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US: National Survey (Economist 11/1-3)


Economist / YouGov
11/1-3/09; 1,000 adults, 4% margin of error
Mode: Internet
(Economist release)

National

Favorable / Unfavorable
Hillary Clinton: 56 / 37 (chart)
Nancy Pelosi: 27 / 49
Sarah Palin: 37 / 53 (chart)
Joe Biden: 45 / 41
Harry Reid: 20 / 40

Obama Job Approval
50% Approve, 44% Disapprove (chart)
Dems: 79 / 15 (chart)
Reps: 13 / 84 (chart)
Inds: 44 / 47 (chart)
Economy: 46 / 47 (chart)
Health Care: 46 / 46 (chart)

Congressional Job Approval
16% Approve, 58% Disapprove (chart)

2010 House: General Election
46% Democrat, 37% Republican (chart)

State of the Country
35% Right Direction, 52% Wrong Track (chart)

In February, Congress passed President Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus bill. Do
you think the stimulus bill is working?

27% Yes, 48% No

Overall, given what you know about them, do you support or oppose the proposed changes
to the health care system being developed by Congress and the Obama Administration?

51% Favor, 49% Oppose (chart)

Do you favor or oppose having a "public option" which would allow individuals to purchase
health insurance coverage from the government?

45% Favor, 31% Oppose

Do you favor increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan?
41% Increase, 42% Decrease, 17% Keep the same

 

Comments
Stillow:

27 percent think the stimulus is working??? 27 percent??? 27?????? We spent 787 billion dollars we didn't have.....increased the deficit to 1.4 trillion so that Obama can make 27 percent happy?? We spent 787 billion to see unemployment now reach 10.2 percent???

Fiscal irresponsibility is absolutely destorying our nation.

27 percent.....unbeleivable.

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LordMike:

Stillow,

The economy had 3% growth last quarter... almost ALL of it was due to the stimulus. Without it, we would have have had negative growth for almost a year... The stimulus staved off the depression.

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platanoman:

First of all, we didn't spend the entire 787 billion dollars this year. We only spending little over 200 billion this fiscal quarter, and CBO projected it would increase the deficit 185 billion in 2009 fiscal quarter. So, I don't know what Stillow is talking about.

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havoc:

LordMike: "The economy had 3% growth last quarter... almost ALL of it was due to the stimulus. Without it, we would have have had negative growth for almost a year... The stimulus staved off the depression."

And if it wasn't for Obamas fairy dust the Phillys could have beat the Yankees. Yep he saved 3 mill jobs or is it 5 mill or is it 2 mill.

The numbers dont matter when you can just make up any thing you want without any proof.

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havoc:

Also helps to have the state run media on his side.

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Stillow:

The 3 percent growth was NOT growth. It was cash for clunkers and first time home buyer free money. And it was done with printed and borrowed money. All Obama did was do what Enron did and shift the numbers around to make it look like growth. All the growth came from g'ment, which into more debt to do it.

The fundamentals have been made worse. They have to free up private capital....with tax cuts on business and business owners. There has to be real money and growth...otherwise it will fizzle away.

27 percent think this damn thing is working...the stimulus was a joke...obama's claims of saving jobs is a joke. Unemployment stands at 10.2 percent. All he is doing is prolonging this thing just like FDR.

Growth....are you libs really that dense to believe that? Its screwing with the numbers. Auto sales will not go int othe tank....because the fundamentals of the economy mus tbe addressed...we must get actual money into the system, not printed money from g'ment.

For God sake, we are in double digit unemployment. You libs need to put your foolish ideaology aside now and lets get business going again by reducing the tax burden they bare so they can grow and invest...and as a result, HIRE.....Giving 8k to people to buy a house probably means they could not afford it anyway...and to do it with printed and borrowed money doe snothing but kick the can down the road.

I can see why 27 percent only think this bogus stimulus plan is working. What a disaster.

