Fewer Americans Than Ever Hopeful for Children's Future

When President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, 27 percent of Americans said today's children would be better off than their parents. But now, when he is seeking re-election, only 14 percent are hopeful, "the lowest level of optimism ever measured," a new Rasmussen poll says.

"Just 14 percent believe that today's children will be better off than their parents," according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey results released on Sunday.

In the beginning of Obama's presidency, 27 percent said today's children would be better off than their parents, and 47 percent disagreed.

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The latest survey of 1,000 adults nationwide, conducted on July 22-23, found that 65 percent of American adults do not expect today's children to be better off than their parents. Twenty-one percent were not sure what to expect.

Just last month, 16 percent were hopeful for the future of today's children.

"Most voters believe the president's health care law will cause some companies to drop the health insurance they provide for their employees," Scott Rasmussen wrote. He also said that Americans believe that would be a bad development by a margin of 50-23 percent.

The survey found that Americans are also less optimistic about the possibility of working hard and getting ahead. Just 28 percent now say it is still possible for anyone in the country to work hard and get rich, down from 35 percent last month and the lowest finding since June 2011. Fifty-seven percent disagree, but another 14 percent are not sure.

The overall pessimism is not surprising given that confidence that the American economy will recover in the next five years has fallen to its lowest level since regular tracking began in January 2009, the survey noted. At that time, 62 percent believed the economy would be stronger in five years. Just 40 percent feel that way now.

However, 53 percent of Americans still believe it is possible for anyone in the United States to work their way out of poverty. Only 30 percent say it is not possible, and 18 percent are undecided.

The survey found that pessimism was also prevailing in the recovery of housing prices and the stock market at or near record highs. Americans are now evenly divided over whether anyone who wants to work in this country can find a job, as 44 percent say it is possible and 42 percent disagree. This is the closest adults have been on this question since June 2011, the survey noted.

Moreover, 60 percent of Americans do not believe the county as a whole is better off today than it was four years ago, but they'd still rather live here than anywhere else in the world.

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