Americans are divided on whether or not the government should help people facing foreclosure. In the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, 39% say the government should, but 35% say it should not.
Even in the West, which appears to be especially affected by the housing crisis, the public is divided on whether or not the government should be helping. There is a large party and ideological difference: majorities of Democrats and liberals want the government to help, majorities of Republicans and conservatives don’t. Independents are closely divided, but reject government help. 30% of independents favor government help, 39% do not.
The division over helping those affected seems to be due to American unwillingness to help those many believe are at least partly to blame for their own problems. 63% agree that most of those in foreclosure are there because they were personally irresponsible and took on too big a mortgage. But even more blame uncontrollable factors like job loss, and banks and mortgage lenders encouraging people to take on mortgages people could not afford.
Please tell us if you agree or disagree with the following statements about people who are in foreclosure now.
|Agree||Neither Agree, Nor Disagree||Disagree|
Most are in foreclosure because they were personally irresponsible and took on too big a mortgage.
Most are in foreclosure because of economic factors, such as job loss, that are out of their control.
Most are in foreclosure because banks and mortgage lenders encouraged homebuyers to take on mortgages they could not afford.
By more than two to one, Americans say that it is unfair to ask those who didn’t take on too large a mortgage to bail out those who did. Just 31% say stopping foreclosures is important even if that means helping people who were irresponsible.
Liberals disagree – and Democrats are evenly divided on this.
Image source: flickr (woodleywonderworks)