Memo to Obama: Economic Pessimism is on the Rise

Posted: May 11, 2012 11:55 AM

Just in case our forgetful President Obama needs a reminder of the country's economic woes, here he has it: Americans' outlook on the economy dropped six points in the last month, according to new polls. Many believe the economy will continue to get worse, and only 1 in 5 believe the economy is "good." (Actually, I'm surprised it's that much.)

Just 22 percent of Americans said that the economy has improved in the past month, down from the 28 percent who said so in February, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll.

Meanwhile, 35 percent predict that the unemployment rate, which has been slowly dropping, will start going back up, up from 30 percent who believed that in February.

Fewer than one in three Americans believe their household’s economic condition will improve in the next year, down from 37 percent just three months ago, while 18 percent believe their finances will deteriorate, up from 11 percent in February.

This increased economic pessimism extends to Democrats as well — the share of Democrats who called the economy “good” dropped from 48 percent in February to 31 percent now.

But that still remains more optimistic than Americans as a whole — only 20 percent of Americans believe that the economy is “good.”

I know, I know. You're all thinking, "But wait! Mitt Romney bullied a kid in high school! Obama endorsed gay marriage! These are critical issues that we should be spending all our time thinking and talking about!" So I hate to disappoint you with this dose of sobering reality, but it's important that we recall Americans' increasing inability to find a job, or pay a mortgage, or save for retirement.

The headlines certainly aren't reflective of what's on most Americans' minds right now. It's remarkable and insulting that we've allowed ourselves to spend so much time focusing on fringe issues (or in the case of 'Bullygate,' non-issues) when the country's outlook is so poor. Perhaps the president can take a quick break from congratulating himself on his "evolution" and attending glitzy Hollywood fundraisers to address what really matters to Americans: his failed economic policies. That is, if he's not suffering from selective amnesia today.