Nearly three out of four Americans think that at least half of the federal stimulus money spent so far has been wasted, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed said that some stimulus projects were included for purely political reasons and would have no economic benefit. The White House says that the $787 billion plan to boost the economy with federal spending has created or saved 1.5 million jobs. Was the stimulus effective — or a waste of money? (Watch a CBS investigation into how stimulus money was spent)
The stimulus helps, Americans are just too dumb to see it: This poll proves we're "a nation of dodos," says Joe Klein in Time. The largest item in the stimulus — $288 billion — is tax relief for 95 percent of the public. So your tax money was wasted on ... you? The next highest amount was $275 billion in grants and loans to states, which is "why your child's teacher wasn't laid off," the fire station has remained open, and your state and local taxes didn't rise to close local budget holes.
"Too dumb to thrive"
The money was clearly wasted: It's easy to understand why people are "ticked off," says Greg Knapp in Big Government. Stimulus money has been spent on toilets, sediment removal, beauty school tuition — even perverted nude revues masquerading as art. "Very little of the 'stimulus' does much of anything to grow the economy and create jobs."
"Stimulus wasted and most Americans know it"
Wasted? Tell that to economists: Most ordinary Americans see waste, says Steve Benen in Washington Monthly, but economists, almost unanimously, believe "the Democrats' recovery effort rescued the economy from collapse" and created jobs. The experts say there's no debate — the money has been well spent, and "there should be more stimulus, not less."
"Perceptions vs. reality on stimulus"
Abandon the stimulus—the people don't want it: On the heels of President Obama's election, says Rob Port in Say Anything Blog, the Democrats had the power to ram the stimulus package down our throats. But "liberals have lost the faith of the public on that spending." Most of the stimulus money hasn't been spent yet, so the Democrats should cancel it — that is, if they're "actually interested in the will of the people."
"CNN poll: 56 percent of Americans oppose the stimulus bill"