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The Washington Post is reporting this morning that the opinions of many Americans on the economy have soured:

The public’s ratings of the national economy continue to sour, with assessments deteriorating faster than at any point in Washington Post-ABC News polling. Views on the Iraq war have also turned more negative, with six in 10 now rejecting the notion that the United States needs to win there to effectively battle terrorism.

The economy and the Iraq war are the top two issues on voters’ minds, according to the new Post-ABC poll, and worsening opinions of both may dampen GOP hopes for the November elections.

Nine in 10 Americans now give the economy a negative rating, with a majority saying it is in “poor” shape, the most to say so in more than 15 years. And the sense that things are bad has spread swiftly. The percentage who hold a negative view of the economy is up 33 points over the past year, and the percentage who rate the economy “poor” has increased 13 points in the past two months. That is the quickest 60-day decline since The Post and ABC started asking the question, in 1985.

While I think that there’s plenty of room for concern, I think the idea that the economy is in poor shape is poppycock. As Will Rogers said, they don’t know nothin’ but what they read in the newspaper.

I’ll post another installment in my series on the candidates’ proposals for the economy later today. It would be nice if someone were proposing measures which could actually have some substantial beneficial effects but, alas, I don’t think it’s to be. I have particular doubts that a massive energy/environmental program will be a net creator of jobs.

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