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Wong:

That's why they call it a stimulus. Growth is growth whether from government or the private sector and you can't have it both ways. If a 3% increase in the GDP is from government spending then the stimulus is working. People are working who would not have had jobs, paying their bills keeping other people working. That's entry level economic theory.

The conservative policies you myopics on the right espouse would have us a 25% unemployment and soup lines as long as you vision is short. Anyone remember Hoover. Balance the budget, lay off more people, tighten your belts. That was what he did and it's disastrous consequences led to 40 year of near complete democratic control of government

The double digit unemployment you so loudly complain about is a result of the policies of George W. His tax cuts for the rich ended the budget surplus that HE inherited, a budget surplus that was the product of a Democratic administration. He, along with a republican Congress, squandered over five trillion dollars and doubled the national debt in his 8 disastrous years of welfare for the wealthiest Americans. Where was your prescious penny pinching then.

The most important number is the 48% who don't believe this stimulus is working. That leaves 52% who either aren't sure or believe it is. That means a majority of the country is stll smarter than you. Not surprising, they have been for the last two cycles.

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Stillow:

Oh Wong, you really suck up that left wing kool aid don't you? First off regarding entyr level economics....g'ment growth is not growth. Since there is so way for g'ment to produce growth, its nto real growth. G'ment money comes fro mthe peoples pocket, from printing it and from borrowing it. In this case they printed and borrowed all the money. When the growth is not from the actual economy its just a one time wonder. Nothing more.

Unless the g'ment permanantly does cash for clunkers which is impossible, it has no real impact....the fundamentals must be changed so that people can afford to buy cars with there own money. for that to happen the people must have more of there money to do it. The more g'ment takes, the less we have to spend. So that is entry level stuff. We must generate real growth on a fundamentally sound level. Simple infusions of printed and borrowed g'ment money does absolutely nothing but create a very short lived bubble....which is hwy you will see auto sales tank from here on out now that the phantom money has stopped.

Secondly, W did not screw up the surplus...another myth put out by liberals. It was the Clinton recession, stock market bubble popping and 9/11 which all came to a climax in Bush's first year in office. If not for the tax cuts we may not have recovered.

Thirdly, all you need to go is go back to reagan who had a much worse eocnomy he inherieted from Carter...he cut taxes and removed g'ment obstacles prevneting business from goriwng...what happened? Only the alrgest economic boom in american history during peace time.

Its actually a very simple concept. Allow people and businesses to keep more of there money and guess what? they spend it....wow, what a novel idea. If I get to keep $1000 vs. $500 of my paychcks, I have twice as much to go buy products and services, in essence that allows twice the number of people to be employed.

When g'ment takes more money it simply forces the economy to constrict, businesses cannot grow and invest because there extra capital is taken....wealthy people are not able to take as much risk on new ventures because more of there money has been taken by g'ment.

Its hilarious how you Dems blame Bush for Obama's recession, but somehow forget all the crap clinton left him with the ashes of the once mighty stock market collapse and the recession....and then of course being faced with 9/11 which you alwaysn forget. ya, we should have raised taxes right?

I've said it before, you give everyone in this country a 50 percent income tax redeuction and you will see the greatest economic boom in the history of man kind. People keeping and spending there own money...geee, what an insane right wing idea....that would never work.

Ask any small business owner, would they rather have money to grow there business and hire more workers or would they rather just give that money to g'ment where it vanishes into corruption and the pockets of corrupt poltiicans and ther allies?

wow, tough choice.

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Stillow:

Oh and I love it Wong....27 percent say the stimulus is working and you try and spin it to be a good thing....hahahahahahahah, only libs can view blatantly bad numbers as good news............if you guys were not so dangerous to this country, it would be totally comical the stuff that comes out of your mouths.

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LordMike:

Since you bring up Reagan, Stilllow, you do realize that the key to Reagan's recovery was NOT tax cuts for millionaires, but the MASSIVE government defense spending the proposed. Or perhaps you've forgotten the then record deficits he created as part of his economic program? Most of those came as a result of massively increased defense spending which stimulated the economy at the time.

