Poll: Pessimism Over Taxes, Crime, International Tensions


This is no traditional day-after-New Year hangover.

A new USA Today/Gallup Poll out this morning finds Americans are showing the wear and tear of economic angst and reveals what pollsters said was "a waning belief in the resilience of the American dream."

Fifty percent of Americans polled said they believe the nation's best days are in the past, while 47 percent said the best days are yet to come. The split along party lines is more dire: Only 24 percent of GOP voters said the best days are still ahead, while 69 percent of Democrats said the best is yet to come.

Of a more immediate nature, 65 percent of everyone polled said they expected 2013 to be a year of "economic difficulty."

A full 82 percent expect taxes to rise in the new year. They're already right, with the expiration of the payroll tax holiday effective today.

Sixty-eight percent polled said they expected crime to rise in 2013, which would break a pattern of dropping crime rates over the last several years.

And three-quarters of those polled anticipate what they called a "troubling year," with more international discord.