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Public Says Stimulus, Auto Bailout Helped the Economy

It is an article of faith among conservatives that the stimulus bill didn’t help the economy at all and that the auto bailout was a waste of money. But with auto companies back to profitability and the overall economy picking up, the public has a decidedly warmer view toward the stimulus plan and the auto bailout.

In a new Pew Center poll, 61 percent said the economic stimulus plan in 2009 mostly helped the economy, while just 31 percent thought it mostly hurt.

public thinks the stimulus worked

And in the same poll, 56 percent of the public described the bailouts for General Motors and Chrysler as mostly good for the economy, compared to 38 percent who thought the bailout was mostly bad for the economy.

public thinks the auto bailouts worked

Conservatives’ refusal to acknowledge the positive effects of the president’s policies is fundamentally ideological. The public, however, is willing to give credit where credit is due.

Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. To learn more about his public opinion analysis, go to the Media and Progressive Values page and the Progressive Studies program page of our website.