WASHINGTON - The number of Americans who believe that the nation is headed in the right direction has roughly tripled since Barack Obama's election, and the public overwhelmingly blames the excesses of the financial industry, rather than the new president, for turmoil in the economy, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.When it comes to assessing responsibility for the nation's economic plight, 80 percent said they put a "great deal" or a "good amount" of blame on banks and other financial institutions for taking unnecessary risks. The same percentage said they blame large corporations for poor management decisions. About seven in 10 blame consumers for overextending themselves with debt
and the Bush administration for not vigorously regulating the financial industry.
Discord over whether Obama bears blame
Criticism of the banks, large corporations and consumers is roughly comparable across the political spectrum. But there is clear disagreement over whether Obama bears any of the blame, with Republicans far more likely to say yes than are Democrats or independents. Republicans, however, were as apt to blame the Bush administration for lax regulation as they were to target Obama for not doing enough to fix the problems.
Obama maintains a strong hand in his dealings with congressional Republicans. The public prefers his approach to that of the Republicans by more than two to one. But the percentage of independents siding with Obama has dropped 12 points, to 50 percent. Many of those independents in the new poll said neither has the upper hand in the economic debate. About a quarter of independents align with the Republicans on this question.
At the same time, Republicans are somewhat splintered. One in five self-identified Republicans in the poll said neither Obama nor their party's congressional leadership has the edge on dealing with the economic situation.
One way the administration has sought to increase confidence in Obama's economic plans and campaign pledge of transparency was to launch Recovery.gov to allow people to track federal money spent on economic stimulus; 6 percent of Americans said they have visited the Web site.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29966458/
I have to agree with the paragraph in bold face.