Support for Stimulus Plan Falling

Support for Stimulus Plan Falling


The ever-growing stimulus package may have finally gotten too large for most Americans to stomach. A new Rasmussen poll indicates only 37% support the plan with 43% opposing and another 20% on the fence. The numbers are trending towards the negative.

This is why some Democrats wanted to get this bill passed as quickly as possible. The more the bill lingers, the more time Americans have to see how many non-essential projects are being funded under the guise of economic stimulus. If the Senate is smart, they’ll stop adding to the bill and start slicing away the pet-projects that have nothing to do with stimulating the economy.

h/t: The Next Right.

  • Brian Krenz

    I would say the reason support for the stimulus has fallen isn’t so much that the bill has been around too long as it is that the coverage of the bill has turned negative.

    The Republicans have been winning the media war. But if the tables were flipped, if Obama and the Democrats had managed perception better, and the coverage of the stimulus were positive, I suspect that people would still be pleased with it.

  • Tully

    Check the Rasmussen polling details. The “tax cut” side of the bill has public support at 45/34. The new spending side is opposed at 15/72. Yep, almost 5-1 against the porkfest portions, far too large a spread to be a mere polling glitch. We’ve known too many Spaniards.

    Going back to square one and a ground-up “build” for an intelligent and clean bill would seem advisable. The hard-sell Chicken-Little approach isn’t working.

  • gerryf

    If you take all the “uncessary spending” as defined by the above link, it amounts to less than 1 percent of the total bill. 1 percent.

    I think you can make an argument that no money should be unnecessary, but let’s look at the objectionable spending…

    [blockquote]$1.5 billion for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, which is state and local authorities sometimes use these funds to pay bail for people charged with serious crimes and who are likely to flee since it’s not their money at stake. [/blockquote]
    In actuality, the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program award grants to states for use by states and units of local government to IMPROVE the functioning of the criminal justice system. Just because a knucklehead used a grant improperly should not invalidate the entire grant idea. Is there a direct connection to stimulus? No, but it can help some extrememly strapped communities to make things better, perhaps hire employees, improve efficiency and get keep criminals off the street. Direct stimulus, no, but potential to, yes.

    $1 billion to improve U.S. Census Bureau management–we have a census coming up next year–do we want to count everyone or not?

    $88 million to move the U.S. Public Health Service into a new building in 2010–and this is bad how?

    $2.1 billion to make up a deficit in the federal public housing program–yeah, we wouldn’t want to help people in public housing, would we?

    $870 million to fund anti-flu measures. Fewer people with the flu means more people working, means more money to spend.

    $400 million to combat STDs–cannot make as clean a statement, but this is bad…how?

    $380 million to create a “rainy day fund” for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) food program. Hey, way to go GOP….lets hurt the people who can least afford to be hurt. Dick Cheney would be proud. After years of stuffing every bill that comes down the pike with boatloads of cash for GOP contributors, we offer $380 million for poor children and you’re upset?

    $200 million to buy electric cars for the Pentagon, which doesn’t want them. So what if they don’t want them. They want big cushy SUVs to tool around Washington. Tough rocks. Take a electric car out to lunch and be happy you are not walking.

    $34 million to fix up the Department of Commerce headquarters — let’s see, we hire local contractors to fix up the DoC, which after 8 years of improper maintenance due to budget cuts and this is a bad thing.

    $75 million for a new anti-smoking program. Cut back on people smoking and we have fewer healthcare bills from these people in 20-30 years. Sounds like a good investment.

    $650 million for more digital TV coupons to help people make the transition to HD. Someone is making money when someone gets a digital tv converter. That’s people BUYING, which is what we need.

    $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts–a virtual drop in the bucket, but this $50 million will employ people to continue providing access to the arts. Again, this is a bad thing, why?

    There are always going to be things in a stimulus package that people disagree with, but to scuttle the entire bill because you disagree with 1 percent of the entire thing is the kind of obscene politics that would make Karl Rove proud.

    Every $ spent is going to stimulate the economy in some way–this is real money going into real purchases and into people’s pockets. If the question is can we spend it in better ways, I’m all for that discussion, but it the quesiton is can we not spend it and instead give that money to rich GOP donors in tax cuts, then I’m all for the pork.

  • John Burke

    The bill is junk. It’s not just 1%. And the choices are not either spend on pork or give rich people tax cuts. I’m deeply disappointed that Obama, Geithner, Summers, Rahm et al. didn’t seize control of this whole process as soon as he was elected instead of ceding it to the Hosue Democrats.

    We could have already had a huge stimulus jolt through slashing the payroll tax, putting money directly into the paychecks of every worker.

    Obama is losing the “message” or the :”media war” because the bill is junk. Even Democrats who voted for him can see that it’s junk. People are not stupid.

  • Tully

    Go check that Rasmussen survey for details. The tax cut approach has 45/34 support. The new spending approach is at 15/72, almost 5 to 1 against.

  • kranky kritter

    I hope every item Gerry describes gets cut. “…every dollar spent stimulates the economy in some way” ranks with some of the most idiotic and overly simplistic economic thinking I have ever seen.

    This bill is in large part a hasty assemblage of items from the wish lists of democratic congresscritters. If wishes were horses, then this bill would ride. But it’s a turnip. And it needs paring. For starters.

  • gerryf

    Once again, if you wish to state BETTER ways to stimulate the economy, by all means, offer them. I not only will listen, but support them.

    If you all you have in your pocket are more of the same policies that have led us to this point, step aside.

    And, that is not my list–it was a list of objectionable spending items from a list of thousands. My point is that everyone can cull some items from the list and anyone can find a reason to support them.

