Poll: Americans Unconvinced Economy on Rebound

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 15: U.S. President Barack Obama holds a press conference in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building February 15, 2011 in Washington, DC. Obama faced a battery of questions about his budget, which was released yesterday. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit: Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto.

Updated 10 a.m. ET

A new CBS News Poll shows President Obama's overall job approval rating is at 48 percent, almost unchanged from last month, but Americans are far less impressed by claims that the economy is on the rebound.

CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante reports that, according to the new poll numbers, Americans have a rather pessimistic view of the chances for economic recovery, with 57 percent say they simply don't believe the National Bureau of Economic Research's assertion that the recession is over and things are already improving.

Only 37 percent of those polled backed the assessment, which has been repeated by the Obama administration.

In the new poll, 41 percent of people said they disapproved of the way Mr. Obama is handling his job as president.  Last month, he had an approval rating of 49 percent and a disapproval rating of 39 percent.

Plante reports that the president's projected deficit reductions, outlined Tuesday in his proposed 2012 budget, contradict the people's opinion -- his plan is based, in part, on assumptions that the economy will continue to improve.

"If we're going to walk the walk when it comes to fiscal discipline, these kinds of cuts will be necessary," Mr. Obama said on Monday.

Explainer: The Deficit vs. the Debt
Video: GOP Battles Dems, Tea Party Over Budget
Video: Obama Talks 2012 Budget Cuts, Investments

The poll also asked about whether Americans expect they will have to feel some personal pain in order to reduce the deficit. Forty-nine percent said they think the government will have to cut programs that benefit them in order to lower the deficit, while 41 percent think that won't be necessary. Both Republicans and independents said they expected that will be needed, while most Democrats do not.

On taxes, just 37 percent think it will be necessary to increase taxes on people like themselves (59 percent said they didn't think so). Those expectations rise along with income -- 62 percent of Americans with incomes of $100,000 or more said they do expect it will be necessary for them to pay higher taxes in order to lower the deficit (and 36 percent do not).

Among those making less than $50,000 per year, 30 percent think it will be necessary for the government to raise their taxes versus 66 percent who do not.  For those making between $50,000 and $100,000, 40 percent said they think it will be necessary and 55 percent said it would not be.

Mr. Obama is suggesting some tax hikes, including an end to both the Bush-era tax cuts to the wealthy, and mortgage breaks now given to the top two brackets.

Mr. Obama also received positive evaluations for his handling of the situation in Egypt in the poll. Fifty percent said they approved while 22 percent said they disapproved -- though 28 percent said they had no opinion.

More Stories on the Poll:

Poll: Most Want U.S. Out of Egypt's Affairs
Poll: Most Americans Uneasy About the U.S. Economy
Poll: Most Oppose Cutting Funding for Health Care Reforms
Read the Complete Poll


This poll was conducted by telephone on February 11-14, 2011 among 1,031 adults nationwide. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

  • Tucker Reals

    Tucker Reals is the CBSNews.com foreign editor, based at the CBS News London bureau.

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