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. Dave

    Ok all of you that have a tax break who said the stimulus isn't working please give it back. Also, all you states please send the money back that you have got to balance your budgets. Then see how much the stimulus worked or didn't.

    August 17, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. kim

    all I can say is it we have a whole lot of idiots in america. He has been in office 7 months. Its going to take a whole lot longer than 7 mos for the stimulus to work. He can get us out of this mess, with enough time and support. I mean, If those who voted for him didnt have faith that he was smart enough or competent enough to dig us out of this hole then why the hell did u vote for him? Bunch of sell outs.

    August 17, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. Baze

    People are simply looking for a miracle. A wave of a magic wand that can make every American hunky dory in a dream world of flowing cash, hot women, and fast cars.

    August 17, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. annie s

    Oh brother, do Americans realize that life is not a 90 minute movie? There are no instant happy endings; things take time. Let's look at where we were – and at where we are. Analysts say the Recovery Act may well have saved a million jobs already, home prices are stabilizing, credit is beginning to flow again, the stock market is up and the Cash for Clunkers program will infuse the economy with 18 billion dollars. All in all, I think the Obama team is doing a fantastic job with the economy.

    August 17, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  5. carlo

    I'm suprised. Only 10% has been spent yet, and our country isn't exactly famous for being the bastion of intelligencia. Most of the people voting have no idea that all of the money hasn't gone out.

    CNN, I hate to break this to you, but Obama will be re-elected.

    August 17, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain

    Reminder: The government wouldn't have to "be in the market" if those in charge of the market weren't a bunch of criminals and thieves (we wouldn't need police either if everyone would just be nice).

    To all those free-market folks out there: Grow up and stop being so naive! Reasonable regulation is needed – how many more financial crises do you need to get that through your thick heads?

    August 17, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. KirksNoseHair

    Unfortunately, most people don't seem to realize that the unmitigated disaster left behind by his predecessor will take Obama longer than 6 months to repair.

    The stimulus was designed to prevent a 1930's style Depression.

    On that count it has succeeded.

    August 17, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  8. Joey from San Diego

    Obama has been the biggest disapointment since Crystal Pepsi

    August 17, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  9. kim

    all I can say is it we have a whole lot of idiots in america. He has been in office 7 months. Its going to take a whole lot longer than 7 mos for the stimulus to work. He can get us out of this mess, with enough time and support. I mean, If those who voted for him didnt have faith that he was smart enough or competent enough to dig us out of this hole then why did u vote for him? Bunch of sell outs.

    August 17, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  10. Blutarski

    Gee, that's good news Tree, I received a tax cut. Considering, I did not receive a cost of living increase, that really is good news. I can buy almost 4 gallons of gas a week with that tax relief. Whew, what a break. I can sure see how that will turn the economy around.

    August 17, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  11. Regressive Party Refugee

    Point One: It took eight years of republican laissez faire free-for-all to get us here. All of the sudden these "conservatives" have come out of the closet and are all concerned? Please. What hypocrisy. See Point three below.
    Point Two: This conservative impatience is bred solely out of ignorant fear, misstrust, and mistruths. In other words, republican stock-in-trade for battling anything a democrat proposes or does.
    Point Three: It dosen't matter. Conservatives have demonstrated an incredibly well-tuned negative Pavlovian response to ANYTHING Obama does. Even if it unemployment zeroed out and it started raining dollar bills they would condemn him for making us all work and littering. See point two above.
    Point Four: Where were all these tantrums when Bush ramrodded the bail out, aka the "let's pay off my rich friends and contributors plan"? Just another demonstration of how Republican rules of engagement are different when one of their own is in charge.

    August 17, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  12. Jose Awesome

    What a useless poll.

    First of all, the vast majority of people do not understand the byzantine intricacies of the plan. And second of all, what are we measuring this against? A hypothetical? There is no way to know what would have happened had the stimulus not been enacted.

