Nearly five years ago, Congress voted and approved the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The $700 billion “rescue plan” was passed on a second voting attempt in efforts to save Wall Street and the financial system. Shortly thereafter, the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to historic lows and started quantitative easing. While these actions have stabilized the economy, many Americans feel left behind.
Unsurprisingly, the public believes the government’s economic policies have mostly benefitted major financial institutions, large corporations, and affluent individuals. According to a recent report from the Pew Research Center, almost seven in 10 Americans say banks and financial institutions received the most help from the government following the Great Recession. Sixty-seven percent say corporations received the most help, while 59 percent claim wealthy people did.
The report explains, “Fewer than a third say policies implemented by the government following the recession have helped the poor, middle class, and small businesses. Roughly seven-in-ten say government policies have done little or nothing to help the poor (72 percent), the middle class (71 percent), and small businesses (67 percent).”