Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Does the public support government intervention to purchase massive amounts of debt? Via Political Wire, it depends on how you ask the question. The Pew Research Center found the Americans largely supportive, by a 57 - 30% margin. This is what they asked:
As you may know, the government is potentially investing billions to try and keep financial institutions and markets secure. Do you think this is the right thing or the wrong thing for the government to be doing?
An LATimes/Bloomberg poll found 55% opposed to the idea. But of course:
The Times/Bloomberg poll asked respondents whether they believed it was "the government's responsibility to bail out private companies with taxpayers' dollars." A majority said no.
This debate will probably be obnoxious, because those opposed will call it a bailout of failed Wall Street companies, as if it was the same thing as bailing out a failed restaurant. Supporters will insist its necessary for basic economic stability and avoiding another major depression, though they will not be able to prove that is the case. We're basically stuck just deciding who we trust. The pickings are slim.

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