Edwin Chen and Matthew Benjamin
Wednesday, Oct 15, 2008
Americans are looking to big government to dig the country out of the financial crisis, a Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll shows.
A plurality of voters support the $700 billion financial- market rescue bill President George W. Bush signed into law Oct. 4. That is a turnaround from a Bloomberg/Times poll in September, when a solid majority said it wasn’t the government’s responsibility to bail out private companies.
The poll conducted Oct. 10-13 also finds that Americans favor the federal government providing assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure, by a greater than 2-to-1 margin. And almost three-quarters say they believe insufficient government regulation contributed to the financial and housing crises, up sharply from September.
Poll respondents say they want government to step in.
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“They have to do something to spur the economy, otherwise we’ll be further in the hole than we already were,” says Mike Hackenberg, 36, an independent voter and warehouse worker who is studying to be a teacher in Rainier, Oregon. “They’re making the right effort to back the banks and reassure foreign investors.”
Democrat Rudolph Green, a retiree in St. Louis, Missouri, agrees.
“The world is in turmoil,” he says. “For people who are trying to pay their mortgages, they need a little help.”
Reece Trebett, a retired steelworker in Chandler, Arizona, says the 11 percent increase in the Dow Jones Industrial average Oct. 13 — the biggest single-day rally in seven decades — showed the Treasury’s plan may calm the waters.
“The response in the stock market today is evidence it might work,” says Trebett, 66, a Republican.