens of investment firms and major center banks ready to rollover and die like slugs in the noonday sun just like Bear Stearns. J.P. Morgan the company that’s offered to buy Stearns in on the verge of rolling over too with it’s 97 “trillion” dollars of unregulated “hot-money” derivatives that it’s servicing, many of which are non-performing at this time; ie., the check isn’t in the mail… : |

    Warren Buffett called unregulated derivatives “financial weapons of mass destruction” and he was spot-on.

    They’ve sown the wind and shall reap the whirlwind…! Tragically, responsible folks are going to be financially destroyed too.

    Carl Nemo **==

  4. Sandra Price

    Maybe, some economics taught in the schools would help. We all have used our credit cards for emergencies and then worked extra hours to pay them off. I remember learning about financing of homes 7 years ago. I had carried my own financing when selling my home but something came up through my realtor that the Franklin Funds were now available and people with no credit ratings could get this government plan and even come up with Zero down. I was shocked at this ridiculous plan and I believe that this is what caused the financial mess we are in.

    I no longer do this as I was burned on a commercial building that the buyers owed more to the IRS than to me and for 2 years I lost my equity in the building. The government became the legal owner of my property and it took two years of my paying a high priced attorney to get half of my money back.

    I took that money and bought a home where I could afford to own it without a mortgage. The government does not play fair and credit ratings can be bought.

    The television commercials are filled with fraud and lies but the viewers have not investigated anything that is too good to be true. It is time Americans became better educated on the subject of money.

    It is not the corporations who are screwing us, but the government who is so corrupt that they don’t even bother to cover it up anymore.

  5. SEAL

    They’ve already accomplished the enslavement, Carl, through credit. They deliberatedly allowed everyone to build debts far beyond their ability to pay. John Q. Public went for all the enticements like children in a coast to coast toys-R-us of too big houses, really neat shit SUVs, automobiles, and electronic gadjets.

    NO PAYMENTS FOR 6 MONTHS the adds screamed at them and they went for it.

    We can finance you for this low payment now and adjust it upward later as the value of the property goes up. And they went for it.

    When it came time to pay and reality hit them, they found a new industry had been created – refinance. Those who had the ability increased the already unpayable debt they had by extending it to the 12th of never. They are now the credit slaves of America ploding along day by day in their mundane jobs they are in abject fear of losing.

    Those without the ability to refinance wound up back in the little apartments with broken down used up vehicles that drink gas at 10 mpg and a second part time job at the 7-11. Every month they struggle not to have to pay the late fees.

    Back in the late 60s and 70s when they were handing out credit cards to anyone breathing I warned people what they were up to. Nobody listened. “I can have it now and I want it.” We became a nation of 6th graders following the BUY NOW PAY LATER SIGNS that were everywhere.

    The conditioning worked so well they didn’t realize that our government was deliberately doing exactly they same thing, plunging our nation into a debt we cannot repay. A trillon and one half of our tax dollars has been siphoned off to line the pockets of a few corporate/finance/industrial/oil giants who can now dictate all policy, foreign and domestic. They have become the government. Accomplished by introducing a little ‘ol credit card 50 years ago.

    Now has come the time for the americans to pay for their apathy and stupidity and they are terrified. They have no clue what to do or how to do it. The numbers are staggering. So they turn to the same people that created this situation, expecting them to solve it.

    The american’s only weapon is his/her vote and it would be very effective if they were properly informed. However, the MSM is controlled by the same people that created this condition. If they don’t stop listening to the 6&11 oclock news and reading the newspapers they will never have the true facts about anything. The time has come for them to turn off the TV and get on the Internet and begin looking for the truth.