Survey: Support for Fed, Jitters on Spending

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A new survey reveals that while economists give the Federal Reserve high marks on its interest rate policy, they are less confident in the government's ability to cut back on spending, curb greenhouse gases or revamp health care.

The semiannual survey, due out Monday, comes from the National Association for Business Economics (NABE).

The report shows that close to 70 percent of the 266 economists surveyed say the Fed's monetary policy is "about right." That's up from 63 percent in March and 56 percent one year ago.

The news comes amidst hints the economy may be taking a turn for the better.

Meanwhile, economists are skeptical as the White House attempts to rein in spending, cut health care costs and reform financial regulation.

"This is almost certainly one of the fastest-moving and most controversial economic policy environments we have experienced in a generation," said NABE President Chris Varvares, president of Macroeconomic Advisers LLC.

The majority of economists are doubtful lawmakers can reduce spending.

They also expressed serious skepticism over government proposals that the cap-and-trade program cut greenhouse gases, with only 15 percent believing the legislation would significantly cut global emissions.

Support for the government's health care reform policy was also shaky. Less than half of economists believe most of the health care proposals would improve health care, give Americans greater access to it, or slash costs.

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