Tags: rasmussen | poll | stimulus

Most Say Lawmakers Don't Understand Stimulus

Tuesday, 10 Feb 2009 02:50 PM

By Dave Eberhart

The Senate passed an $838-billion economic stimulus bill Tuesday, but 58 percent of U.S. voters believe many members of Congress did not understand what was in the plan before they voted on it, according to Rasmussen Reports.

This figure matches another poll taken in mid-January that found that 58 percent of Americans were not confident that their political leaders knew what they were doing when it came to efforts to right the troubled economy.

Obama has expressed surprise at GOP criticism of the plan’s new spending proposals. “It’s spending. That’s the whole point,” the president said of the stimulus plan.

But, according to the latest poll, 48 percent of U.S. voters say that, generally speaking, increased government spending is bad for the economy, while thirty-five percent disagree.

In other poll findings:

  • Just 24 percent believe most of Congress understood the contents of the 700-page-plus plan before they voted, while nineteen percent were not sure.

  • Of the nation’s voters, 69 percent lacked confidence that Congress knows what it is doing when it comes to addressing the country’s current economic problems, while just 29 percent are even somewhat confident in the legislators.

  • Fifty-two percent of Democrats have at least some confidence that Congress knows what it is doing -- a view shared by just 16 percent of unaffiliated voters and 12 percent of Republicans.

  • Voters strongly agree with the perspective that “No matter how bad things are, Congress can always find a way to make them worse.” Fifty-eight percent share that view with only 26 percent disagreeing.

  • Sixty-eight percent of Republicans and 63 percent of unaffiliated voters agree with that negative assessment of Congress. Among Democrats, 46 percent agree, and 37 percent do not.

  • By a 45 percent to 36 percent margin, liberal voters disagree that Congress can always make a bad situation worse. But solid majorities of conservative and moderate voters take the opposite view.

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