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. Mr. Moderate

    A problem in the reporting....

    "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."

    So you combined two answers (not working and no effect) and got 57%, while 40% say it's made things better. So that would indicate a plurality of respondents feel it's working. Reporting like this a year ago would have elicited shrieks of media bias from the right.

    August 17, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  2. Four and The Door

    The idea of massive government spending to actually get an economy back up and running has never worked, here or anywhere else. This idea was doomed from the start. Then, it was executed with so many unproductive projects you would have to believe that the administration and congress knew that it was not going to create jobs anyway. They were still giddy from winning the election. I consider the stimulus as kind of their own way of celebrating their historic victory. Our kids get to pay for the party.

    August 17, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  3. David

    Wasn't it like 75% that approved of the Iraq War when it was getting started? You think only the leaders make mistakes? How many are willing to bet that George Bush will be polled as great in less then 10 years?

    August 17, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  4. CF

    Just because those polled THINK it is not working doesnt mean that its not. Fact is, it IS working. Jobless rate has slowed dramatically, economic state is increasing. Things arent perfect yet, but they would be MUCH WORSE without the stimulus. We're on the road to recovery, as Obama promised, but it will be a long, difficult road which Obama also made no secret about. It will take time for the stimulus to seep into every nook and cranny left by 8 years of carelessness and ignorance. There is no "quick fix"

    August 17, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  5. Kevin B

    Please explain:

    How its it that the stock market has experienced a steady rise

    (TARP funds stabilized the banking system).

    How has GM and Chrysler have exited bankruptcy and even begining to post small profits for the first time in over 2 years?

    (Government intervention, cash for clunkers saving countless jobs)

    Unemployment begining to slow down and housing starts up?

    (Stimulus money preserving state and local Jobs, cops, teachers,etc)

    If some americans expected to return to the irrational and irresponsible days of GWB, then of course it is not working for them.

    This poll is a poll of the willfully ignorant or those who expected uncle sam to send them all a fat check , in which case the expectations were unrealistic to begin with.

    August 17, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  6. j

    WOW! CNN how can we trust you when you took the "Death Panal" lie. Hook, line and sinker. The most trust name in news?

    August 17, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  7. Reggie

    It's flop because Obama is horrible at releasing the funds in a timely fashion, but he's fast at spending.

    August 17, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  8. swamper

    Have not seen a thing it has done around this area. waste of money by government as usual.

    August 17, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  9. Dave in Houston

    Most Americans are stupid. FOX News will never admit the stimulus is working.

    Any adult would realize that the stimulus would take a long time and fix things slowly but surely. President Obama's stimulus is doing just that, so the majority answered the survey wrong.

    August 17, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  10. Dione

    Maybe if the media would explain that the stimulus plan was supposed to work over a 2 year period and not instantly, maybe the public would understand that it is much too soon to call it a failure or a success. That fact that most economists are sayting that we are beginning to come out of the recession and that history shows that job growth won't start to make an impact for at last 18 months to 2 years, it looks more like things are on track.

    August 17, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  11. JR

    The housing market is still a mess...where are the modifications? B of A won't help you unless you miss a payment? The money should have gone to the homeowner...not the banks.

    August 17, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    I challenge CNN to come up with a more meaningless poll. Seriously. How many people out of a random sample of approx 1,000 would be able to convince you they know the first thing about comlicated economics issues? Maybe that's the poll that should be done first: figure out how many people have even remotely sufficient economics knowledge to understand what really landed us in this mess and how we're going to get out of it...let alone balance their own checkbook.

    This poll is nothing more than a measure of how disgruntled people are and...shocker of shockers...the fact that because we're still in a recession that is only beginning to show the signs of easing, people are still feeling the pinch. Whoopty doo. But hey, it gave the nasty GOPer segment of the CNN crowd something to believe justified their "I told you so" nonsense. Throw the dog a bone much?

    August 17, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  13. joe

    When will CNN stop working for Republicans. Look at state of the union w/ john King. What an embarrassment!

    August 17, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  14. 30m-PA-Dem

    Change you can believe in, folks!

    August 17, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  15. ken

    the majority of americans aren't smart enough to know if the stimulus package is working. just like the people that are disrupting the town hall meetings. i would love to hear the responses of any of these people if they were actually asked what exactly they don't like about the stimulus package or health care would be "ah, wait untill i listen to rush, then i'll tell you".

    August 17, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  16. Jeffer65

    How can it be a flop if alot of the $ has not been spent yet?

    August 17, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  17. S M R

    This stimulus package is designed to be used in a slow, steady pace. Only 15% used to date,so what is the BIG problem? Oh that's right, OBAMA IS BLACK.

    August 17, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  18. seth

    I like the way the opinions of 1010 people are generalized over the US population of 300 million.

    August 17, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  19. chas

    It is mind blowing how stupid (or immoral) so many of the American people are. That's the only reason they would ignore the facts, twist the truth and support the insurance co's- uh, I mean the gop. The bible said something about if a man has two pair of shoes and his neighbor has none, you help! However these hypocritical conservatives have the attitude that they have theirs so the devil with everyone else. No use trying to reason with them, just run over them mr. President! Most Americans are with you.

    August 17, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  20. TCRNY

    This result is baffling to me. All signs indicate that the recession is bottoming out and the economy improving. How do people think that happened? Poltergeist? Do they not teach cause and effect in high school these days?

    August 17, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  21. Paul from Phoenix

    Obama himself admitted the stimulus was filled with pork projects that were part of "last year's business."

    However, he also said that if this bill was passed, unemployment wouldn't go above 8%. Hmmmmm.

    America was sold a bill of goods on the stuimulus, and on this President.

    August 17, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  22. Bill

    This is more of poll about Americans' lack of understanding of money matters. That's why rebate checks are such a great political ploy ("duh...der...doye...hey look, money!").

    August 17, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  23. Shari, NY

    An additional note: Mayor Mike Bloomberg is supposed to be a Republian who started distancing himself during the past elections and now labels himself as an Independent. He is gleefully using the stimulus money that other states want no part of FOR EXAMPLE, 1) poor as a churchmouse, South Carolina whose govenor is more into Argentinian matters than US affairs, and Louisiana (Bobby Jindal's state which lost thousands of lives, livestock and homes to Katrina while Bush and company had a Texas barbeque). Need I say more?

    August 17, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  24. Allen, Cypress, Texas

    All these doubters will have to eat their words when the economy start turning around next year. You canbot expect eight years of wasteful spending on stupid wars, Medicare prescription drug bill that was never paid for, defence spending that was going through the roof for weapons the Pentagon never wanted, tax cuts that was suppose to stimulate the economy but instead got Wall Street to get GREEDY, and expect the economy to flourish. We were in a bad shape, the Bush Administration knew it but kept it under wraps until after the election and worst yet, left it for the Obama administration to deal with. This current government is dealing with as best as possible. If you want to blame antbody for the worst economy since the Great Depression, blame Bush and the Republicans because they controlled Congress six of the last eight years. Now they want to blame it on Obama. These people are blaming and opposing eerything Obama does to mask their abject racism.

    August 17, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  25. Mike

    Interesting reading of the poll: 41% think it has helped. 31% think it has hurt. The rest don't know, but that somehow translates to 57% disapprove, even though more people think it has helped than hurt? When they did that town hall poll, it was similar, but the headline was, "Indies support protesters 2:1", when that wasn't the case... that's the "liberal" media for ya!

    August 17, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
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