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(Washington, D.C.) – The new National Journal/Heartland Monitor poll shows that Americans are deeply skeptical about Washington's ability to make a positive difference in their lives. By a stunning margin of 46 percent to 25 percent, respondents say the actions of the Obama administration "decrease opportunity" for people to get ahead. Seventy percent believe the country needs "major changes," but only 19 percent say that should be led by the federal government – while 42 percent say it should be led by "average Americans." On a stunning list of key issues, people say America is on the wrong track. They include:
– Reducing poverty
– Improving access to healthcare and reducing costs
– Growing the economy and creating jobs
– Keeping a college education affordable
– Making it easier to start and run a business
– Improving the quality of K-12 education
The results of this survey show the deep concern across partisan and generational lines about the direction and state of the country. Yet people still believe average Americans can affect their neighborhood (90 percent say so), and the country (71 percent). By a margin of 74 percent to 18 percent, people say "average Americans" have been more responsible for major social changes than government leadership.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
"Is there a more serious indictment of the agenda of this White House than the clear belief by so many Americans that this administration is reducing opportunity rather than expanding it? People are right to be wary of big government and its power to stifle opportunity. Americans are looking more and more to individuals and community groups as the drivers of change and social welfare. While our faith in each other is one of the things that makes America great, we should be deeply concerned that big government policies increasingly stand in the way of individual well-being, success and prosperity.
The policies of this administration have America increasingly on the wrong track, and the people are losing faith in Washington's ability to improve their lives. It's far past time for a change in direction – one that limits spending, balances our budget, reduces excess regulation, and promotes economic opportunity. Average Americans are calling for it – and they will ultimately be the ones who insist on it."