If you're the kind of person who's interested in understanding how Americans think about the economy, the latest Allstate-National Journal Heartland poll is like opening a cask of fine Bordeaux wine. Here are five insights that stuck with me:
1) If you cut Americans' taxes, most of us will only use it to pay down debt.
2) Americans trust their government as little as Goldman Sachs.
3) The most important economic indicator for Americans is the unemployment rate. The stock market and corporate earnings come toward the bottom.
4) America's plan to speed up the recovery: Help small businesses and retrain workers.
5) Americans don't believe that deficit reduction is a priority, but they also believe that reforming entitlements like Social Security and Medicare is more important than expanding them.
And here are the graphs from the poll results:
Americans Trust Elected Officials As Little as Investment Banks
Unemployment is the Most Important Indicator
First, Help Small Businesses
Americans have an economic plan: Get credit to small businesses, retrain workers, reduce outsourcing and create new jobs.
What Deficit? Cut Taxes and Spend!
A slight majority seems to back cutting benefits and/or raising payroll taxes to reinforce entitlements like Social Security.
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