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Behind the Numbers
Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 03/16/2009

Rage is All the Rage

Federal Washington's ire about AIG new bonuses broke out into the open this weekend, echoing widespread public sentiment against the government's bailout of banks and financial institutions that made bad bets.

In a Pew poll released today, nearly half of all Americans said they were angry about propping up financial firms that made poor decisions, and about four in 10 more said the funding bothered them.

Anger about the bank bailouts peaks among Republicans (55 percent angry), independents and those with family incomes of $75,000 and up (both 53 percent), but is broadly shared across political and economic groups. (Among Democrats, 39 percent are angry, as are 41 percent of those with sub-$30,000 incomes.)

There's also brewing hostility toward using federal money to support homeowners who took out mortgages beyond their means (39 percent of all Americans are angry on this score), the increasing federal budget deficit (37 percent) and spending on special interest projects, or earmarks (34 percent).

Amid this volatile brew of public sentiments, both President Obama and the GOP leadership in Congress have seen their ratings slip in the Pew data. The full report is here.

By  |  12:00 PM ET, 03/16/2009

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