August 17th, 2009
12:39 PM ET
11 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. Al-NY,NY

    I suppose that all the wing nuts that say this poll shows failure are the same ones that dispute the validity of any poll that shows the GOP in a bad light. Can we say selective memories?

    August 17, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. jimbo

    I am so tired of hearing blame it on the previous administration. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were controlled by democratic appointees and when questions wer raised, they were swept under the carpet. There is more than enough blame to go around, but that will not fix anything. I am also tired of some idiot playing the race card everytime President Obama gets criticised. He is the president, but you have to wear your big boy britches and quit relying on what Al sharoton and Jesse Jackson tell you. Try to become successful in spite of roadblocks, not a failure because of them. You will be amazed at what you can do when you quit listening to those guys

    August 17, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  3. Andy

    Yea let's all trust a poll given to average Americans who probably don't understand economics in the first place. Let's then have it reported on a site/media outlet like CNN that just reports any headline they can to get ratings, i.e. DEATH PANELS! Come on people stop polling middle America and start polling educated people in cities.

    August 17, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. sam Datum

    Of course it's working. How ridiculous. The guy was hired in Jan, faced the worst economic downturn in 70 years and we already have concrete signs of improvement.

    August 17, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  5. Marko

    Scary times. So many irrational people. Let the stimulus work. See what is happening in Japan and Europe. Directly tied to their stimulus packages.

    August 17, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  6. donttreadonme

    It is working just fine for the big union bosses and the alternative energy and green lobbyists. A little payback was in order for all of their hard work in getting Obama elected. The folks at MSNBC aren’t doing too bad either with parent company GE getting billions in stimulus money!

    Some times you just got to pay back those who helped you along the way....even if it bankrupts the country!

    August 17, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. WhoCares?

    I guess they don't listen to financial guru's and experts them.

    Why do that...that might force them to stop hating the Black guy.

    August 17, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  8. America Shrugged

    When we had a fake economy for the 6 of the 8 Bush years, folks were happy and spending like crazy, spending money they didn't have. Now all the sudden, they are unemployed and attending town hall meetings screaming down their representatives over Birth Certificates and senior citizens are whining about Gov takeover of their healthcare. It's a scream. I'm a fairly educated person and for these posters to come on these threads, chatrooms, and blogs and claim to have read and understand the legaleze of HR3200 are nothing more than liars. I'm still wading through it and for the life of me, can't find the death panels, where medicare will be dissolved, or where Obama hid his long form BC. I agree with the other poster, Americans have become so arrogant and self serving. It's why we are in the mess we are in right now.

    August 17, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  9. henry

    Stop the nonsense!

    August 17, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  10. Mike

    Why is this news? Asking for public opinion is waaaay ahead of the curve on this issue. Most of the stimulus money has not even been distributed yet, much less had time to make a difference! Speaking as someone living in the Gulf South, the Katrina funding that Congress announced took well over 2 years (more like 3 for most of it!) to arrive where it was needed - and we're still waiting for some of it, now almost 4 years later! Folks, the wheels of progress move slowly in Washington, so don't expect miracles to happen just because funding plans have been announced and/or funds are 'appropriated'. It ain't over till the fat lady sings - or in this case - till the checks clear. Watch for a very different picture by mid-2010... or at least I hope so.

    August 17, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  11. hypocrites_are_everywhere

    At times, stimulus helps alleviate deep pain! What do you think China is doing when they keep their currency value low.... it's a national stimulus, big time! And you can bet ya that it has been working.

    We need more effective stimulus programs (e.g. we should raise the requirements for the "cash for clunkers" trade up vehicles to +35mpg for new cars; +25 for SUVs; etc.).

    August 17, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  12. T'SAH from Virginia

    The PARTY of NO is constantly in the news saying NO to everything.... RIOTS are taking place at town hall meetings caused by the PARTY of NO... The media – loving the excitement – shows WHITE folks on TV shouting and complaining about the Health Care Reform... The PARTY of NO senators are speaking to audiences about Euthanize; Panel of Death; pulling the plug on grandma... the POLLS poll in those demographic areas where the up roaring is occurring...


    This is the perfect recipe and the perfect time to take a poll about the stimulus – which in my opinion did work immediately in my case because it saved my job and MANY others!!!


    August 17, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  13. Kevin B

    As for the alligator tears from the GOP types about the deficit.

    All the Obama team did was add the cost of the wars to budget for a honset accounting, which added roughly 800 billion to a trillion based on whose numbers you beleive.

    Bush hid the cost of the wars and some of you idiots believe the deficit just appeared on January 20th of 2009.

    How stupid are you people?

    August 17, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  14. Really thats not what you said last week

    Thats funny, because the last poll you did on the stimulus you said people did think it was working and that was a week ago. Stop the polls, if you going to poll don't let people comment becasue that just polorizes the dems and the reps and the blog bickering begins instead of have a contructive dialogue

    August 17, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  15. WhoCares?

    You know the tools that voted "fail" looked in their wallats and said "Well...Obama hasn't given me as much money as I wanted...FAIL!"

    August 17, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  16. Operation Crush Rush

    Henry Paulson and his friends just loved that first 700 billion Bush gave him.He says hi from the Islands.hahaha

    August 17, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  17. Gary

    This poll proves that many people have short attention spans. It took eight years of mismanagement to create the current crisis, how can someone reasonably expect a turnaround after three or four months? No one said the stimulus package was a cure all for the economy and thus far its primary impact has been to cushion the fall. It's also important to remember that most of the money in the stimulus package hasn't been spent yet. It is too soon to reach a conclusion on its impact, which won't stop anyone from preying on the public's real fears with misinformation and outright lies.

    If someone has better ideas to stimulate demand and unfreeze credit markets let's hear them. The reason the GOP spends all its time tearing down everything the current administration wants to do is because they don't have any ideas to stimulate demand and unfreeze credit markets beyond screaming "socialism" and "fascism." Lest we forget that was eight years of Republican control of the White House (including GOP control of Congress for most of that time) that helped to create this mess.

    August 17, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  18. Jim Voigh

    1) The Government feeling compelled to "do something" about the flailing economy; 1) Too much pork packaged into the stimulus package; 2) Stimulus money being used to cover buget gap; 3)Total lack of oversight once the money is handed out.

    The "Stimulus" idea is great in theory. In reality it was a big, fat flop!!

    August 17, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  19. Pepou

    How come France, Germany, Japan are out of the recession and not us ?

    August 17, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  20. Ren from Baltimore

    It took us decades of decadence, outlandish spending and eating and consumption, to get this nation in the shape it is now. We are not going to get out of the fiscal or health crisis overnight, no matter what the media mavens try to insist.

    August 17, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  21. Keith

    The smoke is clearing and the emperor has no clothes.....
    Obama is EXACTLY what we said he was...a community organizer...nothing more....

    August 17, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Most Americans are not literate regarding macroeconomics either. The stimulus prevented this from being the Second Great Depression, and limited it only to being the biggest recession since the Great Depression. Most Americans alive today do not realize how bad the depression was.

    August 17, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  23. Polar Bears Against Palin

    CNN, which corporate sponser (that has you in its back pocket) told you to report this?

    John King and Lou Dobbs suck!

    August 17, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  24. PJ

    Only 10-15% has been spent. Most of it won't be emploed until
    2011 and later. This clearly was not what we needed NOW. It was a waste of taxpayer dollars, to buy off Pelosi and the Dems at the get-go. We needed new infrastructure projects. Instead, they are filling potholes. What a joke.

    August 17, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  25. silvio

    Most Americans are stupid. They voted for Obama.

    August 17, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
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