Poll Spotlights White House Disconnect on Economy
There appears to be a huge disconnect between what the White House is saying about the economy and what Americans are experiencing.
That divide surfaced this week as the Obama administration celebrated the fifth anniversary of the stimulus program with an upbeat government report.
"Considerable evidence suggests the federal government's efforts to jump-start the economy were successful," the report read. "Businesses and households are now in far better shape as a result."
But according to a new Gallup poll, nearly 25 percent of Americans see unemployment as the nation's top challenge, up from 16 percent in January.
That concern is shared across party lines, with 24 percent of Republicans, 24 percent of Democrats, and 23 percent of independents citing unemployment as their top issue.
Their second biggest concern? The economy.
"I think the American people are a little ahead of the president on this one and they're worried," Forbes contributor and venture capitalist Bill Frezza noted, saying jobs and the economy should be the biggest concern.
"Look at all their neighbors out of work," he said. "Look at the fact that take-home pay is declining in America. Look at the fact that there's an enormous amount of uncertainty on the horizon in terms of where they're going to get their healthcare and what it's going to cost."
"Their employers are nervous as well," Frezza added. "So with everyone nervous it's hard to be sanguine about the economy and believe any of the numbers coming out of Washington."
During last fall's government shutdown a Gallup poll showed Americans were most worried about the government and politicians.
But before that, going back to February 2008, Americans said that either jobs or the economy were the most important problems.
This consistent worry is unlikely to be eased by the president's latest report.
Meanwhile, there's talk that the GOP plans to use economy concerns as a major mid-term election weapon.