The public remains doggedly downbeat about the condition of the national economy, even as many experts and economists see signs of recovery. As has been the case for most of the past two years, about nine-in-ten (88%) rate national economic conditions as only fair or poor, and over the past year there has been no decline in the percentage saying the economy will stay the same (36%) or get worse (19%) a year from now.
In this light, it is not surprising that many Americans are dubious about the effectiveness of the government’s principal economic programs. Just 33% say the economic stimulus passed by Congress last year has helped the job situation and only somewhat more (42%) say the loans the federal government provided to troubled financial institutions prevented a more severe financial crisis. Less than a third (31%) says that the government has made progress in fixing the problems that caused the 2008 financial crisis.
So what’s the retrenching tactic this time? The Obama’s first move was to change “This will create 3 million jobs,” to “This will create and/or save 3 million to 4 million jobs.” When neither of those numbers panned out, the White House said it would stop counting jobs and began emphasizing the supposed likelihood that the American economy might’ve (could’ve? would’ve?) collapsed without the stimulus, and that we will never know just how much the ARRA helped (but that it helped a ton!).
Since then, we’ve learned the following: Minority-owned businesses got totally gipped while puppeteers got flush with cash (if only the latter were as large a Democratic voting block as the former!), and the unemployment rate is nowhere as low as promised. Also, an ungodly amount of money got straight up wasted.
Stupid Stimulus Stories (TM) have been falling on deaf ears for well over a year now, but it seems that whoever Pew polled is finally paying attention.