A majority of Americans believe that a $787 billion stimulus package passed six months ago with support from President Barack Obama has had no effect or even made the U.S. economy worse.
A USAToday/Gallup poll released Monday found that 41 percent of Americans think the spending has made the economy better, but 57 percent believe it has either made no difference or worsened the recession that began in 2007.
The paper noted, however, that while economists do not agree on impact of the package on the economy, most believe the recession would have been worse without the stimulus.
But respondents were skeptical about the effects of the massive expenditure on their personal finances, with just 18 percent saying their fortunes had improved, and 68 percent saying they had seen no change.
Americans also expressed pessimism about the long-term effects of the package, which combined $288 billion in tax cuts and $499 billion in new spending for a variety of projects, including infrastructure renewal.
On the long-term prospects for the U.S. economy, opinion was evenly divided, with 38 percent saying it would improve the economy and 38 percent saying it would make things worse. Twenty-two percent expected no difference.
Expectations were even lower for the long-term effects of the stimulus for individuals, with just 29 percent expecting things to get better because of the increased government spending and most expecting their situation to either worsen — 34 percent, or stay the same — 36 percent.
The poll, which surveyed 1,010 adults between August 6 and 9, also found concern about the way money is being spent to try and boost the economy.
More than three-quarters of those questioned — 78 percent — said they were either "very worried" or "somewhat worried" that money from the economic stimulus was being "wasted."
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