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58%: Bush years ‘awful, not so good’

By Sahil Kapur
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 9:08 EDT
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Most believe moral values suffered under Bush, poll says

WASHINGTON — The jury is in on the Bush decade, and it’s not looking good. At least according to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll.

A decisive 58 percent of respondents described the 2000-2009 years as “awful” or “not so good.” Twenty-nine percent called it “fair,” and a mere 12 percent said it was “good” or “great.”

Time Magazine described it as “the decade from hell.”

While the Bush administration can’t be blamed for all of it, its influence in driving the national pessimism is difficult to deny. Thirty-eight percent said the 9/11 attacks had the “greatest negative impact on America this past decade.” Twenty percent said it was the Iraq war.

Twenty-three percent chose the housing crisis, 11 percent selected the 2008 stock market crash, and 6 percent described Hurricane Katrina as the worst national event of the decade.

In what appears to be the most likely complaint, a massive 74 percent said the United States lost ground on economic prosperity, while 66 percent thought it had jettisoned some of its moral values. Fifty-five percent said America treated other nations less respectfully, and 54 percent believed conditions of peace and national security worsened.

Mirroring the likely reason for President Obama’s two national priorities, 46 percent said America lost ground on health and well being, and 37 percent said environmental conditions have worsened during the decade.

But it wasn’t all bad.

Forty-eight percent said the United States pushed forward in the area of science and technology, and 40 percent believed race relations improved.

“Not the decade from hell,” NBC reflected. “But close.”

 
 
 
 
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