Keynesian Economics Goes Out of Style for Americans

Depression-era government intervention loses its luster among Americans


In 1970, former President Richard Nixon famously declared "We are all Keynesians now," citing the depression-era belief that a government-managed economy performs better than it's free-market counterpart. [Sorry Mitt Romney, Good Businessmen Rarely Make Good Presidents.]

Forty years later, a new poll calls his bluff.

The Rasmussen Report survey, which came out Wednesday, shows only 27 percent of Americans believe government management stimulates the economy. Half of Americans take the opposite view and say government intervention does more harm than good. Six percent say it has no impact and 17 percent polled said they were unsure. [Stock Market Predicts 90 Percent of Presidential Elections.]

In the era of auto bailouts, debt ceilings and Dodd-Frank reform, government intervention appears to be the Obama administration's solution of choice, opening a deep, partisan gap between those who support intervention and those who do not.

For example, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to favor government solutions to economic problems with 46 percent supporting them. Nearly 70 percent of Republicans and 60 percent of independents have the opposite view.

There was also a bitter divide between classes. Wealthy Americans polled said government management of the economy helps, while middle-class voters surveyed said government regulation damages the economy.

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