Americans say there's enough financial regulations: poll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Most Americans believe enough regulations are on the books to avoid another financial crisis, a new poll found on Tuesday in a sign of dampening enthusiasm for more rules.

A poll conducted for Public Strategies and Politico found that 32 percent of voters support new regulations, while 68 percent say better enforcement of existing regulations is the best approach.

The poll findings come as the Democratic-led U.S. Congress debates financial regulatory reform legislation that President Barack Obama hopes to sign early next year.

The top pollster for the survey, David Iannelli, said a previous poll conducted in December during the height of the Wall Street meltdown found that 67 percent of those surveyed believed more regulations were needed.

Iannelli said the study showed that Americans have begun to question what is the right approach for dealing with future crises.

“They want to see some more regulation, but they’re not sure how much,” he said.

Many Americans tend to be wary of a large government role in their lives, while Europeans tend to favor more government intervention.

The poll can be found at

As Congress prepares to tackle energy legislation next year, the poll found Americans are far more interested in seeing an improvement in the U.S. economy than in the environment.

The survey found that 62 percent believe economic growth should be a priority, an indication that legislation aimed at reducing carbon emissions blamed for greenhouse gases could face an uphill battle.

Americans remain negative in their economic outlook, with 70 percent of those surveyed characterizing the national economy and their state and local economies as weak.

The poll also found that 52 percent of those surveyed believe Congress will pass legislation that goes too far in increasing the government’s role in healthcare, while 48 percent think the legislation will not go far enough in addressing the healthcare challenges facing the country.

Reporting by Steve Holland