August 17th, 2009
12:39 PM ET
12 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. Dean P. Valencia, CA

    Since the economy is improving, the remaining stimulus $ should be returned to the taxpayer. Stop the spending.

    August 17, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  2. Billy J Texas

    I wouldn't have expected the former administration to put money for stimulus into anything except Haliburton, Oil Companies, or Bankers pockets. But even if they DID pass a stimulus bill, I wouldn't expect the economy to go from rock bottom to the top in 6 months. Look how long it took to steal the surplus and break the country since 2000. Complainers are probably folks who still can't accept the fact that the last 8 years were designed to stick it to the middle class. And these are the folks who complain about 'wealth re-distribution'. I weep for how big the mess is. I will be old and dead before we get over the last 8 years.

    August 17, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  3. KMAN

    As with any subject of any depth ... listening to what the "American People THINK" is a waste of time, unless you are trying to gauge the depth of ignorance shared by the majority of Americans at any given time on any given subject. We as a nation are woefully ignorant regarding just about everything of importance, but we sure as hell seem to have an opinion about everything! However, we do seem to excel at knowing what every Hollywood celebrity or pro-athlete is up to!

    August 17, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  4. Hugo

    Another poorly thought out plan of action by a bunch of inexperienced bureaucrats! Do you think that a free year from taxation for middle class America and a streamlined process for permitting new projects that would create jobs might be a better idea? These elitist politicians are so far removed from our common everyday world that they do not even have a clue what it takes to survive off the government teat! Hillary was right, who do you want to take that call at 3:00 AM?

    August 17, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  5. FactCheck

    Last weekend, I drove out to the East Coast through the Pennsylvania turnpike. The turnpike is undergoing some major necessary revisions, including new pavements, expansion of lanes at busy throughfares and some very necessary night lighting. There were signs everywhere that the new developments were paid for by the Recovery Act. I guess shaving nicer roads must be a flop. I guess all of those jobs that were created to undertake the construction were also flops.

    August 17, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  6. MomofFour

    Most of the stimulus is political payback to the far-left groups that got him elected. It's a bunch of garbage is what it is. It would be in our country's best interest to put the money back and take it off the debt. We have to pay back this huge debt Obama is putting on our back and the more money our treasury has to print the less valuable our dollar becomes. We can have all the best healthcare and the "cleanest energy" on's not going to be worth rationing food and toilet paper for. These far-left pet projects have gotten out of control. The real test is whether Obama is strong enough to control the far-left of the DNC. I don't think he can.

    August 17, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  7. Johny

    So if all you Obamabots are not experts in economics, how can you say the stimulus is working?

    August 17, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  8. Butch Dillon

    This is a fair response to the stimulus program. When the economy receives its highest grades it's only because consuming Americans are contributing heavily to the GDP. When Americans are spending, their personal economies are healthy. The stimulus has not restored consumers' personal economies to health so the stimulus can only be adjudged negatively. It's the JOBS, stupid!

    August 17, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  9. Beny

    Americans are stupid. We want immediate gratification. It took 8 years to get us in this mess, I'm willing to give Obama 8 years to get us out of it.

    August 17, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  10. Bob in Pa

    The recovery will come on its own, unfortunately, the stimulus bill will stall it. Thes chuckleheads in Congress still haven't learned that problems don't just go away because you throw money at it.

    August 17, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  11. Jorge Martinez

    Sound financial principals have been ignored (and continue to be), and this is why we are in a hole. We are generating spending on projects that give us the illusion of recovery, but unfortunately they have no inherent lasting value. Sooner than later we will have to pay back (get ready for new taxes). Stop the waste now!

    August 17, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. Marco

    I agree that the second stimulus was just full of Democrat pork. The amount of time the Obama administration is taking to spend it is horrible as well. Overall, it's just more debt racked up by Obama, the man trying to make himself out to be a "fiscally" keen politicians. I really hope Americans come to their senses next election and vote for another candidate.