Defense spending no longer stimulates the economy 'cos most of the work is done overseas, but in the 80's defense contractors were at the heart of Reagan's recovery. He spent a LOT of money, even if the republicans hate to admit it.

BTW, 40% of Obama's stimulus package was$350 billion in tax cuts, mostly to businesses. If you think the stimulus has failed then you certainly cannot be advocating more tax cuts then.

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RAG2:

@ Stillow:

Actually, the greatest economic boom happened after WW2 and lasted a whole generation--thanks to the New Deal/Fair Deal policies of FDR and Harry Truman. They raised taxes on the wealthiest of Americans, did public-works projects, created an environoment friendly to organized labor, provided services--like Social Security--to non-wealthy Americans, and--during the war--enacted policies that made it easier for low-paid workers to get raises than for high-paid workers. Before 1933, we were in a Depression with income inequality and partisan polarization as high as they are today; after 1948, there was prosperity until the 70's, with a large middle-class and 30 years of muted partisanship.

As for Reagan, his "prosperity" was an illusion financed off of hot checks. And don't blame Dems for this; Reps controlled the Senate and had "working [ideological] control" of the House until 1987. By the way, so much money was lost from his tax cuts that he had to raise taxes every year since then. And 2 years after he left office, the humungoid debt he ran up (more than George Washington to Jimmy Carter combined) created the double-dip recession of 1990-92! (And yes, we were already in the recession before Bush 41 broke his "no new taxes" pledge.)

Clinton inherited a recession and record deficit; he left office with a greater prosperity than we had under Reagan and a record surplus, which Bush 43 promptly squandered. Reps in 1993 said that Clinton's budget (which raised income taxes only on the wealthiest 1% and cut spending, notably from defense as part of the "peace dividend") would plunge America into another recession; just the opposite happened. US News & World Report said it "would not take ONE PENNY off the deficit", and the deficit was greatly reduced in only 2 years. In fact, by the time a Rep Congress finally passed a budget that Clinton would sign, the deficit was nearly gone.

Your idea of giving more money to people and bbusiness through tax cuts is actually a GOOD idea--PROVIDED they're specifically targeted to MIDDLE-CLASS Americans and paid for. Unfortunately, Reps usually cut taxes for the rich and the powerful (the top 15% of American taxpayers got 83% of the Bush tax cuts), and don't pay for them. Bush 41 actually touted a "flexible freeze" where gov't cuts taxes, and increases spending, and yet grows its way out of debt on the (proved false) assumption of 5 years of continued robust prosperity. Bush 41 ran up more debt than any other president before (Cheney said, "Deficits don't matter"), and you were all cheering him on, until 2006 or 2008, when you got your butts kicked. Now we're supposed to believe you're for fiscal restraint?! There's also another way to stimulate the economy: investment in infrastructure and businesses of the future.

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RAG2:

TYPO ERRATA: The "Bush tax cuts" were enacted by Bush 43, and the last reference to "Bush 41" should be Bush 43.

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RAG2:

@ Stillow:

By the way, did you see the House GOP HC plan? I've been daring the GOP to SHOW they can do better for month. Guess what? According to the NON-PARTISAN Congressional Budget Office, the GOP HC plan leaves 94% of the 47 million uninsured STILL UNINSURED, DOES NOT forbid insurance companies from denying HC to people with pre-existing conditions or dropping people when they get sick, and doesn't even save as much money as any of the Democratic plans. It does do tort reform (dubious value; limiting malpractice awards is a counter-deterrent to malpractice), allows people to purchase accross state lines, and a few other things which are likely to have minimal effect on access and affordability for HC. Apparently, making HC universal is NOT a Rep priority!

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RAG2:

Cat got your tongue, Stillow? No smart-aleck refutations to offer? I can only conclude that either I got you dead to rights, or you go to bed before midnight.

