With the economy in free fall, conservatives are still maintaining that our economy is “fundamentally sound” and insisting that the Bush administration bears little or no responsibility for these unfortunate economic events. The public sharply disagrees with this assessment.
Consider this result from a late June Los Angeles Times poll. Respondents were asked whether the Bush administration’s economic policies have left the country better off, worse off, or the same as it was eight years ago when he took office. The verdict: 75 percent said the country is worse off—including 59 percent who said we are much worse off—while only 9 percent said we were better off, and 12 percent said about the same.
And keep in mind that this question was asked back in late June. The LA Times has not repeated the question this month, but it seems likely that these sentiments would be even stronger now.
A question asked in the same poll shows that the public is overwhelmingly convinced—by a 40 point margin of 62 percent to 22 percent—that Wall Street needs more aggressive regulation by the federal government to counteract these economic problems. And again, this was back in June, when the situation was not as dire as it is today.
It seems clear that the public is ready for the end of a dismal era of failed conservative economic policies. Promoting deregulation and tax cuts for the rich as the remedy for all economic ills just doesn’t cut it anymore. In fact, as the public is trying to tell us, it seems delusional.