New poll shows Americans blame Washington 2-1 over Wall Street for economy

posted at 1:25 pm on October 18, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier today, I wrote in my column for The Week that the Occupy Movement had aimed at the wrong entity in its protests over economic conditions, as yesterday’s poll from The Hill showed that a majority of likely voters blamed Washington more than Wall Street for the current state of the economy.  USA Today and Gallup released their own joint poll of the general population — where the trend is even stronger:

Most Americans blame Wall Street for the nation’s economic predicament — but they blame Washington more. …

• When asked whom they blame more for the poor economy, 64% of Americans name the federal government and 30% say big financial institutions.

• Only 54% say the economic system is personally fair to them; 44% say it is not.

Gallup’s analysis shows that the Occupy Movement hasn’t exactly made a coherent case, either:

But the American public does not seem to be very familiar with the movement or its goals. Part of that may stem from the below-average level of attention Americans are paying to the news story. Fifty-six percent say they are following the story closely, including 18% who say very closely. The averages for more than 200 news events Gallup has tracked since the 1990s are 61% closely and 22% very closely. …

Republicans (57%), Democrats (57%), and independents (55%) are about equally likely to say they are following news about Occupy Wall Street closely.

Those who follow the story “very closely” are more likely to be supporters than opponents (52/19), but that’s a great example of selection bias.  People inclined to dismiss the whole protest movement as nothing more than the same kind of nonsense we’ve seen since Seattle’s violent 1999 WTO protests — backed by some of the same people — are not going to be inclined to follow this story very closely at all.  In fact, in the general population, only 26% claim to support the Occupiers, while 19% oppose, and a majority of 52% don’t care one way or the other.

How does this compare to the Tea Party?  The poll shows that the public support numbers look roughly the same:

Support for the Tea Party movement and its conservative agenda is roughly the same as Occupy Wall Street’s, the poll found. About a fifth of Americans (22%) describe themselves as Tea Party supporters and 27% as opponents. Almost half (47%) say they’re neither.

And what about the tax-the-rich philosophy of the Occupiers?  Apparently, it’s not going to get a lot of traction among Americans, as only 18% believe that the rich should pay more than 30% of their income:

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%.

Given that the current rates at the top are already well over 30%, that doesn’t exactly sound like a mandate for a tax hike — at least not an informed mandate.  The effective tax rate for people above $100,000 is close to 20%, according to The Economist, and when adding FICA, it goes to about 25%.  In 2009, Forbes reported the effective rate to be closer to 18% for the top 400 earners in the US in 2006, but most of the very wealthy get their cash streams in the form of capital gains, not salaries.  Income gets taxed at 35%, so the only reform that would possibly close this gap would be to tax capital gains at a higher rate — which would disincentivize investment — or eliminate deductions and go to a flat tax.

At any rate, the Occupiers aren’t exactly capturing the imagination of the American electorate, and certainly don’t represent mainstream views on economic policy and especially politics.  Maybe that’s why some Occupiers are having nightmares … about saying, “I love you”?

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My cat’s breath smells like cat food.

DethMetalCookieMonst on October 18, 2011 at 1:28 PM

hello dear leader this means you…you can try to separate yourself from DC and continue accepting all those monies from the fat cat wall street folks, but you’re the one in charge…OWN IT

cmsinaz on October 18, 2011 at 1:30 PM

The public knows what is what.

Let these guys croak about Wall Street. It makes them look that much more distant from the needs of ordinary Americans.

neoavatara on October 18, 2011 at 1:31 PM

hello chicky-
of course you’re going to be in debt and still have a job…it’s called reality

could only tolerate the 1st minute

puhleeze

cmsinaz on October 18, 2011 at 1:32 PM

And they had, like two dozen people show up there the other day to march.

Moesart on October 18, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Support for the Tea Party movement and its conservative agenda is roughly the same as Occupy Wall Street’s, the poll found. About a fifth of Americans (22%) describe themselves as Tea Party supporters and 27% as opponents. Almost half (47%) say they’re neither.

I actually don’t like the TEA Party rallies. All such gatherings do is create an opportunity for something to go horribly wrong.

mankai on October 18, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Most Americans blame Wall Street for the nation’s economic predicament

…30% say big financial institutions.

30% is ‘most’?

forest on October 18, 2011 at 1:36 PM

I want these protests to go on indefinitely until such time that my capacity to continue to be able to mock them and amuse myself with how dumb they are plateaus.

Red Cloud on October 18, 2011 at 1:39 PM

So wait…she has a job but is still in debt? How is that my problem?

Bishop on October 18, 2011 at 1:40 PM

It seems the OCCUPY movement needs to move to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and to the steps of the Capitol Building.

portlandon on October 18, 2011 at 1:41 PM

Let these guys croak about Wall Street. It makes them look that much more distant from the needs of ordinary Americans.

neoavatara on October 18, 2011 at 1:31 PM

I get what you’re saying. But that word “needs” grates on me like nails on a chalkboard.

It is NOT the job of government to provide for our “needs”.

Bat Chain Puller on October 18, 2011 at 1:41 PM

You know aside all kinds of nasty violence that it might entail; it’s kind of fun watching the National Socialist Left lose their collective cookies.

Chip on October 18, 2011 at 1:42 PM

I suppose the OWS groupies will now be voting out the Wall Street CEOs and hedge fund managers? Replace them with a softer, gentler type? And, ignore Washington as a place to clean out the stables.

a capella on October 18, 2011 at 1:44 PM

This woman dreams of dismembered corpses after hearing weeks of rhetoric about beheading bankers and dragging rich people off to camps. Go figure.

