Americans Grow More Pessimistic on Economy, Nation’s Direction

By Mike Dorning and Rebecca Christie
December 9, 2009

Americans have grown gloomier about both the economy and the nation’s direction over the past three months even as the U.S. shows signs of moving from recession to recovery.

Almost half the people now feel less financially secure than when President Barack Obama took office in January, a Bloomberg National Poll shows.

Those concerns have put consumers in a miserly mood as they head to the mall for holiday shopping, with half the country planning to spend less on gifts than last year and few buyers willing to run up credit-card debt for Christmas…

…The country has grown increasingly skeptical of the centerpiece of Obama’s economic agenda, the $787 billion economic-stimulus package, with 60 percent of Americans saying it hasn’t helped the economy, up from 49 percent who said that three months ago.

Michele Crawford, 37, a Las Vegas health-care worker who identified herself as a Democrat, says the stimulus plan put too much money in the hands of corporations rather than sending it directly to families through tax cuts.

“I think that was the wrong approach,” Crawford says.

For now, former President George W. Bush continues to get most of the blame for the hard economic times. Six of 10 poll respondents say the economic difficulties Obama confronts were mostly inherited.

Still, there are signs the economic doldrums are tarnishing current officeholders…

The article continues at Bloomberg.

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