January 24th, 2010
12:37 PM ET
4 years ago

CNN poll: 56 percent oppose stimulus program

A majority of Americans oppose the economic stimulus program championed by President Obama and passed by a Democratically-controlled Congress, according to a new national poll out Sunday.
A majority of Americans oppose the economic stimulus program championed by President Obama and passed by a Democratically-controlled Congress, according to a new national poll out Sunday.

Washington (CNN) - A majority of Americans oppose the economic stimulus program, according to a new national poll.

Fifty-six percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Sunday say they oppose the stimulus package, with 42 percent supporting it.

Full results

Last March, just weeks after the stimulus bill was signed into law by President Barack Obama, a CNN poll indicated that 54 percent of the public supported the program, with 44 percent opposed.

The program, formally known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, attempts to stimulate the country's economy by increasing federal government spending and cutting taxes at a total cost to the government of $787 billion. No Republicans in the House and only three in the Senate voted in favor of the bill.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted January 8-10, with 1,021 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story.


Filed under: CNN poll • economic stimulus • Popular Posts
soundoff (286 Responses)
  1. Peter from Bend, OR

    Obama's problem and the country's problem was not the Republicans. They were actually out of power for twelve months, while the Democrats had their 60 – 40 margin in the Senate. The real problem was that the Democratic Party fought against itself, and failed to accomplish anything, as a result. The Democratic Party was so incompetent that they failed to preserve its 60 – 40 margin by losing the most liberal Senate seat in the country. (yes, Mass. voted for McGovern). Now the uncaring and politically-motivated Republican party can stop whatever meager legislative proposals that the disorganized impotent Democrats might be able to push forward. The special interest groups are celebrating their success at the expense of the country.

    January 24, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  2. Long

    Under the "leadership" of Obama, it's baaad news for the Democrats, so many promises but only one "getting a dog for his daughters" was kept, but deficite soending, higher national debt and higher taxes, abosolutely no "changes" which the American people want.

    January 24, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  3. Bridge in Cali

    To Russell I agree with you 100% that no other president in the history of the "office of the presidency" has endured this much negative scrutiny, and its all because he's black.

    January 24, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. beverly

    When you take these 1,021 poles,then you say it 60% of the people , where do you select these people is the all over the country, are they all white or are these different races of people. Are these poles truly fair and honest, or is this the same old politics.

    January 24, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  5. LoveThyNeighbor

    Once again, a "slight" polling of Americans to "justify" a "news" story. Where was I when 1000+ people (which is a very small proportion of the US census) where asked? Polls are disceiving. When people realize this, maybe, just maybe, they will make up their OWN mind instead of being "lead". It's sad some people have to be told "what" to think, and NOT think for themselves...Sheep, sheep everywhere...Who wants to be a REAL shepherd!? NOT people in politics!! Sir Samuel Clemens

    January 24, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. GB

    The Republican plan is to ship all jobs overseas.

    January 24, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  7. They call me "tater salad"

    And another thing, I think one would have to poll more than just a paltry, 1,021 people to see how ALL the people of this country feel about certain things! Last time I checked, there were roughly 300 million people in this country.......Come on CNN stop trying to play us for chumps just so you can keep your precious ratings from plummeting any further than they already have in the past year!

    January 24, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  8. JES

    Why should this be a surprise we didn't want it in the first place but you did it anyway.

    You don't listen to the majority of the people.

    January 24, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  9. El Kababa

    All of the Conservatives are full of hot air about cutting spending, but no one happens to mention what they would cut. Perhaps the Conservatives here would give us their solution. The federal budget is about $3 trillion. To balance the budget, you need to cut $1 trillion from:

    Social Security: $0.7 Trillion
    Medicare, Medicaid $0.6 Trillion
    Interest, etc. $0.5 Trillion
    Defense $0.7 Trillion
    War on Terror $0.25 Trillion
    Depts: State, Educ,
    Health, Veterans $0.25 Trillion

    So all we have to do is eliminate Social Security and Medicare, right? Or, we can eliminate Defense and the War on Terror, right? Or, we could default on the national debt, stop paying interest, and get rid of the Defense Department. The bottom line is this: you can't find $1 trillion in cuts that a majority of American would support.

    January 24, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. Andy from CA

    People are not seeing job growth, that is why the poll numbers are what they are. Lets see what the poll numbers are when stimulus money has already been spent and fire houses, police precincts and schools start to close. All because municipalities cannot make budget. Americans are unable to see the forest for the trees. The stimulus was at best, a band aid. TARP bailed out the banks and the FED has been lending them money at 0% and in turn they have been charging 5% to lend that money when they feel like it and to select customers. Not to mention the multitude of fees they have enacted and interest rates they have hiked. So for businesses who want to expand, there is no liquidity and therefore no jobs. Lets not forget that the last time the banks went into the tank, it was the GREAT DEPRESSION which lasted for over a decade. One can only hope that the GREAT RECESSION does not last as long.

    January 24, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. Sue

    FATIMA – Let's not forget Barney Frank and Chris Dodd had a huge part in this mess, via FannieMae and FreddieMac. Do your research. This program had a huge part in bringing down the housing market and it rolled downhill since then.

    January 24, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain

    Here's an income-generating idea for our country:

    1. Reveal the names of all the Americans who have hidden money in Swiss bank accounts in an effort to avoid paying taxes.

    2. In addition to their names, include their political party affiliation.

    3. Collect those unpaid taxes.

    4. Put those monies towards funding the stimulus and/or paying down the deficit.

    January 24, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  13. W l Jones

    Stop all government spending for those have jobs and those want a job starting monday morning all local cities and towns pull the plus on all stop light. See who will call city hall for service.

