Whether they’re Democrats or Republicans, Americans are feeling blue. The nation is more pessimistic now about the nation’s economic outlook and overall direction than at any other time since President Obama’s first two months in office, a New York Times/CBS poll concluded. Rising gas prices, lagging employment levels, and the budget debate have led many Americans to believe the economic recovery is stalled. This pessimism is affecting approval ratings for both parties in Congress, and President Obama, too—57 percent of respondents said they disapproved of the way he handled the economy. Only 29 percent said they believed reducing the debt would increase jobs and 29 percent said they believed it would actually cost jobs. Republicans as a whole fared worse than Democrats: 56 percent said they had an overall negative view of the GOP, while only 49 percent said the same about Democrats.