Report

Government Economic Policies Seen as Boon for Banks and Big Business, Not Middle Class or Poor

  • July 19, 2010

The public sees clear winners and losers from the economic policies the government has implemented since the recession of 2008. Most Americans say these policies have helped large banks, large corporations and the wealthy, while providing little or no help for the poor, the middle class or small businesses.

Fully 74% say that government policies over the past two years have done a great deal (53%) or a fair amount (21%) to help large banks and financial institutions. Majorities also say that large corporations (70% great deal/fair amount) and wealthy people (57% great deal/fair amount) have been helped.

By contrast, 68% say government policies have helped small businesses not at all (29%) or not too much (39%); 68% also say middle-class people have received little or no help from these policies. And about the same percentage (64%) says poor people have not been helped.

The latest Pew Research/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, conducted July 15-18 among 1,003 adults, finds partisan differences over the perceived beneficiaries of government economic policies – with two notable exceptions. Large majorities of independents (77%), Republicans (75%) and Democrats (73%) say these policies have helped large banks and financial institutions. No more than a third in each group says government policies have done a great deal or a fair amount for the poor.

Read the full report, Government Economic Policies Seen as Boon for Banks and Big Business, Not Middle Class or Poor on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site