Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insists that the $787 billion stimulus plan passed in early 2009 kept the national unemployment rate from being much worse than it is, but Americans believe overwhelmingly that the stimulus did not help the economy and did not reduce unemployment.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 23% of American Adults think the stimulus plan helped the economy. A plurality (42%) says the stimulus hurt the economy, and 24% more believe it had no impact. Eleven percent (11%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Similarly, now only 24% of adults feel the stimulus plan reduced unemployment. Slightly more (30%) believe the stimulus actually increased unemployment, while 38% say it had no impact.
Americans are slightly less skeptical of President Obama’s latest government stimulus effort, a jobs creation plan that includes billions in infrastructure spending and money to help states and localities avoid laying off teachers and first responders. Thirty-seven percent (37%) believe the new plan will help the economy. But 38% think it will hurt the economy instead, and another 11% feel it will have no impact. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure.
Most Americans (59%) continue to believe that decisions made by U.S. business leaders to help their own businesses grow will do more to create jobs in this country than decisions made by government officials. Only 22% believe decisions made by government officials to help the economy grow will do more to create jobs. Nineteen percent (19%) are undecided. These findings are virtually unchanged from January.
Tellingly, while 82% of Republicans and 61% of unaffiliateds think decisions made by business leaders will do more to create jobs, only 35% of Democrats share that assessment.
Nearly three-out-of-four Americans (73%) lack confidence that the money from the stimulus plan was well and wisely spent, with 38% who are Not At All Confident. Twenty-three percent (23%) disagree and believe the money was well and wisely spent, but that includes just four percent (4%) who are Very Confident.
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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on November 6-7, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
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