95% Say They “Balance the Checkbook” Better Than Congress, According to Latest American Pulse™ Survey

Share Article

Over 5,000 Americans participate in the American Pulse Survey conducted twice a month, and the most recent survey was conducted 8/30-8/31/11. The latest results show that a vast majority of Americans feel they are better at balancing their checkbooks than Congress. The data also shows Americans’ concern for the future of Social Security, their predictions for stock market recovery and their desire to vote for Steve Jobs or Bill O’Reilly for president, if given the choice among notable U.S. public figures.

News Image
Voting among notable U.S. public figures, nearly 3 in 10 Americans (28.2%) would choose Steve Jobs to run the country in 2012 while 16.8% would pick Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly.

While Congress struggles to even out its budget, Americans are keeping their personal finances in order: 94.5% of Americans say they are better than Congress at “balancing the checkbook,” according to the latest American Pulse™ Survey of 6,138 respondents. Those from Generation Y, however, give Congress a little more credit. Only 86.5% think they do a better job with their own finances.

Another financial issue, Social Security, has most Americans worried about retirement. The majority of Americans are somewhat/very concerned that funds for Social Security will run out by the time they retire. Members of Generation X appear to be the most concerned, followed by Gen Y. Boomers are not as worried, likely because they are close to retirement age:

Somewhat/Very Concerned Social Security Funds Will Run Out Before Retirement
Gen Y: 74.7%
Gen X: 82.7%
Boomers: 66.1%

Source: American Pulse™ Survey, Aug-2011

For a full, complimentary report, click here.

41.1% of Adults 18+ say Social Security should be privatized rather than requiring citizens to pay into a government-sponsored retirement plan. Members of Generation Y (57.6%) are most likely to agree while Boomers would rather keep the system the way it is (42.3% vs. 32.6% who would opt for privatization).

Americans’ perspective of the Social Security program mirrors that of the overall economy. 7 in 10 (71.1%) think the economy is currently declining somewhat or declining greatly. 15.2% say it’s not changing while 13.7% see improvement. The majority (84.3%), however, say we are still in a recession (vs. 8.5% who don’t agree and 7.2% who don’t know).

In regards to recent fluctuations in the stock market, most Americans are not confident that the market will recover by the end of the year (although 18.4% are optimistic). 35.7% predict the market will be better by the end of 2012 while 29.2% expect recovery to take five years.

With the country’s finances weighing on the minds of Americans, it’s no wonder many would like to see a CEO (46.4%) or banker (19.0%) run the nation. Another 13.3% would like a construction worker in charge, 8.1% would opt for an ambassador and 6.8% would like to see a comedian run the country.

Voting among notable U.S. public figures, nearly 3 in 10 Americans (28.2%) would choose Steve Jobs to run the country in 2012 while 16.8% would pick Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly. George Clooney (10.9%) rounds out the top three, followed closely by Joe the Plumber and Stephen Colbert (each with 9.5%).

For a special look at income expectations in 2012 as well as what Americans would do with an extra $1,000, click here to view the “Money Matters” report.

American Pulse™
The American Pulse™ Survey is collected online twice a month exclusively utilizing SSI’s U.S. panel covering topics such as politics, pop culture and the economy. 6,138 respondents participated in the 3rd August American Pulse conducted 8/30-8/31/2011. Margin of error is +/- 1.3%. http://www.biginsight.com

Survey Sampling International (SSI)
Bringing together Survey Sampling International and Opinionology, SSI is the premier global provider of world-leading sampling, data collection and data analytic solutions for survey research. SSI reaches respondents in 72 countries via Internet, telephone, mobile/wireless and mixed access offerings. Value-add services include questionnaire design consultation, programming and hosting, data processing and real-time reporting. SSI serves more than 2,000 clients, including the top 50 research organizations. It has 30 offices serving clients around the world.

Chrissy Wissinger
Randi Honkonen

Ilene Siegalovsky


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Chrissy Wissinger
Visit website