Americans are skeptical that an economic stimulus plan from the federal government will help the nation’s economy. This is perhaps due to the fact that most people think that the elected officials in Washington working on the plan are part of the economic problem as opposed to the solution.

Less than half (45 percent) of Americans think “Barack Obama’s proposed $825 billion dollar economic recovery plan” will help the economy. Twenty-nine percent think the plan will not make a difference, while 18 percent think it will hurt the economy. Democrats (63 percent) are much more likely than independents (43 percent) or Republicans (22 percent) to think the recovery plan will help.

Considering opinions regarding politicians involvement in the economy, it is somewhat surprising that as many as 45 percent of Americans think a plan out of Washington will help the nation’s economy.

Just 27 percent of Americans think elected officials in Washington are part of the solution when it comes to improving the economy, while 61 percent think they are part of the problem. Republicans (75 percent) and independents (66 percent) are more likely than Democrats (46 percent) to think politicians are part of the problem.

Opinion Dynamics Corp. conducted the national telephone poll of 900 registered voters for FOX News from January 27 to January 28. The poll has a 3-point error margin.

More Americans think the focus of an economic stimulus plan should be “cutting taxes” (50 percent) than "increasing government spending on new programs and infrastructure projects” (29 percent).

Majorities of Republicans (69 percent) and independents (52 percent) think cutting taxes should be the focus of an economic stimulus plan. More Democrats think the focus should be increasing spending (42 percent) than cutting taxes (35 percent).

While more Americans believe tax cuts are the best economic stimulus, there appears to be a growing acceptance that government spending can help. The 29 percent who think increasing government spending is the best stimulant is nearly double the number that thought so in 2002 (15 percent).

Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of Americans think moving “away from capitalism and more toward socialism” would be a good thing for the United States. This includes 42 percent of those with household incomes under $30,000, as well as 35 percent of Democrats, and 31 percent of those under age thirty.

Chris Anderson is a vice president at Opinion Dynamics Corporation.

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