The Bad Rap on the Bailout Bill

The American public is taking a bad rap for Congress's failure to pass the bailout bill. Members who voted against the original House bill are said to be responding to strong opposition to the rescue plan from their constituents. While there is little doubt that Congressional representatives are hearing a lot of harsh words from voters back home, that clamor does not reflect broad American public opinion. It is a classic case of the squeaky wheels getting first attention at a time when Washington is in a quandary about what to do.

The most recent polls -- those conducted through Monday night -- show the public is at best divided over the plan. There is little indication of overwhelming public rejection of the bailout proposal. A new Pew Research Center survey conducted Sept. 27-29 found support for the bailout slipping, but still showed a narrow 45%-38% plurality of the public saying that a government plan to invest or commit billions of dollars to secure financial institutions is the right thing to do.

Read the full commentary The Bad Rap on the Bailout Bill on the Pew Research Center Web site.

Spotlight on Mental Health

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Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

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How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

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What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies


Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.