WASHINGTON -- Nearly five months into Barack Obama's presidency, his stimulus program is failing to produce the jobs he promised. And voters are souring on his big spending, deficit-driving policies.
A nationwide Rasmussen poll found that nearly half of Americans (45 percent) want the administration to stop spending the remaining bulk of the $787 billion economic-stimulus fund, doubting the money will create any new jobs. Just 36 percent want the spending to continue, while 20 percent say they're not sure.
With the unemployment rate spiraling up to 9.4 percent in May and this year's budget deficit speeding well past $1.8 trillion, Americans are turning against Obama's handling of the economy and the unprecedented rise in government spending.
Last week, the Gallup Poll said that while 55 percent of their sampling approved of the way he was handling the economy, 42 percent disapproved -- up sharply from 30 percent in February.
Americans are growing even more disgusted with the way Obama is dealing with the budget deficit -- with 46 percent approving and 48 percent disapproving. His numbers are worse on the issue of "controlling federal spending" -- 45 percent approve, but, for the first time, a 51-percent majority disapproves.
These polling numbers were reinforced by a number of economists on the left and the right who say his infrastructure stimulus has been an abject failure from the beginning.
"Despite administration claims, the stimulus package has created or saved few jobs," said University of Maryland economist Peter Morici. "This is best seen in the absolute absence of growth in state and local government employment." "The stimulus package was poorly conceived. Not enough is devoted to hard projects, and little of the spending will stimulate permanent growth," Morici said last week in his latest economic analysis.
The same view can be found at the conservative Hoover Institution on the Stanford University campus.
"The end of the recession is still months away, but it is increasingly clear the stimulus package was a serious mistake. To date, it has had no identifiable beneficial impact on the economy," Stanford economist John Cogan told me.
"More important, its impact later this year and next will be decidedly negative because the funds required to finance the package's spending will be drawn from private-sector resources that are needed to fuel the recovery. At this juncture, Congress would be wise to repeal the remainder of the program," Cogan said.
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