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. Lynda/Minnesota

    Google the poll and the advertisements which go with it.

    Enough said . . .

    August 17, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  2. Chipster

    We have 24/7 cable TV and radio, pretending to be news when all they are actually doing is stirring up controversy to boost their ratings. It isn't in the best interest of these outlets to report the NEWS. CNN suggested recently that the Administration should answer a list of questions about TARP. Why doesn't CNN report the answers to those questions?

    I went to the government website and found them! All CNN has to do is ask but that isn't in their best interest because anger insures ratings.

    August 17, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  3. Sam in Houston

    how much longer are we going to blame Bush? you need to remember the dem took over and in 2006. Before then the country was doing okay. Wake up and realize the truth behind this mess. Yes i know its only been 6.5 months and NObama cant work miracles in that time frame. what needs to do is slow down and think before you makes a move. He still have 3.5 years to make the change. I cant understand why he is doing what he is doing. He is try to secure that 2012 vote. Which isnt going to happen becuase the american people are waking up.

    August 17, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  4. Blutarski

    Hey all the Libs blamed Bush for 911 because he was in office when it happened, even though the run up to the attack took most of the 8 years Clinton was in Office. Guess that means Obama owns this economic mess lock stock and barrel too. Can't blame Bush for Economy 2009 any more that you can blame Clinton for 911.

    August 17, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  5. Obama Victim

    The Obama administraion......2009-2013 R I P

    August 17, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. Dem-founded

    Did anyone keep the receipt for the stimulus money we got from the Chinese? Look on the back and see what the return policy is – maybe we can give some of it back with no penalty?

    August 17, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  7. Jackie

    Shouldn't the success of the stimulus be judged based on a comparison of where we'd be without it? I don't know the answer to that, so I would not be able to answer the question. The fact that so many Americans are giving a black/white answer to such a complex question is really frustrating. The question itself is just not a useful one to ask.

    August 17, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. Enough

    Do you really need a poll to tell you that the pork filled stimulus was a total failure??

    August 17, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  9. Robin in SC

    1) Only a fraction of the money has been spent to date.
    2) This mess took 8 years to won't be fixed in 7 months.
    3) Bush ok'd the first stimulus payout...this ain't Obama's baby!
    4) What's your 401K/profit sharing/retirement account balance now compared to late last year? I've recouped all that I lost and then
    5) What's the housing market doing now compared to early this year? All indicators are that its picking up quicker than expected.
    6) Is unemployment still in a freefall compared to early this year? Numbers are leveling out...the first step toward reduction of this final economic rebound indicator.

    Apparently the pollsters polled the Americans with their head in the sand...the same ones who think the health care industry is in fine shape.

    August 17, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  10. Wake Up

    Every economic response (including Bush's) has been a flop! Bailing out banks, buying car companies and wasting 780 billion on this stimulus is awful. Let's get back to free markets...nothing is too big to fail. Wake up people, Obama is even worse than Bush! Don't be partisan. Obama is on a spending binge that will hurt us for decades.

    August 17, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  11. Chuck

    It's hilarious. Most people agreed that, even if everything works, we couldn't dream to see a complete recovery withing Obama's first TERM, and that's he'd likely have to pay the consequence of losing re-election, even if his policies end up saving the country 5-6 years down the road.

    GOP and Dems, when passing the stimulusl, were quick to caution us that the impact would not be felt immediately.

    Now the peanut gallery is already judging it to be a failure? Now it's evident why the GOP has been waging war against public education for so long – they have us right where they want us – dumb, panicky, and willing to tremble at their every cue.

    August 17, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  12. Steve

    Can you stop with the "if you don't agree with the stimulus then give it back" nonsense? Giving it back, or not accepting it, won't make it not be spent. The government will just give it to someone else. You (an individual, a state) almost have to take it so you aren't disadvantaged over the next person/state, since we're all paying for it anyway. I'm not even getting to whether stimulus funds are being handed out fairly as it is...

    August 17, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  13. jim

    but the rich are richer!!!

    How can anyone say it failed? I think it worked as intended.

    August 17, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  14. S Callahan

    Just a thought....the stimulus can not work unless ALL the money is distributed....we stil have not had a fair accounting of 'where' the monies have 'whose' account..and applied 'where'. But then again, I did post last year that it is only fair to acknowledge that God has had enough...he told us ..Therefore lay aside all fithiness and overthrow of wickedness and recieve with meakness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls (James chp 1:21)...but no one listened. Look, I have been recording God's doing, as he does work through the last year alone..CNN you have to admit..his fury is up, and rightly so. Politicians you are running out of chances.

    August 17, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  15. S M R

    Another poll that don't mean nothing. These right wing hicks are over loading the system with multiple voting. These People are blinded with stupidity and are an EMBARRASSEMENT to the world.

    August 17, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  16. Island girl

    Sorry to be so blunt, but this poll was not conducted among educated people.

    August 17, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  17. Troop

    Most people I know just call it a political payoff. It was the biggest scam and give away for politcal support in our country's history. On top of that there is no dispute it has not worked. It was the Obama bait and switch. Democrats I guess figured the economy would recover by itself quicker and this was just a Thanks for getting me elected gift.

    August 17, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  18. T'SAH from Virginia

    WOW – it saved my job and hundreds others, including TEACHERS!!! So does it mean if some lost their jobs and some were SAVED – it's not working???

    Again, another POLL that most of us was not a part of!!!???

    August 17, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  19. Uff Da!

    This poll just goes to show how stupid and forgetful the American Public has become.

    August 17, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  20. mtv

    Uhhmmm while everyone is Blaming you need to be reminded that Bush and the GOP came up with the Stimulus and they are the ones who DID NOT MONITOR the first Round.............

    August 17, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  21. Mississippi Mike

    What? How dare you say that throwing money away on useless short-term projects won't stimulate the economy. That's like saying the the massive taxation that will be required to pay this off will be painful to the generations that will follow. Also, why ask the American public what their opinion is? They need to just lay back and let the political elites run their lives for them.

    August 17, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  22. Mitch

    Yup, that's why the market has gained over 2,000 pts. since the end of the Bush Administration, that's why there was actually job GROWTH in July, that's why over 50% of economists have declared the recession to be over. Because the stimulus didn't work.

    Just like most other issues in this country, the uneducated American public is once again falling victim to sensationalist journalism and reporting. Overall, things have gotten better, though I'm sure not for everyone.

    Does anyone honestly think the McCain plan or the Republican's plan (which would have let the banks fail, lost most automaker's jobs, and followed the same econonmic philosophies that got us into this mess) would have been better? PLEASE.

    I'm hurting like everyone. But I have a hell of a lot more optimism in someone who's at least working to solve the problems, instead of those who already have pleny of financial security and whose philosohies got us into this mess in the first place.

    August 17, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  23. Wake Up

    For you who questoin polls...they are scientific. They aren't partisan. They take an accurate random sampling. The person identified themselves as a teacher and questioned the poll saying "I wasn't called"....are you really a teacher?? Wow, too bad your job was saved, because it's scary if that's your answer. READ A BOOK, NOT A BLOG.

    August 17, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  24. Tom Paine

    the "stimulus" is only a flop in that it didn't work and tripled the nation's debt overnight. But, otherwise it was brillant move by Obama!

    August 17, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  25. Better do something

    Were not in the middle of a great depression right now so I would say it is working. My 401K is sure looking lot better than it did a few months ago. Thank you President Obama. You are doing what is best for the country even if people are too blind to see that.

    August 17, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
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