    January 24, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain

    matto56: The President is our leader, which means that what he should be paying attention to is what the people want. In this case, people want jobs and a healthier economy.

    When it comes to what plans to implement to create those jobs and boost the economy, the President rightly turns to those with expertise, understanding and experience in these matters.

    No offense, but the average American is not a financial genius. If they were, they wouldn't have used their houses as ATMs, run up huge credit card debt and, in general, lived beyond their means. (Not all Americans; I'm just taking "average.").

    So I defer to President Obama's judgment in this matter. I am willing to support him and be patient in letting his policies and programs take effect.

    It takes time to clean up the kind of huge mess President Obama inherited. Surely, the “average American” can understand that.

    January 24, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  15. Mike in MN

    It's clear by all the comments comming from Obama, his staff, Democrat leaders, and posts here that liberal progressives are in a state of denial the like of wich I have never seen before. All evidence points to the fact that a majority of voters have rejected Obama's liberal progressive agenda. All evidence show this is a center right nation. All evidence shows that Obama won the support of Independents by campaigning as a centerist and has lost it by governing as a liberal progressive. The evidence is clear and consistant, supported by poll after poll after poll and is proven by the votes in Mass., NJ and Virginia. And the left calls the right dumb?

    January 24, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  16. Aaron

    The stimulus program has not created jobs! Perfect example is a project on a local road and bridge that had been in the planning stages for over a year before the stimulus was passed. Construction was started, a week later the stimulus was passed and now there are signs all over the place stating all the jobs were created by the reinvestment act and everyone believes it! Do people actually believe that because the government passed this bill that projects that take months and years to plan automatically popped up the next day?

    January 24, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  17. RONNIE

    The 56% need to remember it was Bush who started the stimulus program! He left enough money in the fund so Obama could help the auto companies! Vote the repukian's not Obama.

    January 24, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  18. NotFooledTX

    You may oppose it – no one likes spending money or adding to the deficit – but it was a necessary evil. Stop a minute and realistically think where this economy and country would be without it. There was no money moving through our economy – without the governments intervention, the situation could have been much worse.

    Do your research, facts bear out the truth.

    It's great to wail no new taxes and no debt, but what exactly is a reasonable alternative to the predicament we were in? Not one that sounds good on paper or on the stump, but is feasible in practice and reality.

    Research the rhetoric.

    I particularly shame the retpublicans for having no comprension of the realities of our situtation – they lead with their failed ideology and scaled down the more stimulative points of the bill. They got their tax cuts, why aren't we out of the hole already? They want to use the same broken-record ideology that they failed at and put us in this position in the first place. Sorry, you can fool me once. This trickery and mythological fantasy that republicans are fiscally conservative and responsible is just that – nothing but a myth.

    January 24, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  19. Tex Geoas

    By now, almost all Americans know that recessions slowly go away by themselves. They know that the government's involvement usually makes things WORSE not better. They also know that the Democrats have used the recession as a way to distribute OUR money to their political "friends", unions, ACORN, etc.

    What is important to know in this recession is that President Obama hasn't got the slightest bit of business experience... none. Whatever he does do... is likely to have disastrous results. His latest move to attack the banks, big business and Wall Street is INSANE.

    January 24, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  20. MikeJ

    Common sense asks if the first stimulus package did not work, why do you believe the second on will?

    January 24, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  21. b in FL

    The American people are impatient and extremely fickle. No, the stimulus package hasn't yet fully delivered on what it was intended to do but President Obama also said that it would take longer than one year for the money to start working. Has anyone stopped to ask where our economy would be if the stimulus package wasn't done. It's easy to criticize and say it hasn't worked but we were very close to a full blown depression and it did stop us from going over the cliff. I, for one, know my 401k has rebounded since President Obama took office. It's funny that you never hear any mention of 401k's plummeting anymore. It would be nice if the media could highlight the number of things that have improved over the last year but that would be asking too much!

    January 24, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  22. offwallst

    The real poll to look at is Gallop
    This poll has always given Obama the benefit of the doubt...guess what
    47% disapprove of him..an all time high

    January 24, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. Ancient Texan

    Think Again- Fox News? Nope. Though I do watch Fox, along with almost all the others. I've managed to live long enough to have lived through most of the history from FDR until now. Yes he was responsible for those agencies and a whole lot more, some good and some bad. The Civilian Consevation Corp and The Works Progress Admin. put a lot of people to work. But some were also unconstitutional and eliminated. The fact remains though the New Deal did help, it took World War II to finally get the depression behind us. (Oh, by the way, The Interstate Highway System credit goes to Dwight D Eisenhower. Brought into being in 1956.)

    January 24, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  24. mike in tx

    The stimulus didn't create any jobs. It was used for worthless democratic party pet projects that as usual produce nothiong. They always want to give money to people who don't work much less produce a job. They would have done better to divide the money among the people who actually pay taxes. The rest deserve nothing. They're nothing but a load holding the producers of this country back. You people need to quit whining about the rich. Get off your butt and improve your yourself and quit worrying about what everybody else has.

    January 24, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  25. Concernedthinker

    Honestly, I'm pretty sure most Americans have no Idea why they dislike the stimulus package. We have a 14 trillion dollar economy, does anyone think that 700 billion dollars spread over two years was going to do anything spectacular? Without it, unemployment would be much higher and state services would have been curtailed. Of course, the democrats had to add a lot of useless tax cuts into the package to appease conservative democrats and the 3 lousy republican votes. Tax cuts are pretty useless by the way. GWB drastically cut taxes and look at what happened. Budget deficits, over reliance on China, lack of strategic investment in energy, etc. The Republican Party screwed this country for probably the next generation or so. that's my rant of the day

    January 24, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
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