PRINCETON, NJ — The increased conservatism that Gallup first identified among Americans last June persisted throughout the year, so that the final year-end political ideology figures confirm Gallup’s initial reporting: conservatives (40%) outnumbered both moderates (36%) and liberals (21%) across the nation in 2009.
More broadly, the percentage of Americans calling themselves either conservative or liberal has increased over the last decade, while the percentage of moderates has declined.
Since 1992, there have been only two other years — 2003 and 2004 — in which the average percentage of conservatives nationwide outnumbered moderates, and in both cases, it was by two percentage points (in contrast to the current four points).
“The proportion of independents calling themselves “moderate” held relatively steady in the mid-40s over the last decade, while the proportion of Republican and Democratic moderates dwindled.”
The rather abrupt three-point increase between 2008 and 2009 in the percentage of Americans calling themselves conservative is largely owing to an increase — from 30% to 35% — in the percentage of political independents adopting the label. Over the same period, there was only a slight increase in professed conservatism among Republicans (from 70% to 71%) and no change among Democrats (at 21%).
This is bad Ben, very bad. You know that the “little people” are waking up to the banking cartel known as the Federal Reserve and that you have to be sucking fumes if people are thinking the IRS does a better job than you.
Ben Bernanke has been on the campaign trail in the past week trying to convince people that there is nothing mysterious or evil about the Federal Reserve, but a new Gallup Poll proves that people are not buying it. Sucks to be you Ben, especially since you are “up” for re-appointment for a 14 year term. Anybody want to keep looking at Ben for the next 14 years?
PRINCETON, NJ — At a time when Americans are discouraged about the direction of the country and hesitant about the scope of President Barack Obama’s federal budget plans, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NASA, and the FBI earn credit for a job well done from a majority of Americans. The 61% who say the CDC is doing an excellent or good job can be contrasted with the 30% who say this of the Federal Reserve Board, making the latter the worst reviewed of nine agencies and departments rated in the July 10-12 Gallup Poll.
In 2003, the slight majority of Americans, 53%, said the Federal Reserve was doing an excellent or good job and 5% called it poor. Today, 30% of Americans praise the job the Fed is doing, while nearly as many, 22%, call it poor. While this ratings downturn coincides with a substantial drop in consumer confidence toward the U.S. economy over the same period, it is unclear how much of the Fed’s image decline is due to the general decline in the country’s economic climate, as opposed to specific perceptions about the agency’s performance in carrying out its monetary responsibilities and possibly its role in the crisis surrounding U.S. financial markets. The Fed’s low excellent/good rating may also reflect the higher-than-average percentage of Americans having “no opinion” about this arm of the government, relative to the other agencies rated.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Ben S. Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, is on a publicity campaign with a message: the central bank is here to help, and it is not as mysterious or menacing as people might think.
In a profound departure from the central bank’s tradition as an aloof and secretive temple of economic policy, Mr. Bernanke has plunged into the public spotlight to an extent that none of his predecessors would have contemplated.
He has given a television interview to “60 Minutes” on CBS, including a tour of his hometown, Dillon, S.C.; held what amounted to a televised news conference; and written newspaper commentaries to explain the Fed’s efforts to fight the financial crisis.
On Sunday, Mr. Bernanke reached another milestone in his evolution from Fed chairman to Fed showman, participating in a one-hour town hall-style forum here organized and moderated by Jim Lehrer of “The NewsHour” on PBS.
Like a political candidate on the campaign trail — indeed, his four-year term expires in January — Mr. Bernanke fielded questions from local residents and tried to rebuff charges that the Fed was either conspiring with big banks, stifling free-market capitalism or possibly doing both at the same time.
When a small-business owner asked Mr. Bernanke why the Fed helped rescue big banks while “short-changing” small companies, Mr. Bernanke answered that he had decided to “hold my nose” because he was afraid the entire financial system would collapse.
Are You Freakin’ Kidding Me? Hold you nose, Bernanke? These are your buddies that you helped to bailout with Paulson, Pelosi, Frank, Dodd, etc. Meanwhile, that supposed credit crunch would ease with T.A.R.P. and we would all be living in my little pony world. Is it any wonder your job approval is going through the floor?
The Fed has never wielded as much power as it does right now, but the very expansion of its mission has exposed it to more second-guessing and more challenges to its political independence than ever before.
“The Federal Reserve, in collaboration with the giant banks, has created the greatest financial crisis the world has ever seen,” Representative Ron Paul, Republican of Texas, said at a House hearing last week in which Mr. Bernanke testified about the state of the economy.
President Obama has proposed a sweeping plan that would make the Fed more powerful in some respects and less powerful in others. Mr. Obama’s plan would put the Fed in charge of regulating systemic risk, like the buildup of dangerous mortgages during the housing bubble, and would give the Fed power to impose tougher regulation over financial institutions deemed too big to fail.
At the same time, the administration plan would strip the Fed of its current authority to regulate mortgages and other forms of consumer lending, including credit cards. Those powers would be shifted to a new regulatory agency with broad power to regulate consumer financial products.
Mr. Bernanke strongly supports putting the Fed in charge of risk regulation, but he and Fed officials are resisting Mr. Obama’s plan for a separate consumer regulatory agency. That puts him in the potentially awkward position of alienating the Fed’s most important supporter — the president.
At the town hall event, which will be shown on “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” this week in three parts, Mr. Bernanke set out to reassure people that the economy would regain its strength “within a few years.” But he cautioned that the unemployment rate would probably climb above 10 percent before it gradually started to fall next year.
Now here is our buddie Ben last week in front of a congressional committee explaining that he does not know exactly where $553 BILLION of Central Bank Liquidity Swaps went; just that it went to 14 Central Banks throughout the world.
“Congress Approved It In The Federal Reserve Act”