Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Many Will Be Blamed, but Few Will Benefit; THE BAILOUT Few People Feel That Homeowners Will Benefit Most PRESIDENTIAL VOTE Consumers Will See Who Has the Best Aid Plan First

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Many Will Be Blamed, but Few Will Benefit; THE BAILOUT Few People Feel That Homeowners Will Benefit Most PRESIDENTIAL VOTE Consumers Will See Who Has the Best Aid Plan First

Article excerpt

Byline: MATT GALNOR

The majority of Floridians polled this week think the country is in an economic "crisis," but very few said small business or homeowners would be the biggest beneficiaries of the $700 billion bailout Congress passed last week.

"The bailout is going to help all the big boys first," said Jan Molyneaux, an owner of San Marco Bookstore.

The Times-Union and South Florida Sun-Sentinel commissioned a poll of 600 likely voters across the state this week, focusing on economic and political issues.

More than 70 percent of those polled said the economy is in a crisis, and others the Times-Union spoke with Thursday didn't see an end in sight soon. And that was before the Dow Jones industrial average dropped another 679 points to its lowest closing in more than five years.

"Well, we didn't just get into this predicament in the last few months either," said Norma J. Kemp, a saleswoman at the Billiard Factory on University Boulevard.

Those polled pointed their fingers in many directions when asked who was to blame for the economic climate.

Wall Street investors topped the list at 23 percent, but four other groups were named by more than 12 percent of responders: bank executives, government regulators, Congress and the president, as well as housing speculators.

Sandra Myers, a consultant and former owner of Edward's of San Marco, ticked down the list of folks when asked how the economic ended up here.

"Greedy Realtors, greedy mortgage people, people who were living beyond their means," said Myers, who herself has a real estate license.

Yet poll respondents agreed much more on who will benefit from the government bailout that includes taxpayers paying to buy up bad mortgages in hopes of preventing a full-scale economic meltdown.

Almost 40 percent said Wall Street would benefit most and nearly 30 percent said investors. …

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