Americans unsure where good times are

Jan. 2, 2013 at 9:42 AM

PRINCETON, N.J., Jan. 2 (UPI) -- U.S. residents are divided about whether the country's best years are ahead or already passed, results of a Gallup poll indicated.

How optimistic the view of the future could be -- 47 percent said the best years lie ahead and 50 percent said they were behind -- was sharply divided along political lines, with Republicans more pessimistic about the future than Democrats, the USA Today-Gallup poll released Tuesday indicated.

Sixty five percent of respondents said they thought 2013 will be a year of economic difficulty, not prosperity, Gallup said.

By a 53 percent to 42 percent margin, respondents also indicated they thought 2013 will be a year of full or increasing employment instead of rising unemployment, results showed.

Americans, by a 57 percent to 42 percent margin, said they believe this year will be one in which prices will rise at a reasonable rate rather than at a high rate, the Princeton, N.J., polling agency said.

Eighty-five percent of respondents said there will be a federal government budget deficit in 2013.

On global issues a majority, 75 percent, said this year will be a troubled with much international discord rather than an internationally peaceful year, Gallup said.

Fifty-seven percent of those asked said they believe U.S. power will decline rather than increase in 2013, results indicated. Also, about two-thirds of respondents said they believe 2013 will see rising crime rates.

Results are based on nationwide interviews with 1,025 adults conducted Dec. 14-17. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.

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