January 26th, 2010
05:30 AM ET
13 years ago

CNN Poll: Has stimulus been effective?

Washington (CNN) - Most Americans say that the economic stimulus plan has either helped the economy or prevented conditions from getting worse, but only a third see any personal benefit from the stimulus, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday morning indicates that 12 percent of the public feels the stimulus has improved the economy, with 46 percent staying it's stabilized conditions. But 22 percent of people questioned say the stimulus has had no effect on the economy and 19 percent feel it's made things worse.

"But Americans don't see the same effect on their own personal lives," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Nearly half say it has not affected them at all; just 7 percent believe that the stimulus bill has helped them while three times as many believe that the bill has hurt them personally."

According to a CNN poll released Sunday, 56 percent of the public opposes the stimulus, with 42 percent supportive of the plan. Last March, just weeks after the stimulus bill was signed into law by President Barack Obama, a CNN survey indicated that 54 percent supported the program, with 44 percent opposed.

The program, formally known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, attempts to stimulate the country's economy by increasing federal government spending and cutting taxes at a total cost to the government of $787 billion. No Republicans in the House of Representatives and only three in the Senate voted in favor of the bill.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted January 8-10, with 1,021 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: CNN Polls • economic stimulus
soundoff (19 Responses)

    I am sickened that our President has just "now" decided to say "I'm going to put a freeze on spending" why didn't he do that a year ago? I had such high hopes that he was going to realIy be good for our country, not so sure now? Is it really about "damage control? Also, our gov't is dishing out the money on this stimulus package, hand over fist, but it takes CNN to follow up on "how" that money is being used and if the jobs really are being created! ? Washington should have been making darn sure the money was being used properly by each company, or taken the money back. What the heck are they doing in Washington, just printing out tons of "green backs" willy-nilly, to make themselves look good?? I just do not understand this kind of money management? I am frightened for all our futures.

    January 26, 2010 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  2. jane

    what stimulus package?

    January 26, 2010 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  3. Dodd Democrat...

    The Stimulus has done Z E R O for the Average American.

    The only people helped by the stimulus are the rich who are only getting richer.

    January 26, 2010 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  4. Angus McDugan

    Only from a political perspective. The government needs to govern and not try to take over the market place.

    January 26, 2010 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  5. T'SAH from Virginia

    YES – because last year, it SAVED my job among many teachers, firefighters and policemen. THIS YEAR – What?

    We are in a deficit again this year and classes will be increased; teachers will be laid off, along with firefighters and policemen.

    I noticed PRICES are going way down in stores – you can now afford to buy food – something is happening?? A clinic, that is TREATING sick people who otherwise cannot afford to go to the doctor, is funded by the STIMULUS!!!

    Come on now – my paycheck went up last year with enough money to cover more than HALF of my gas to get to work – that is going to be deducted now.

    Everybody wants to be the PRESIDENT. I NEVER in my life witnessed so much ADVICE coming from just PEOPLE LIKE ME on TV who feels they KNOW IT ALL!! Everyone has their own opinion but when it is being broadcasted so much it becomes REDUNDANT!!!! And BORING!!!

    January 26, 2010 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  6. Angus McDugan

    Also, let's talk corporate profits shall we? Who here wants corporations to not profit?

    THINK ABOUT IT FIRST!!!!! It might be a trick question...

    January 26, 2010 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  7. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    The only thing the "stimulus" stimulated was the growth of make-work government jobs.

    January 26, 2010 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  8. Right Leaning Independent

    If someone objectively looks at the cost per each "Real" job produced by the stimulus, they would understand that it would have been much more beneficial to just divide the money and hand it out to 10 different people! Lets face it, the government padded the pockets of their supporters with the taxpayer's hard earned money.. No change as promised. Obama is just another politician who lied to get the job...

    January 26, 2010 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  9. j russ

    If I spend a dollar I spend a dollar. If I give the government a dollar to spend they spend maybe half and pocket the rest. I don't belive that any good is accomplished by the government taking my money and then spending it on programs that are supposed to help me. If you left me my money I would spend it much more wisely here where I live – but I guess that wouldn't keep the power and money in congress.

    We need to remember that everyone – including the president – is nothing more than a federal employee working for us. We are the boss and we need to start demanding results.

    January 26, 2010 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  10. jer

    I bet you the number of people who say it directly affected their lives will go up as soon as everyone who bought a home gets $8K extra on there tax returns.

    January 26, 2010 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  11. Donkey Party

    Sadly, many Americans are woefully ignorant (mostly Right-wingers), and lack the wisdom and common sense to understand what the stimulus is, or how much of it has been spent, or if it's working or not. Any way you slice it, 1 year is not enough time to measure the success of the stimulus. If CNN was a worthy news source, instead of being Fox News Lite, they would report where the money has been used, how much has been used, and it's impact locally and nationally. Info like that would help inform a voter, instead of confusing them. CNN is more concerned with challenging Fox News and winning over the knee-jerk reactionary non-thinkers that make up it's viewing base.

    January 26, 2010 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  12. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I am willing to believe that it has been helpful. It needs to do more and be able to show it. As of now, it hasn't been clear as to what it has been doing and where the jobs are that are clearly the result of the stimulus programs.

    January 26, 2010 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  13. JLM

    The stimulus has helped many people get back on their feet, even the right wing nuts.

    January 26, 2010 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  14. chill

    It's amazing that half the people don't think they have been affected by the stimulus. They condemn the $787B in "spending", but fail to point out that $288B of it is a tax cut; and a real one with reduced witholding and not a rebate of money already taken. On top of that, another $224B is for unemployment, COBRA, and job training. I haven't heard a significant amount of opposition to those two ideas. The remaining $275B is the "spending" for projects. And while you can complain that they haven't spent it fast enough and that some of the projects may not be directly related to hiring, spending money on anything has to generate production or services and thus wages somewhere; whether in new jobs or the retention of existing jobs.

    January 26, 2010 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  15. Dutch the Great

    I still have a job and so do alot of other people, so I say yes it's been effective.

    January 26, 2010 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  16. Keith in Austin

    The Stimulous Plan has done little more than line the pockets of pork-laden bureaucrats and expanded Obamas BIG government. True JOB CREATION comes from REDUCING taxes on Business and less government regulation.

    Unfortunately, Obama in his core is a Socialist and possesses a inner distain for Capitalism. This inbred conflict will plague our economy until he is booted out of office in 2012. At least, Independants and the GOP are reigning in his left wing power by shifting the super-majority of Liberal Democrats to conservatives in Congress. 2010 will see a tidalwave to the right!

    January 26, 2010 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  17. JES


    Why do we reward failure with business. I didn't get any funds for my business why should the others.

    The government needs to let companies suffer their own stupid and greedy decisions.

    January 26, 2010 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  18. Bedtime for Obonzo

    Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. And am I the only person who gets steamed when I drive past a brand new street sign, which probably cost around a thousand bucks, that says "These potholes are being filled through the ARRA"?

    January 26, 2010 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  19. Splat!~

    The American public are a flock of sheep, the shepherds, republican and democratc, have them by the -nose, and they deserve to be fleeced!~

    January 26, 2010 08:38 am at 8:38 am |