August 17th, 2009
12:39 PM ET
5 years ago

Poll: Stimulus not working

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Six months after the $787 billion economic stimulus package became law, a new poll indicates a majority of Americans don't think it's working.

Fifty-seven percent of those questioned in a USA Today/Gallup survey released Monday say the federal stimulus has had no effect on the economy so far, or has made things worse. Just over four in 10 say the stimulus has made things better.

The poll also suggests that six in 10 doubt that the stimulus package will make things better in the future, with 38 percent saying the infusion of money from Washington will have a positive effect on the nation's economy.

"Support for the stimulus package dropped significantly even before it was passed, and six months ago the public was evenly divided over whether it would help the economy," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Americans have never supported the idea of a second stimulus bill - back in March, two-thirds opposed that idea."

The stimulus package includes nearly $300 billion in tax cuts and nearly $500 billion in new spending. No Republicans in the House of Representatives, and only three in the Senate, voted in favor of the bill.

Republicans have been vocal in criticizing what they call the ineffectiveness of the stimulus package to lower unemployment and jump start the economy.

The USA Today/Gallup poll was conducted August 6-9, with 1,010 adults questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: CNN Polls • Stimulus
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. Matthew

    No, the stimulus hasn't worked. Not only has money been wasted on many unneeded 'shovel ready' projects (paving underused roads, bridges and airport runways; refurbishing swamps for mice in Northern CA; or exterminating annoying insects...), but now the state governments will have to pay the money back with interest (it wasn't a free gift). Any programs that were put in place with the help of the stimulus will need funding next year... without the federal government's assistance. Another note: only 10% has been used (not really BOOST we thought we were getting, eh?).

    The Obama administration needs to stop spending the rest of the (borrowed) stimulus money.

    August 17, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "You libs are crazy...he's not the Messiah and can't fix everything overnight by snapping his fingers!!!"

    "You libs are crazy...the economy is magic and fixes and regulates itself, so the Stimulus has nothing to do with anything that's getting better."

    You libs are crazy...the economy is still broken after only 7 months in office, so Obama is a total failure."

    Is the picture starting to emerge for any of you yet? Care to further plumb the depths of the GOP's hypocrisy?

    August 17, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  3. demwit

    58%! D'oh!! Those unreliable cable news networks..

    August 17, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. Jackie

    Seeing the economy is coming back on its own (as designed), I would like the government to return all the stimulus money. Thank-you very much!

    August 17, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  5. Claudia in Houson

    The stimulous is working as long as we still have the same monetary system(dollars) instead of another countries monetary system. Wake up out there people, read and be informed why it was necessary for our Government to take the measures it did. Read about the threat to our monetary system which our Government couldn't tell you in fear of sending fear to countries we borrow from who could have called in their debt. PLEASE DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH AND READ.

    August 17, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  6. martha fowler

    What people believe about the stimulus package working is based on gut reactions. If we had not had a stimulus package, I wonder what they would have believed when we would have had the next greatest depression. Perhaps people should read some more detailed information from, for example, a wide group of economists.

    There are no instant fixes to such large problems. The stimulus is working and we need to do our part to check out the facts from a wide variety of readily available reading resources and check the facts for ourselves.

    Please let's start leaving behind the knee-jerk, sound-bite poll taking.
    How come noone has ever called me or anyone I know to participate in a poll?

    Please alwas list the number of people you polled and from what locations.

    How about writing an in depth, researched piece about the stimulus package instead of doing the "People Magazine" – variety of article after taking your poll and spreading that news like it was gospel.

    August 17, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  7. Jeff M.

    Yep, the whole thing should be fixed by now. i mean, it's been a long eight months!
    What a bunch of stiffs.

    August 17, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  8. Marco

    Saying that Americans don't have the knowledge of the contents of the stimulus to judge whether it is not working is ignorant. It's just as ignorant as claiming Bush was a primary factor in causing this recession and it only shows your own ignorance.

    It's time to stop deluding yourselves and admit that Obama is not perfect. Just like the Iraq War was not perfect. Or the single-opayer healthcare bills.

    August 17, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  9. Cruzan Obama Mama

    Are you people kidding me with this? Do you know how much worse it would of been without the controversial stimulus or bail-out?

    Think about your own job...how many major projects can you handle at the same time. The POTUS has the economy, health-care, & wars to handle all at the same time. Not to mention the repubs & media all waiting there to see him fail & yet we are all so critical. If he sneezes it is criticized.

    This is not going to be fixed overnight. Would McCain of been given this same microscopic assessment? I WONDER!!!!

    August 17, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  10. USMC - Mike

    The ADD nation that is America doesn't suprise me in the least bit ...

    less than 6 months and they expect an inmediate fix? Get real ...

    most have no clue that only about 10% has been distributed ... Just wait til the spring of 2010; gangbusters once all the letting for construction projects hits & the building begins ...

    August 17, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  11. John

    Many Republicans do agree Obama needs time. But unemployed citizens don't have time. It takes years to save a few thousand dollars and a month of unemployment to wipe those savings out. These problems didn't originate with Bush. They originated with greedy citizens and lack of oversight of policies put in place during Clinton's administration. that created a financial bubble during the Bush era that burst 18 months ago. Obama needs to quit taking vacations to Europe on Air Force One, and focus on creating jobs that are sustainable.

