The big story of the week continues to be the pending vote on the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. Democrats appear to have the sixty votes they need to pass the bill, but according to several recent polls, the country isn’t buying Congresses’ Wall Street fixes. Two recent Bloomberg polls have found that the majority of Americans have serious doubts about the government’s ability to address the problems of the current financial crisis, both at the industry and personal levels.
According to a Bloomberg National Poll done in July, around four out of five Americans have just a little or no confidence that the Dodd-Frank bill currently being considered in Congress will be able to prevent a future crisis. In addition, a majority of Americans surveyed believed the Dodd reforms would do little to help them on a personal level as well with more than three-quarters expressing little confidence that the proposal would make their savings and financial assets more secure.
Senate Democrats need to ask why Americans have not expressed confidence in the reforms being proposed. With 70% of Americans expressing extreme concern about the state of the economy, high spending and high unemployment, why are so many people skeptical of these reforms? Perhaps they doubt that government regulatory control over large sectors of the economy is not the silver bullet some legislators believe it is? After all, how competent can a entity who’s deficit will reach one trillion dollars this year be at managing the financial world?
As I mentioned in a previous blog, if the reforms under the Dodd-Frank bill have the constraining effect on credit that many predict, public opinion stands to only get worse.