Poll shows blame for Washington, not Wall Street, for economy
A poll conducted by The Hill shows that a solid majority of Americans blame Washington more than Wall Street for the nation's economic troubles.
About 1/3 believe that Wall Street is primarily to blame:
In the minds of likely voters, Washington, not Wall Street, is primarily to blame for the financial crisis and the subsequent recession.
That is the key finding of this week's The Hill poll, which comes as the national Occupy Wall Street movement - a protest that objects to risky practices and excessive salaries at major banks, along with American income disparities in general - enters its second month.
The movement appears to have struck a chord with progressive voters, but it does not seem to represent the feelings of the wider public.
The Hill poll found that only one in three likely voters blames Wall Street for the country's financial troubles, whereas more than half - 56 percent - blame Washington.
Moreover, when it comes to the political consequences of the protest, voters tend to believe that there are more perils than positives for Obama and the Democrats.
A plurality believe that the Occupy Wall Street movement will hurt Democrats and Obama in the 2012 election. Even those whose sympathies lie on the left of center seem unsure about the likely political repercussions. Just half of all liberal likely voters - the group most likely to blame Wall Street for the recession - and fewer than half of all Democrats believe the protests will help their side next year.
A couple of other fascinating tidbits from this poll: Tea Party support is holding basically steady at 22% while 27% call themselves opponents. This is about the same percentages that support OWS (25%). Fewer oppose OWS (19%) but more don't have an opinion or don't know enough about it.
And then there's this:
Asked what the wealthiest 1% of Americans - the ones excoriated by Occupy Wall Street -should pay in taxes as a percentage of their income, more than a quarter of people - 28% - have no opinion. Another 21% say the richest should pay 10% or less, and only 18% say they should pay more than 30%.
Clearly, the American people have a different idea of "fairness" in taxation than liberals.