Some 39 percent of Americans feel the economy is in permanent decline, up from 28 percent in October of last year, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll.
The number of people expecting the economy to eventually recover has fallen to 57 percent today from 68 percent last October, the poll finds.
Jobs are fueling the gloomy outlook, but running up debts to create jobs isn't the answer.
"Asked if the federal government should spend money to create jobs, a slim majority — 52 percent — said no, it should focus on lowering the debt," CBS reports.
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"Forty-two percent said the government should spend to create jobs, even if it has to borrow money to do so. Three in four Republicans said no, while three in five Democrats said yes."
Americans were split, meanwhile, on whether unemployment benefits should be extended, with 47 percent in favor and 44 percent not.
The Federal Reserve is wrapping up a $600 billion bond buyback — known as quantitative easing — with the aim of fueling more robust economic activity and ultimately, job creation.
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The move follows similar Federal Reserve easing measures that have pumped banks full of cash, and some say banks should lend more than they are doing.
"The banks of America now have well over $2 trillion in cash not committed to loans," says former President Bill Clinton, according to Bloomberg.
"There is nowhere near $2 trillion in loan demand out there now, but there's more than is presently being satisfied."
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