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Americans Reject GOP Economic Happy Talk

In the most recent debate for Republican presidential hopefuls, Fred Thompson was asked why two-thirds of the nation believes that we are either in a

In the most recent debate for Republican presidential hopefuls, Fred Thompson was asked why two-thirds of the nation believes that we are either in a recession or headed toward one. Thompson rejected Americans’ perceptions, describing the economy as “rosy.”

When CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo followed up, asking what explains the discontent in the public, Thompson said there were “pockets in the economy,” but the public hasn’t heard “the greatest story never told.” In other words, the economy is strong, but we’re just too dumb to realize it.

It looks like there are quite a few people living in those “pockets.”

A growing number of people say the economy is the nation’s top problem, with the less educated among the most worried, an Associated Press-Ipsos poll showed Tuesday. [...]

Given an open-ended opportunity to name the major problem facing the U.S., 15 percent volunteered the economy. That was six percentage points more than named it when the AP-Ipsos poll last asked the question in July.

“They talk about a big surge in Iraq; well, there hasn’t been a big surge over here,” said Sadruddin El-Amin, 55, a truck driver in Hanahan, S.C., who named the economy as the top problem. “The job market isn’t getting any better, not for the working class.”

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