6% Believe Stimulus Created Jobs
Gateway Pundit‘s Jim Hoft and The Hill‘s Walter Alarkon have found an interesting statistic in a week-old CBS/NYT poll: “just 6 percent of Americans believe that [Obama's $787 billion stimulus package]created jobs, even though independent economists estimate that it has saved or created more than 1 million jobs.”
That’s pretty amazing since, Jason Mattera tweets, “more people believe that Bush knew [about] 9/11 than believe that Porkulus created jobs.” Indeed, a Rasmussen poll a couple years back had 22% believing that. There’s some controversy over the validity of that poll but more than 6% believe just about anything.
These sorts of polls are annoying. Most people simply have no basis for making judgments on technical matters like this; indeed, economists can only take a very educated guess. So, asking Joe Public about such matters is not very helpful.
Politically, of course, it matters very much what people think. Perception often is reality in politics, as in many other areas of life.
On that score, what’s interesting to me is the trendlines. On the one hand, more people believe that the stimulus has created jobs than they did in July. Indeed, there’s been a 50% jump! But, at the same time, the plurality has shifted into a hardened “Will not create jobs” camp while the combined “has/will create” has dropped from 57% to 47%. Despite the economic consensus being the other way.
For what it’s worth, my own informed — but not expert — view on this is that the stimulus certainly created some large number of jobs — the one million figure seems reasonable enough — but that the indirect spending of $787 billion was a decidedly poor way to do it and that we received a predictably poor return on our investment. I also happen to believe we’d have done essentially the same thing under a President McCain.