    August 17, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  12. Alan in Marietta, GA

    Polls are really becoming meaningless. You ask a question a certain guarantees a certain answer. All of those people should be asked the following questions:

    *Will they return the tax cut they received as a result of the stimulus?
    *Have they watched how the stock market is back up over 9000 points from its 6,000 point low early this year?
    *How do they define success?

    August 17, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  13. Ken

    Of course it is working! Just about all the economic indicators are better, then before Obama took office. It is hard to right all the economic damage the Bush administration did in 6 months, but Obama is on the right track.
    The conservatives have just become the party of do nothing an no. If you can't see that you are blind and have your head stuck in the sand.

    August 17, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  14. AP in Illinois

    I don't see how the people with working brains can stay in power. The Republican Party thrives on ignorance and stupidity.

    Also, it is quite sad that CNN is reporting a poll, not whether the poll represents reality.

    August 17, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. Tino

    Yea... it's not like the stock market has not gone up, the jobless rate has not (temporarily?) leveled out, and a depression was avoided (while also not leading to inflation). Yup... it was a failure.

    Man, are people blind.

    I guess the fact that people did not see it all fixed in less than six months tells it all... everybody wants instant gratification. Fix it now or you are a failure... great... I guess a majority of Americans are just idiots. THAT is what we should be disappointed about... the American people, not the stimulus package!

    August 17, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  16. Sally

    You can't turn things around overnight! I think our situation is better...there is more hope out there. But then again, I don't expect miracles.

    August 17, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  17. MatthewDetroit

    Pull the money back and PAY OFF THE NATIONAL DEBT.
    OBAMA is a socialist who ONLY wants to control more of the GDP.
    He is trying to take ALL of our money.
    Politicians on both sides are inherently dishonest.
    THE PEOPLE need more power.
    THAT means less goverment.
    Get out and write a letter to these clowns.
    Take back our money.
    THEY DO NOT KNOW HOW TO DO ANYTHING BUT SPEND.

    August 17, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  18. Steve

    For all you liberals out there.

    How many years will have to pass before you stop blaming Bush?

    It's really pathetic how so many of your responses still cling to the Bush administration as a scapegoat.

    If the majority in the polls say the stimulus is not working, you think them ignorant rather than contempating they may be right. If they thought it was working, I'm sure you would think them brilliant.

    How about for once take responsiblity for your own missteps!!!

    August 17, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  19. The black Spider

    I challenge the same people who think the stimulus is not working to refute and repudiate the tax break they had with the stimuls. To go their mayors office and press them not to take any dime of the stimulus money or ask their parents who are living on extended unemployment benefit to forgo theis benefits.
    Stupidity at it's best in America.

    August 17, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  20. Michael

    Many are entitled to their opinion. If nothing else, it shows where the weaknesses are. In the last few weeks, over a 1/4 million cars have been purchased due to the cash for clunkers bill which was part of the stimulus package. Those are real sales helping jobs here in sales and manufacturing. Roads are getting built and both public and private industries such as utilities are getting cash infusions that have to be used in the next 2 years to support growth investments like green tech or things like that. Of course a lot of people are still unhappy. We have an acknowledged unemployment of close to 11% and in some areas much worse. Those people dont feel it. Not yet. of course they are unhappy.

    August 17, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  21. Joe In Nj

    "You people should get together & go bowling, it would sound like a bowling alley."

    Meant to say, you should all put your heads together, then it would sound like a bowling alley.

    The idiocy of some of the posters here got to me.

    August 17, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  22. Devin

    Funny how people on this board think most Americans are stupid because they think it's not working but didn't most American's vote for Obama? SO let me get this straight.. most Americans are stupid and most Americans voted for Obama. Yeah ok... I agree.

    August 17, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  23. Canadian who is Interested in American success

    I tend to listen to all Obamas speeches, but I also hear the negative comments too.
    As far as I heard him say,the Stimulas is split into 3 parts.
    Tax breaks – already Implemented / Increased Unemployment Benifits for people out of work.Already implemented – AND new projects.
    So two thirds of the Stimulus has already had GREAT EFFECT on the American people hasn't it ??? I dont call that failure.
    WIsh ordninary Americans would do their own homework instead of listening to "other" politicians who want their country to fail for their own power purposes.

    August 17, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  24. kyle from ohio

    what is this pork barrel paybacks for Democrat districts, how we either forgotten or just do not care about FACTS, but the largest 5 of 7 receivers of the pork was Republians. check out the FACTS.

    August 17, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  25. Len

    The stimulus bill was never designed to work immediately.It was and always has been a 2 year plan.The stimulus bill should have been even higher but congress particularly republicans would have never voted for it.Many Americans have a very short memory for details.I wonder how many in that survey actually keep up with daily news and events.Many people do not even realize how close we were to a depression and complete collapse of the economy.As projected at the end of this year signs of progress will begin to show itself with 2010 being a much better year.

    August 17, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
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