Americans Down on Gov't Bailouts, Intervention

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WASHINGTON -- The American public is very concerned about all the big spending going on in Washington -- and that's not all they're worried about.

A new poll shows that people think the government is getting too involved in the private sector.  

As the Obama administration works to give the federal government more power over the financial sector and pushes for government insured health care -- on the heels of a federal bailout of General Motors -- a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds many Americans are growing skeptical of so much government control and federal spending.

According to the poll, 56 percent oppose the President's action to provide aide to GM in exchange for majority ownership in the company.

And 69 percent say they're concerned "a great deal" or "quite a bit" about the government's stake in the automaker.

And as the president and Congress spend money to heal the nation's ailing economy, the poll reveals 58 percent of Americans say officials should worry more about keeping the deficit down even if it takes longer for the economy to recover.

But when asked who's responsible for the  of the deficit, 46 percent blame the Bush administration, 21 percent say Democrats in Congress, and just six percent cited the Obama administration.

The President's Treasury Secretary is selling his new financial regulatory system on Capitol Hill Thursday.         

It's designed to prevent future economic meltdowns by saving banks and consumers from themselves.
    
"We need to give consumers better protections against the risk they get taken advantage of.  Sold products they didn't understand, take on too much debt, debt they can't afford.  That is critical," Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said.

But the plan is already receiving backlash not only from Republicans, but also from Democrats.

"There's an old African proverb that says when elephants dance, the grass gets trampled.  Well, Mr. President, we've got a trampled grass problem at this point and I don't think we can solve it with bigger elephants," Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said.

President Obama wants the new regulations in place by the end of the year, but Congress is already dealing with two other big elephants -- the confirmation of a new Supreme Court justice and healthcare reform.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates it will cost $1 trillion over the next decade and leave 37 million people uninsured.

"The CBO letter should be a wakeup call for all of us in this chamber to scrap the current bill and start over," Sen. John McCain, R-Az., said. 

The big sticking point -- whether or not the government should offer its own health care plan to compete with private insurers.

The debate is already contentious enough that the Senate Health Committee probably won't reach its goal of getting a bill written by the July 4th recess.

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Jennifer Wishon

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Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.