‘Good economic news,’ but what do Americans think?

     Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday that the Fed is moving closer to slowing efforts to keep long-term interest rates at record lows. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

    Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday that the Fed is moving closer to slowing efforts to keep long-term interest rates at record lows. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

    National Association of Realtors numbers point to a strengthening housing recovery; and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said his confidence is such that the Fed would begin easing back on efforts to stimulate the economy. How does the public respond?

    Good economic news this week: National Association of Realtors numbers point to a strengthening housing recovery; and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said his confidence is such that the Fed would begin easing back on efforts to stimulate the economy.

    However, said Frank Newport, editor in chief of the Gallup Poll, Wall Street and the American public itself have already been souring on the directon of the economy.

    The U.S. Senate this week has been busy with hearings in Washington on long-debated immigration reform legislation. Taken individually, on all six major provisions of the proposed bill, Gallup reports that more than half of Americans are in favor. Newport cautions, though: Even if Americans are in favor of the parts of the bill, they may not be in favor of the bill itself.

    We also look at obesity, which the American Medical Association this week announced it is recognizing as a disease that requires medical intervention for prevention and treatment. How many Americans admit to being overweight — and what percent would actually like to lose weight? To that end, would Americans like to see bans or limits on soft drinks put in place nationwide? (Most would not.)

    Finally, would Americans favor giving states the ability to collect sales taxes on purchases its residents make online over the Internet? It seems most would not.

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