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. J.Crobuzon

    Still better than the Republican initiative of sitting on their hands when they weren't outsourcing their marriages to Argentina.

    August 17, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. jimbo

    you don't like the results, so right away, the poll was conducted using uneducated and backward people that don't know what they are talking about? what an elitist sounding bunch of crap. you have no idea who they talked to

    August 17, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. Susan

    You were a sucker if you thought it was going to work!

    August 17, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  4. Coop

    It's only 8 months from a decade of bad economy in US... People, let the Stimulus work.... during my team meeting last week, on my job, my VP said that June and July were the Best months so far since the economic woes that my company faced...even better than last year June and July.... Obama did not Promised swift fixes of the economic woes... Be patient.... This man has been President for ONLY EIGHT MONTHS...

    August 17, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  5. Johnny DC

    Did the stimulus save some jobs? Sure. Some.

    Did the stimulus create some jobs? Sure. A few.

    Was the stimulus even close to worth almost a trillion taxpayer dollars, and did it have even the slightest effect to slow the recession down? Absolutely not.

    This was a chance for the government to grow, and for the federal government to seize control of states' rights by forcing them to accept stimulus money with conditions for future control.

    The public knows it. We're stupid, but we're not that stupid. Citizens 1, Congress 0.

    August 17, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    What the majority of people believe and what constitutes the truth are often two very disparate things.

    August 17, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  7. Kevin in Ohio

    It is .... and will be .... a disaster. Far from creating jobs, it will cost jobs in the longrun because basic economic principles are being totally ignored.

    August 17, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  8. Just Me

    Well, I'm not an economist or a politician - just an ordinary citizen. But I have received no benefit from the stimulus money. the town I live in has received no money from it. My state is so overextended and teetering on the brink of bankruptcy that the few stimulus dollars our state accepted (destined for road projects in a different part of the state) didn't make an impact on anyone. People can say, "give it time," etc., but all around me I see dairies going out of business, families struggling and charities trying their best to keep up with a growing number of people who need basic help – food, clothing, shelter and gas. Ironically, neither the stimulus or the cash for clunkers program isn't aimed at any of these folks who need the help the most.

    August 17, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  9. JP

    Surprise surprise! Not one thing that this administration has gotten right........ (que sounds of crickets chirping)

    August 17, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  10. SV

    The pollsters conducting these polls are rethug hacks. I have never seen so many polls come out in first 6-8 month of any Presidency. Pollsters trick the people by asking double ended quesion and they interpret the answer the way they like. Stimulus will and must work over time. Most accurate poll will come on eve of 2010 election.

    August 17, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. ron

    I'm happy to see so a majority of people on this blog understand that 6 months to cure 29 years of right-wing blunders and false ideologies is maybe just not quite enough time to make everything all better...

    Give it a little time, our nations is slowly recovering. Just like the last time the Democrats had to fix the Republican mess from the '20s.

    August 17, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  12. Billy from NC

    It seems that "economic stimulus" by definition is policy and action taken to give a short-term lift to the economy. Unfortunately, it was sold as a means to increase job creation – which can work in the public sector and in a short-term way in the private sector. But it won't be enough to make a real difference. I hear and read people commenting that "it took us 8 years to get into this mess". That's just politics... don't get sidetracked by that. The irony is there is no correct action being taken to prevent another financial system meltdown, as a matter of fact if you dig deeper you realize that it is being made worse. This fall will be even worse.

    August 17, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  13. Big John

    As President Obama said; the economy is like an ocean liner trying to do a U-turn, it takes time.

    August 17, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. TCM

    The stimulus is a flop? Heck, this whole administration's a flop...

    tax and spend during recessionary times....econ 101 tells you not to do that...

    The biggest issue with Obama, Gibbs, Pelosi...and the rest of the libs is their arrogant attitude. They are PUBLIC SERVANTS...but want to carry on as if they're royalty....They're far too inexperienced in everything from finance to simple management to be holding these postions.

    August 17, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. Ian

    Wow! I really enjoyed this article and the small "debate" that went with it. May I ask a question if you please?... (this is for Randolph, Tony in Maine and Jose Awesome) who elected this president? ...just economist? ... just people with technical expertise or the American people? Get off that pony read and listen. Thats all you have to do. Dont be some kind of bonehead with a negative opinion about everything. Be a litle more open minded and think. Give the Man (Prez) some time and lets see what happens. If the American people doesnt like him its called:impeachment. If they do its called: reelection.

    Stop-Listen- Think

    August 17, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  16. Post always rejected by CNN

    So all the work being done in Minnesota on roads and bridges, brought about by the stimulus is a flop. What did people expect for the country to got back to millions and millions of manufacturing and electronic jobs that bush and company sent overseas come back. That will never happen. The only thing to be done is cut of the tax benefits for those anti-American companies that went overseas and still receive those tax breaks. I think every single item MADE BY THESE COMPANIES overseas should be sold in this country at the same price it would take to make one here. That way they would stop going....they wouldn't get the benefits of the 1 and hour wage they get overseas.

    August 17, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  17. Rick

    Bush – Obama – Bush – Obama – Bush – what?

    In over forty (40) years since Medicade, NO ADMINISTRATION

    August 17, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  18. illinoistom

    Since the "stimulus" bill was never intended to help the economy, it can't be considered a flop. It was and is a bailout for failed state social programs, balanced with pork barrel paybacks for Democrat districts, with a few billion in infrastructure thrown in so we can pretend it saved a few jobs.

    August 17, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  19. Chad

    You all are just angry because Obama’s plan flopped. If Bush had signed this stimulus, you would be screaming “flopped”. Just admit it, Obama made a bad decision, just like his socialist based health care program.

    August 17, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  20. Karen

    I definitely feel the stimulus is working. It will take time and there is no immediate fix. It took Bush eight years to bring this Country to its knees financially, why do these fickle people think Obama should turn it around in six months? Why is Obama blamed for the huge deficit when it started with Bush and his administration spending all the surplus, plus creating a huge deficit. I get so disgusted with the disgruntled people. We have a President finally working and doing an excellent job, and they still complain.

    August 17, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  21. T

    People really need to give this President and the Stimulus time to see a real recovery, say about a year or 18 months. He's been in office for six months. Give this president a chance. From what i am reading it is not only the conservatives and Republicans, it is the Democrats and the liberals trying to ram an agenda down too quickly and too fast. Give this some more time.

    August 17, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  22. VB Lincoln Park NJ

    Every major economic indicator has risen in the past several months, but slowly. Economic disasters like the one brought to us by you know who, last year, will take time to recover. Every previous recession took one year or more to disappear, and this one is no different.

    August 17, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  23. miken

    obama is a flop and a flip-flop!!!

    August 17, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  24. Gary, Indiana

    And I'm calling our current President a flop as well!

    August 17, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  25. Republicans is smart in the head area

    Whine complain moan. Whine complain moan. It's been 6 months since the stimulus and it hasn't counteracted the 8 years of fiscal abomination that marked the Bush Administration. Whine complain moan, Whine complain moan. This is Obama's fault. And if it isn't his then it's Clinton's fault! Whine complain moan.

    August 17, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
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