In a highly unreported Rasmussen poll dated February 16, 2009 some reactions of Americans to the stimulus bill were reported. When the poll was described to the national news editor of the New York Times, her reaction was, “Get back to me if you find some news that fits.” (That, of course, was a joke. The NYT will never give major editorial responsibility to any female who’s family doesn’t own large chunks of Times stock. It's said that Albanians are also banned from major editorial positions due to an unfortunate off handed remark by John Belushi about Pinch Sulzberger's IQ.)
"Middle-income Americans are more likely to believe the bill will hurt rather than help. Those with incomes below $40,000 or above $100,000 are more optimistic.
By a 49% to 24% margin, government employees believe the stimulus plan will help the economy. Private sector workers are evenly divided. Investors are less optimistic than non-investors.
"Fifty percent (50%) of voters believe the bill consists primarily of new government spending while 31% believe it is primarily a mix of new spending and tax cuts. Only eight percent (8%) think the legislation consists primarily of tax cuts. According to news reports, the stimulus plan is made up of $281 billion in tax cuts for individuals and businesses and over $500 billion in new government spending."
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"Thirty-two percent (32%) say they’re more likely to vote for someone who supported the bill in Congress while 35% said they’re less likely to vote for someone who supported it. Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter, one of three Republicans who voted for the stimulus in the Senate, has been hurt politically for his decision.
Sixty-six percent (66%) of Democrats say the plan will help the economy, and only 10% believe it will hurt. Among Republicans, 49% say it will hurt, and 30% say it will have little impact. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 27% say it will help, and 34% think it will hurt the economy.
"Following passage of the stimulus bill, consumer confidence fell to a record low. It has been falling to new lows will regularity since early 2008. Confidence in the nation’s banking system also has plummeted."