    And people, please stop deluding yourselves into thinking Bush was responsible for all this. Aside from Iraq, there is really NOTHING the man did that was out of the ordinary for a president... except maybe racking up record debt but even that seems so minuscule compared to what Obama is causing now.

    August 17, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  13. Marcus, Great Lakes Illinois

    I don't know about anyone else but, where I live they have been working on the roads, something that hasn't happened in years. Last winter we were riding on roads with the same pot holes that haven't been filled in two years.

    August 17, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  14. Oregon calling

    When in doubt, poll Republicans... duh...

    Peace 🙂

    August 17, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  15. Darth Vadik, CA

    If you are over 50, please excuse yourself from the dialogue please. I'm talking to the baby boomers. You inereted a country that was #1 in just about everything, and you are leaving us a country that is on a verge of bankruptcy, no helathcare, and multiple unecessary wars.

    If I was you, I'd be so ashamed that I would go hide in a hole for the rest of my life.

    Yes,all of you who let, starting with Nixon all the way to GW Bush take everything that made this country great, that is taking everything from the middle class and giving it to the fat cats. Now we, and thank God you too, will pay the price for it.

    August 17, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  16. Harrison White

    We Americans, the spoiled children of the western world, expect overnight results from everything. Only about one-third of the stimulus money is out there. In our own geographic area, allocations have just been announced, but companies are glad for the preservation/ creation of jobs.

    Give this a little time. Remember that the recession has been underway since December of 2007. And...its roots go back eight years.

    August 17, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. Right Leaning Independent

    The stimulus plan was a way to hide pay backs for companies and organizations that supported Obama and not much more!! A waste of money that folks should be held accountable for!!

    August 17, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  18. Robin in Tampa, FL

    I know the stimulus money directly saved several employees from loosing their jobs at my institution.

    August 17, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  19. Nutty Nancy

    The USA Today/Gallup survey is obviously polling dissenting angry mobs of un-American GOPers!

    August 17, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  20. Common Sense

    They would have been better off giving each taxpayer 150K each. Imagine the cars, homes, home impovements that would have energized the ENTIRE economy..

    August 17, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  21. Wise Latina

    That big swoooshing noise is the sound of our hard earned money (at least that of the 49% of us that actually pays any taxes) going right down the ol' Obama crapper.

    The firts one has done so much good, how about another stimulus package? I hear that ACORN is taking all the money that we can give them, and will do a bang up job in collecting the census and also guaranteeing that the Dems win the next two elections.

    August 17, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  22. Janice in Mississippi

    It is strange that as many these so called polls have "supposedly" been taken, many people I asked have never been polled; and I definitely have never been polled regarding this administration, the stimulus, nor the economy.


    August 17, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  23. fortydam

    It took time to get this bad! It's going to take time for it to recover. Too many people are bad mouthing the government, when they should have been questioning the spending on wars that didn't need to be fought. Too many people getting all of their information from Hanity, Limbaugh. Colter, and the new sold his soul to the devil calls himself a "Mormon' Glenn Beck.

    And the biggest lie on health care reform! We will pay for illegal's health care with Obama's plan. Who do you think pays for their health care now? We do! They go into every emergency room in the country, and get regular services. WE PAY FOR THEM WITH OUR PREMIUMS.

    AS Jim Morrison would say ....... WAKE UP

    August 17, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  24. Joe In Nj

    The left wing blinded whacko's on this site are nauseating. The only defense these people have is that this is ALL Bush's fault. I guess Bush was to plame for European countries recessions. Or Japans. Yes, Fault the evil one GEORGE W. BUSH! You people should get together & go bowling, it would sound like a bowling alley.

    August 17, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  25. Where are the 4 Million Jobs that were suppose to be created by the Stimulus Bill

    He said unemployment would go above 8% & it would create 4 Million jobs.......ROFL

    August 17, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
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