Scott Rasmussen finds that for the first time, a plurality of voters say the Democrats’ stimulus bill has hurt the economy:
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 30% of voters nationwide believe the $787-billion economic stimulus plan has helped the economy. However, 38% believe that the stimulus plan has hurt the economy. This is the first time since the legislation passed that a plurality has held a negative view of its impact.
The number who believe that the stimulus plan has hurt the economy rose from 28% in September, to 31% in October, and 34% in November before jumping to 38% this month.
What explains the increasing number who consider the stimulus plan harmful? My guess is that voters are concluding, based on their own observation, that the stimulus bill has had little positive impact. That being the case, the nearly trillion-dollar debt it incurred is logically seen as a negative factor that outweighs any minor benefit.
In any event, voters plainly are rejecting the Democrats’ narrative, which holds that the Obama administration has heroically rescued our economy from the brink of depression. I personally don’t think that any actions the government has taken over the last year-plus have helped the economy much (as opposed to the many actions by government over the preceding fifteen years that gave rise to the financial crisis). But if there was any federal action that staved off a worse economic crisis, it could only have been the TARP program–which was, as President Obama always fails to remind us, a Bush administration initiative.