    The Republican Taliban insurgency is going to drive us into a “don’t do anything” response–the end result being an economic disaster.

    JohnBurke, I don’t have any issues with a payroll tax cut, but don’t think for a moment that will solve the problems we now face. Any kind of tax cut will result in at least partial savings or paying down debt–two ideas I am actually a supporter of.

    But…savings and debt reduction will not solve the economic crisis. Reagan, the messiah of the GOP, SPENT his way out of the early 1980s. The problem with what Reagan did was he also cut taxes and redistributed income to the wealthy, driving up the national debt to benefit a few.

    One of the few things he got right was the idea that in an economic slump, sometimes government has to spend money to drive the economy.

  • Jim S

    You just don’t understand, gerry. Anything that might actually help the country must be eliminated. If you don’t do that then the Democrats might get some credit for doing something right and the entire “government is evil” meme might fall apart. Nothing, including the welfare of millions of Americans, is worth seeing that happen.

    Tully, Rasmussen is a piece of crap Republican organization.

  • Snarkless J. Harden

    $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts–a virtual drop in the bucket, but this $50 million will employ people to continue providing access to the arts.

    That is a lot of crucifixes and mason jars…not to mention a lot of piss to put in those jars with the crucifixes. That is spending (jars, crucifixes, Squirt) and that is what we need!

  • Nick Benjamin

    The problem in this economy is that nobody is spending money. Cutting payroll taxes might solve the problem, but it might not. People don’t have to spend the money. It could end up under mattresses. If folks pay their debts, or deposit their cash, the banks will end up with control of the money. And they ain’t too keen to lend money right now. Not even $350 Billion in free money, with the assurance of $350 Billion more if they’d just loan the first half out.

    The stimulus package solves that problem by spending loads of money directly. In other words stimulus = spending money for the sake of spending money. If you support stimulus beyond tax cuts you support spending for spending’s sake. Period.

    Obviously we shouldn’t be complete idiots. We should target the spending towards things we should have done anyway (ie: roads, renovating government buildings), but all that means is no spending on Bridges to Nowhere. And AFAIK there is nothing quite that stupid in the package.

    If you’ve got a specific example as stupid as that dang bridge I’ll agree that it should be changed. But apparently the best the GOP can do is whine about WIC. Right now I’m just not too receptive to the argument that feeding babies is a waste of government money.

  • gljunket

    Why are all the “economic wizards” (including this blog) ignoring the ultimate inflation problem that will come with this fiscal insanity? Check this out:

  • DMAC57

    Didn’t we learn during the primaries not to rely on Rasmussen? Other national polls show support for TARP

  • BenG

    FINALLY, a couple of opinions that make sense, thank-you Nick, Gerry, JimS.

    To the rest of you folks: We had this argument a few months ago. We know; big Gov stinks (Repubs proved that beyond doubt), private, free market economy is next to Godliness (Didn’t prove that so well). We know thier fiscal policies, as we debated it over the election, and YOU LOST!!

    To ASC: So how’s that divided Gov theory working out for everybody? This debate going on in Congress isn’t about a few billion dollars, not that it would be a bad thing to know and approve where our hard earned money is going. It’s about 2 freakin Senator’s votes. They can’t find 2 Republican Senators who will trust a Democrat legislature or newly elected Democrat President to do the right thing for this country and save it from bankruptcy and utter fiscal collapse. Great job folks, I guess we’ll have to wait another 2 years to get the votes. Do the Repubs think we’re gonna blame Obama when the economy goes further over the edge? That’s a huge gamble to take with our future, which may just be what they’re calculating, being that they have little left to loose.

    Once again, it’s all about politics with the Republicans. Job loss numbers just came through for January and revisions for 2008 are worse than originally posted. I guess so far so good if your goal is the same as Rush Limbau’s goal.

  • Mike A.

    Yes the party that ran up a 5 trillion dollar debt (500% greater than the stimulus) has had a come-to-jesus meeting and are now the voice of fiscal conservatism. It appears it’s only about winning to the republican party.

  • Tully

    Rasmussen once again beat every other polling firm for overall dependability this round, the third election cycle running, with SurveyUSA close on their heels. That’s according to that bastion of conservatism, SLATE magazine. If you want really bad primary calls, go check out Zogby’s clean miss of the California primary by over twenty points, where they called it Obama by 13 and it came in Clinton by 8. (SurveyUSA did best in that race.)

    And AFAIK there is nothing quite that stupid in the package.

    Frisbee golf course in Austin? Dog parks? Sod upgrades for the Mall? New school buildings for districts under capacity and losing students, ones they say they don’t need? And the Pentagon’s pretty sure they don’t need $200 million for electric cars. How stupid need a proposal be to match a project never actually built?

    Some of the spending’s not pure pork, though how “stimulative” it is is quite eminently debatable. And some is somewhat neutral as far as stimulus but certainly a good idea. For example, we could sure use some energy-grid infrastructure upgrades. We have a regular legislative process for that–a month or two’s delay will not bring the sky crashing down. The hard sell and doom-crying is a major indicator that we’re being sold a pig in a poke.

  • Nick Benjamin

    You got any links that claim that stuff is actually in the bill? I’ll be more specific. STILL in the bill. The mall resodding was taken out. Back in the House, IIRC.

    The Pentagon’s cars are a possible target. But before you remove I have to point out that building $200 million in cars creates thousands of jobs throughout the country. That’s a lot of stimulus for a small pricetag. That bridge was only removed after a firestorm of controversy, had no purpose whatsoever in the highway bill, and would only have provided jobs in a single state.