New Poll: Everyday Americans Continue to Feel Economic Pain

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll says a few things about the politics of the economy that are important to know as we head into the fall. A few points:

Painful personal experiences over the past year continue to dampen the outlook of many Americans. About two-thirds of those polled say they have been hurt financially by the recession, with extensive reports that job losses and pay reductions are hitting home. 

Nearly six in 10 Americans are now concerned about job or pay losses in the coming months, little changed since February, and there has been no increase in the percentage who see the federal government's stimulus efforts as having an impact, even as the pace of layoffs has eased in recent months. 

Americans feel like their incomes have decreased because they, in fact, have. So what does this polling data mean? As Simon recently wrote:

Getting incomes and wages up in this new economy of the 21st century is in fact the most important domestic challenge facing the country, and one the American people are demanding a new national strategy for. This fall is the time for the President to make it clear to the American people that he understands their concerns, has a strategy to ensure their success in this new economy, and will make their success the central organizing principle of his Administration until prosperity is once again broadly shared.

Things may be headed that direction. The President spoke Monday about new financial regulations, and, with more and more of the funds from the stimulus being obligated everyday, it shouldn't be too heavy of a lift to increase the number of those who see the stimulus as having a positive impact.