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openid.aol.com/Rahmsputin:

No one ever gives you credit if you help avoid a catastrophe. You're only a hero if you help drag the country out of one that's already been created. With that said, while economists are virtually unanimous in the opinion that it helped us avoid a depression, most are also of the opinion that it was too small to stave off double digit unemployment, especially since it relied so much on weak indirect stimulus in the form of tax cuts.

Of course, born again deficit hawks like Stillow will disagree now that a Dem is in office, but that's to be expected from silly hacks who learned "economics" from talk radio.

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openid.aol.com/Rahmsputin:

By the way, remember when the hacks insisted the Dow was the ultimate measure by which to judge a president? I guess changing your entire argument on a month-to-month basis makes you look creative on the right, but it just makes you look desperate in the real world.

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openid.aol.com/Rahmsputin:

Thirdly, all you need to go is go back to reagan who had a much worse eocnomy he inherieted from Carter...

Reagan was elected in 1980. Unemployment continued to rise in his first year of office, peaked at 10.8% in his second year, and remained over double digits into July of his third year.

Now, Stillow says a president is a complete failure if he hasn't fixed a far more dire crisis within ten months of taking office.

So by his (double) standard, it looks like Reagan was a pretty f'n awful president who couldn't deliver results at anywhere near the pace that right-wing hacks demand. Maybe this revelation will cause Stillow to give Obama the benefit of the doubt until he exceeds Reagan's ten months of double digit unemployment, but as we all know, the smallest shred of logical consistency isn't necessary when you're a shameless hack.

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Field Marshal:

Remember, government stimulus has a multiplier effect of zero. Thus, anything the government spends doesn't do anything for the economy.

Cutting taxes has a multiplier effect of 3- only when they are permanant or when the people believe they are.

The CBO scored the stimulus saying its will have a long-term negative effect on the economy taking away as much as 0.3% in years 2015-2019.

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Wong:

So government spending is not growth. So when the government contracts and borrows money to build a bridge, it doesn't add to the economy.

That means, of course, that all the aircraft carriers, fighter planes, tanks, ballistic missiles that were part of government programs are ethereal. They have no value. That means we didn't land on the moon, develop the atomic bomb, build the interstate highway system.

That also means the French nuclear power plants ,the TGV trains, not to mention all of the worlds airports have no economic value.

I have yet to read a more truly idiotic notion than the one you on the rabid right propose here on these posts. Your ignorance could not be more apparent.

I'm serious when I recommend an entry level economics class.

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Bigmike:

I can't believe I am seeing libs suggesting cons take Econ 101.

The third quarter growth was a temporary blip created partly by govt. All cash for clunkers did was move some car buyers into the 3rd quarter. IF car sales are still improved in the 4th quarter this year and the 1st next year that will be real growth. But if it happens it will be a big surprise to me.

If the stimulus was such a big success then why is unemployment still growing? I know employment is the last area that improves in a recovery. But 10.2% is huge.

Friend Wong,

It is a mistake to compare spending by the French govt to spending by our govt. Their system is borderline socialist. Much of the private sector is govt. Our govt does not build power plants. It merely regulates them to death.

When govt spending builds roads, bridges, jet fighters, etc is does add to the economy. When govt spending is just taking money from one group and handing it to another there is no growth there. And that is what cash for clunkers and major parts of the stimulus were all about.

When do we quit laying the blame for everything on Dubya. He earned much of the criticism. But at some point the decisions of BO's administration have to stand on their own. And everything they have done is aimed at growing govt on borrowed money.

We are less than a year from the first judgement day. And, from the posts I have seen on this site, you libs are running scared. And you should be.

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sjt22:

Putting aside Reagan and tax cuts and all that for a moment, I personally think its a poorly worded question which doesn't show us much.

When you lead in with "787 billion" people are naturally going to be primed to think "That's a crap load of money. Why isn't the economy running like its 1999 again?" Except that, as others have said, the spending isn't close to 787 billion yet. Its not even half spent.