Bishop on October 18, 2011 at 1:45 PM

The problem is the marriage between “wall street”, “K street” and the government. The former two use the government, who has the power in order to accomplish what they want at the expense of citizens and would be competitors.

Call it crony capitalism, call it corruption – it’s all the same.

cktheman on October 18, 2011 at 1:47 PM

That video is disturbing to me.

milwife88 on October 18, 2011 at 1:51 PM

Dear Philly Occupiers, I wanna care, I really wanna care…..But.

Dr Evil on October 18, 2011 at 1:51 PM

Call it crony capitalism, call it corruption – it’s all the same.

cktheman on October 18, 2011 at 1:47 PM

\

Or you could try calling it what it is fascism

Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.
Benito Mussolini

Dr Evil on October 18, 2011 at 1:54 PM

I had a nightmare about her going to the beach, too.

flyoverland on October 18, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Poor girl…nobody loves her! But what does that have to do with Wall Street?

Michael Bloomberg had a nightmare. There was a rich green lawn in his city, and for a month it was littered with sleeping bags and tents and garbage, and a police car was covered with human waste. Then he woke up…and it was true.

Somebody tell Michael Bloomberg they love him.

Steve Z on October 18, 2011 at 2:03 PM

The human microphone could possibly be the stupidest thing human beings have ever done.

Immediately followed by twinkles.

John Deaux on October 18, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Wake up and smell the fascism America.

Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the “national interest”—that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it. (Nevertheless, a few industries were operated by the state.) Where socialism abolished all market relations outright, fascism left the appearance of market relations while planning all economic activities. Where socialism abolished money and prices, fascism controlled the monetary system and set all prices and wages politically. In doing all this, fascism denatured the marketplace. Entrepreneurship was abolished. State ministries, rather than consumers, determined what was produced and under what conditions.

Nevertheless a few industries were operated by the state….like GM and so called Green Energy?

No one in the media will use the term “Fascism” to describe our current government, well they are owned by corporations.,

Dr Evil on October 18, 2011 at 2:06 PM

In fact, in the general population, only 26% claim to support the Occupiers, while 19% oppose, and a majority of 52% don’t care one way or the other.

After listening to that human amoeba with the bull horn…

… How can 52% don’t care?

That has to be the most annoying thing and has me reaching for a baseball bat…

Seven Percent Solution on October 18, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Dr Evil on October 18, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Jonah Goldberg’s argument, therefore, was fundamentally correct.

either orr on October 18, 2011 at 2:08 PM

So wait…she has a job but is still in debt? How is that my problem?

Bishop on October 18, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Wait, didn’t YOUR debts vanish overnight once you took your first job?

Red Cloud on October 18, 2011 at 2:14 PM

And another thing… these whiny kids complain about the size of their school debts and yet… it’s never the school’s fault that tuition is difficult to pay for. Ever notice that?

Red Cloud on October 18, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Dr Evil on October 18, 2011 at 1:54 PM

I would have to agree.

cktheman on October 18, 2011 at 2:32 PM

It’s virtually impossible not to mock these people

ldbgcoleman on October 18, 2011 at 2:32 PM

It’s virtually impossible not to mock these people

ldbgcoleman on October 18, 2011 at 2:32 PM

I know, and I don’t even pretend I’m trying to resist.

It’s as if a play -performance art with intentional tribal symbolism, is being put on for our benefit, and the Left and Right want our response to be that of dire concern, but for different reasons…….these kids are not “The Tough Meat”. They were used to lure the tough meat out into the streets, but it doesn’t appear that they are interested in responding to the clarion call of the pale pink Marxist like Adbusters.

It’s possible that the tough meat has shown up and is now stealing OWS’s valuables, but that would show contempt for the movement not a validati,on of the movement or interest in joining in.

Dr Evil on October 18, 2011 at 3:02 PM

This whole “the people’s microphone” in conjunction with a bullhorn is about the stupidest thing I can think of.

Of course that’s after *down twinkles*. . . .

Ok, I give. . . The whole damn thing is stupid beyond compare.

Can’t wait to watch these fools at the first hints of fall weather.

Jason Coleman on October 18, 2011 at 3:23 PM

It seems the OCCUPY movement needs to move to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and to the steps of the Capitol Building.

portlandon on October 18, 2011 at 1:41 PM

The TEA Party is way ahead of these brainiacs on that.

UltimateBob on October 18, 2011 at 4:24 PM

New poll shows Americans blame Washington 2-1 over Wall Street for economy

Yet the leading lights of the GOP establishment want to tinker at the margins of Healthcare, taxes etc. Meh. A pox on the GOP establishment — yeah I’m talking to you Boehner, McConnell, Cantor, McVain, Grahamnesty, Mittwit, Christy etc.

AH_C on October 18, 2011 at 4:25 PM

It seems the OCCUPY movement needs to move to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and to the steps of the Capitol Building.

portlandon on October 18, 2011 at 1:41 PM

To; President Of the United States

From; The People of the United States

RE; The Faltering Post-Stimulus, TARP & Takeover U.S. Economy

Sir;

You made it.

You wear it.

You own it.

Very Truly Yours,

Everybody Who Wasn’t

Taken In By You In ’08

cc/ DNC

DLC

D. Wassermann-Schulz

P. Krugman

R. Reich

et al.

/ I’ve wanted to send a memo like this since I first read The French Powder Mystery by Ellery Queen at age 3.

cheers

eon

eon on October 18, 2011 at 4:47 PM

It was pretty cool hearing Olympia Snowe giving Geitner an earful .. of truth, even.
(earlier today.. Just saw it on FNC)

pambi on October 18, 2011 at 6:05 PM

It’s time to start handing out the real meds at the Occupy villages. Some protesters obviously left home without theirs.
-

RalphyBoy on October 19, 2011 at 2:45 AM