Americans' Satisfaction With Country's Direction At 2-Year Low

Americans' discontent over the country's economic wellbeing is visible in polls released Thursday, which put their satisfaction with the country's overall direction at a two-year low.

According to the Gallup polls, 23 percent of Americans began 2011 feeling satisfied with the way things were going in the United States. But as President Barack Obama and top congressional figures continue to debate over a national budget and a hike in the debt ceiling, Americans became increasing dissatisfied with the direction of the country.

As of this month, Americans' overall satisfaction level rests at 16 percent, almost as low as it was when Obama first took office in 2009.

The satisfaction rating was at 15 percent during Obama's first full month in office. Americans' satisfaction crested to 35 percent and then 36 percent mid-year. By 2010, Americans' satisfaction hovered around 20 percent, cresting most notably at 27 percent.

The polls show there was a surge to 26 percent satisfaction in May 2011 when the president announced al-Qaida terrorist head Osama Bin Laden was killed at the hands of American soldiers. However, satisfaction rates dipped dramatically over the past two months as the job and housing markets became sluggish and budget tensions rose.

While there is a drop in satisfaction among members of both the Democrat and Republican Parties, less Republicans appear satisfied with the direction of the country; nine percent of Republicans are satisfied compared to 25 percent of Democrats.

Independents' sentiments seem to mostly resemble those of Republicans: 14 percent of Independents say they are satisfied with the way the country is going.

The August 2 deadline for increasing the nation's debt ceiling is steadily approaching. Despite ongoing negotiations between Republican and Democrat leaders, there is still no budget compromise in sight.

Obama has promised ahead of the deadline that social security payments for seniors, Medicaid and military pay for soldiers could all be compromised if the country defaults on its interest payments.

Republicans criticized the president’s remark uttered during a CBS interview and through his press secretary Jay Carney. However, many Republicans remain steadfast against raising the debt limit.

Moody's Investors Service has ratcheted up the pressure. It has placed the nation's triple-A credit rating under review for a downgrade.

This month, Americans' Economic Confidence Index also dropped to nearly the 2011 low at -34 point compared to May (-25 points) when Americans felt more confident.

Additionally, another Thursday Gallup poll shows registered voters are more likely to vote for the Republican Party's candidate than for President Obama in 2012, 47 percent to 39 percent.

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