Most of the effect it has had has been to keep existing jobs from being lost. While relatively few new jobs have been created, many times more than that have been saved.

People have also probably forgotten about their tax rebates, which they certainly won't and shouldn't be sending back any time soon.

@ BigMike

The problem with most cons is that they ONLY take econ 101. Econ 101 makes things seem really cut and dried: taxes bad, tax cuts good! Get to Econ 201 or higher and you start to realize that the most accurate answer to any economic question is "it depends". Does the stimulus work: it depends. Will this policy help the economy: it depends. Is this a good business move: well, you get the idea.

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openid.aol.com/Rahmsputin:

Remember, government stimulus has a multiplier effect of zero. Thus, anything the government spends doesn't do anything for the economy.

This is easily debatable, if not completely false. Look up Mark Zandi's estimates.

Regardless, basic logic will tell you that there's no difference between government spending and a tax cut in terms of what constitutes "real money."

The CBO scored the stimulus saying its will have a long-term negative effect on the economy taking away as much as 0.3% in years 2015-2019.

Wrong. CBO said GDP growth would be marginally lower in 2015-2019, but this is more than made up for the fact that GDP growth would be much higher from 2009-2014. Overall, the GDP sees a long term boost. You're basically saying that a deferred recovery is evidence of a "long-term negative effect." If you hate the unemployed, maybe...

If the stimulus was such a big success then why is unemployment still growing? I know employment is the last area that improves in a recovery. But 10.2% is huge.

The stimulus was not a "big success." Most progressives (including Obama's Romer) would agree that it wasn't large enough, and that it was severely weakened by conservative Democrats who insisted on loading it up with tax cuts and stripping some of the more stimulative provisions because they (horrors) primarily benefit the poor in the short term (gasp). However, the GDP numbers clearly demonstrate that it did partially plug the hole, and I personally know many people whose jobs were saved by the aid given to the states.

But again, Reagan had over double digit unemployment for ten months, and you want us to emulate him after declaring that one month of 10.2% is unacceptable? Consistency, folks. Consistency.

When govt spending is just taking money from one group and handing it to another there is no growth there.

Who got money taken from them? The stimulus was about 2/3 deficit spending and 1/3 deficit tax cuts. And I thought conservative ideology was based in the notion that the most stimulative thing in the world was to let people decide what they want to do with money themselves? I won't recommend you take Econ 101, but I would recommend thinking about what you type for you hit "Post."

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Napoleon Complex:

If Napoleon and Barbie had been elected, our banking and automobile industries would be severely crippled and unemployment would be at least 25%, just like the last time Republican policy caused a Depression.

It's amazing that despite the failures of Hoover, Reagan and both Bushes, the cons keep going back to the same failed trickle-down economics. Even David Stockman finally admitted it doesn't work.

And even Alan Greenspan admitted that his insistence on a market-based "solution" to the credit-default-swap caused collapse of the mortgage industry was wrong. Of course, the Reps blame Barney Frank for somehow forcing the government to lend money to poor people. What a joke. There weren’t nearly enough subprime loans in the system to cause the level of collapse that occurred. Thanks for that go to Phil Graham for undoing the regulations that were put in place following the last Republican Great Depression.

The stimulus won't fully kick in until 2010 and we'll see significant job growth then. What's interesting is the generic 2010 ballot still shows a significant Dem margin. The Reps (and apparently Scott Rasmussen) are trying to push the story that the Dems will lose big in 2010, but there's no evidence this will occur. With an improved economy and the health care issue resolved, things will only get worse for the Reps next year.

