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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

TDS Founding Editor Ruy Teixeira: Public Blames Bush, Inequality for Economic Woes, Not Regulation

In his latest ‘Public Opinion Snapshot,’ TDS Co-Founder Ruy Teixeira makes it clear just who and what the American people think is responsible for our current economic problems — and shows that the public just isn’t buying a couple of treasured conservative myths. As Teixeira, author of America’s New Swing Region: Changing Politics and Demographics in the Mountain West, explains:

Conservatives are very sure of two things about our current economic problems. One is that these problems are mostly President Barack Obama’s fault. The other is that overregulation of the free market is preventing the economy from roaring back to life. A new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds the public disagrees vigorously with both of these conservative nostrums.
Take the idea that our current economic problems can be laid at President Obama’s door. Not so, says the public. Fifty-four percent of the poll’s respondents believed former President George W. Bush deserves the lion’s share of the blame, while just 32 percent thought President Obama is more responsible for these problems.

All of this after many months and millions of dollars spent to convince the public it is mostly President Obama’s fault. Regarding public attitudes toward economic inequality and regulation:

In the same poll, 56 percent of respondents thought unfairness in our economic system favoring the wealthy is a bigger problem for our country. Just 34 percent saw overregulation of the free market as a bigger problem.

As Teixeira concludes, “Conservatives can insist all they want that President Obama and interference with the free market are the root of all evil. But the public clearly disagrees.”

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