    Can't believe I wasted five minutes on this crap.

    August 17, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  13. Tony in Maine

    Polls of this nature are always suspect. In this case, they are asking people with no expertise a technical question of the effect of economic policy. All these people have is a gut feeling and that is born of an incessant drumbeat from The Party of No that everything is Obama's fault or, if it is too old to blame on him, Bill Clinton's fault.

    Ask Paul Krugman and a conservative counterpart, not Joe the Plumber.

    August 17, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  14. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    The so-called "stimulus" was never anything other than taking 787 billion dollars out of America's savings account and blowing it now–and blowing it, so far, on worthless pork projects meant more to get Democrats re-elected than on anything substantive.

    Americans aren't dumb–they figured out even before the ink was dry on the legislation that the "stimulus" was a fraud that's mortgaged our kids' futures, will likely cause more inflation, and lead to a big increase in taxes.

    It's not too late–most of that 787 billion hasn't been spent yet. This bit of legislative and economic idiocy can be reversed.

    August 17, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  15. Ex-Repug

    This problem took 8 years if not longer to make. How can anyone judge the stimulus package when it's hardly been used yet? How can anyone not expect it to take at least a couple of years to get out of if not longer. People need to read and be educated.

    August 17, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  16. dominican mama 4 Obama

    How can we possibly expect the stimulus to work when many states are holding their stimulus monies hostage? These mostly Republican governors KNOW that if they utilize their stimulus funds it will have a POSITIVE effect on unemployment, thus making the President appear successful. I've been saying it for months: these so-called Country First traitors would rather have their state's unemployment rate rise than do what's truly in the best for their constituents or the country.

    Interestingly enough, one of the first thing that the new governor in Alaska did was to release the stimulus funds, and put them to good use.

    August 17, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. coach

    It is working, just not as quickly as people want. It is a very deep hole that we are in that was created over a very long time.

    August 17, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  18. Phil Kessack

    Withdraw the stimulus package and other boondoggles passed by Congress and refocus on getting people to work NOW. We don't need maglev from San Francisco to Las Vegas to support politicos.

    August 17, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  19. Aunt Bea and Opie

    The best education system for the rich in the World,and it shows.

    August 17, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  20. Randolph Carter

    Why don't you poll economists. You know, people who actually know what the hell they're talking about? This whole country is full of "non-experts." Ordinary folks who say, "I'm no economist, but..." or, "I'm no auto mechanic, but..." or, "I'm no doctor, but..." Have a nice day!

    August 17, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  21. pat c

    what????? CNN are you simply trying to make our president look bad by only doing these rediculous polls with republicans?! GOLD could be falling from the sky and dumb repugs that can't stand our president would complain that it is not enough! GET A GRIP CNN.....BARACK OBAMA IS THE BEST PRESIDENT AND WILL GET RE-ELECTED!!!!

    August 17, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  22. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    2002 -$158 billion

    2003 -$378 billion

    2004 -$413 billion

    2005 -$318 billion

    2006 -$248 billion

    2007 -$161 billion

    2008 -$459 billion

    2009* -$1,841 trillion (all thanks to Obama and the dems…)
    ______________________________________________________

    From 2002- present, blame it on Obama and the dems huh?

    August 17, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  23. Propering Pete

    European countries that refused to follow Obama's advice on the stimulus are recovering faster... What does that say? Every recession rebounds people, you can't say that when this one rebounds, it was because of the porkulus, I mean stimulus. Now we have debt and inflation to worry about. But I have chope.

    August 17, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  24. mike

    No, only CNN working for Republicans full time!

    August 17, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  25. Anarchy X

    Wow, Americans think the government spending money like drunken sailors in a brothel is a bad idea? Really? Maybe it was the fact that most of the money would not be spent for well over a year (and some closer to 10 years) that convinced Americans this was not a "stimulus" program, but a free for all at the hog trough.

    August 17, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
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