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brown cat:

Conservatives will say ANYTHING, and I mean ANYTHING to knock Obama. Next year after health care is done and the economy has experienced three quarters of growth and employment has started to drop, they will STILL be flogging the stimulus. We could have 5% unemployment and record prosperity and a world-class health care system, and they would STILL find a way to squeeze some hysterical negativity out of it. I know that's just the state of politics in America today, but it's sad and frustrating. The worst part is when they compare Obama to Bush, and the criticism that Bush received throughout his second term, as if attacking Bush for inventing a war out of thin air and sitting on his hands while a major American city drowned is somehow morally equivalent to screaming that Obama is a socialist tyrant because he succeeded in propping up our economy and wants to give health care to poor people. Again, it's sad that some people will just never be persuaded, no matter what, but I suppose if they were enthusiastic about progress, they wouldn't be conservatives.

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Bigmike:

brown cat

Politicians will say anything. Like 95% of us will see our taxes go down. If we have 5% unemployment, record prosperity, and a world class health care system a year from now I will be a Democrat. If we have double digit unemployment, inflation coming on strong, and health care isn't any better will you become a conservative?

sjt22

I know economics is a little more complicated than what they teach you in an entry level class. Which class did I miss where they teach that taking money from one individual or group and giving it to another is growth?

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Aaron_in_TX:

BigMike,

So what do you propose? What exactly is the GOP plan to magically create jobs from the economy they helped destroy?

I've gotten meaningless "bonuses" of $200-300 in my tax refund the past two years, which was Bush's brilliant plan that Obama continued. Ostensibly the second time it was due to a tax cut. I expect this coming year will be similar. I'd trade all my tax refund for the gov't doing a WPA-style jobs program.

Of course, that would be "socialist" and would never pass in today's political environment.

And as Stillow tells us, not all growth is growth. Wow, that's perceptive. Because all the growth of the Bush years certainly had to be growth, since now we're partying like it's 1999. I mean, all that mortgage speculation that hyper-inflated financial stocks... now that's real growth.

I hope the GOP has a plan beyond tax cuts, considering we're still under the utopia created by Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy.

Having worked in business (retail) management, I can attest that tax cuts DO NOT CREATE JOBS, only increased demand does that. Although the co. I worked for would have gladly pocketed any tax savings, the only way they were going to hire more workers was if more people shopped there. The only way to get more people to shop is to increase their confidence by offering stability. Last I checked, the GOP did a great job on that.

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Xenobion:

"sjt22

I know economics is a little more complicated than what they teach you in an entry level class. Which class did I miss where they teach that taking money from one individual or group and giving it to another is growth?"

Intermediate Microenomics - Theory: Redistributive tax for a Multiplier Effect

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Xenobion:

"Bigmike:

I can't believe I am seeing libs suggesting cons take Econ 101.

The third quarter growth was a temporary blip created partly by govt. All cash for clunkers did was move some car buyers into the 3rd quarter. IF car sales are still improved in the 4th quarter this year and the 1st next year that will be real growth. But if it happens it will be a big surprise to me.

If the stimulus was such a big success then why is unemployment still growing? I know employment is the last area that improves in a recovery. But 10.2% is huge."

Couple reasons. First people don't understand the natural rate of increasing employment. Every month 150,000 jobs need to be created to meet new young people/immigrants entering the work force from natural population growth given if the economy is good or bad.

Second, Stimulus funds were directed towards long term projects 2-3 years and remember only half the stimulus has been spent.

Third, as you've stated yourself employment is the most laggard indicator, hell GDP is still a lagging indicator, just not as bad. Consumer confidence, industry specific growth, can act as better indicators.

Fourth, people are dumb and expect that we'll just go to back to where we were before the recession when in fact it takes years to get back to where we were even though we are growing.

Fifth, the Stimulus can only be judged for success really when this is all said and done. There is a natural flow to a recession historically in connection to the business cycle (BTW the next bubble is Gold again).

I agree that the stimulus was "sold" as creating jobs, but really it was just keeping certain jobs afloat. The theory is keeping certain businesses afloat through a tight credit market rather than killing them outright. People fail to realize we do this to industries every day like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, ect. Subsiding business doesn't seem very capitalist but every administration has embraced its limited use to not outright lose an industry, or for national security reasons.

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