A clear majority of Americans approve of Washington taking firm steps to intervene in the nation's struggling economy, a Los Angeles Times poll finds. Two-thirds favor tighter restrictions on financial institutions and 60% back help for homeowners facing foreclosure. A huge 87% blamed deregulation for the economic crisis—up 25% from a similar poll in September.
A majority approved of Barack Obama's plan to kick-start the economy through public works spending, while half believed the government should take a stake in banks and other industries to keep the private sector from collapse, despite many describing such a move as a step toward socialism. But less than half supported bailing out Detroit automakers, and 53% felt capping CEO pay is a step too far.