Published August 17, 2009
The $787 billion stimulus package that Congress passed in February doesn't seem to be having an effect, at least in the minds of a majority of adults polled by Gallup and USA Today.
The poll out Monday shows 57 percent of adults say the stimulus is having no impact on the economy or making it worse. Worse still, only 18 percent say they see an improvement in their personal situation as a result of the massive federal spending program, and 60 percent say they doubt the economy will be aided by the package in the years ahead.
"This is a wake-up call for the administration," House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., told USA Today. "People see the stimulus hasn't worked, and now you want to lay on over $1 trillion in a health care plan."
The stimulus package contains $499 billion in new spending. Another $288 billion is intended for tax cuts. But as of Aug. 7 $77.1 billion had been distributed, according to the Obama administration Web site, Recovery.gov. The government says it has designated $200 billion of that money so far.
The Gallup poll mirrors a FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll taken last week that showed 72 percent of say returning the unused portion of the $787 billion dollar stimulus to taxpayers would do more to boost the economy than having the government spend it. Nineteen percent supported continued government spending.
Of a subsample of the USA Today/Gallup poll of 1,010 adults polled between Aug. 6-9, 51 percent say the government spent too much while 31 percent the sum was "about right." Almost half of those polled said they are very worried about overspending. The margin of error for the poll was 4 percent.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement Monday saying the stimulus package is "paying dividends" even though it still has a long way to go.
"Millions of Americans remain out of work. Families continue to struggle each day just to keep a roof over their heads and put food on the table. But as last month's encouraging jobs and GDP numbers show, the Recovery Act is helping our nation move in the right direction," she said.