Business

Many Americans Still Wary of Stimulus

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As the stimulus bill works its way closer to completion and the President continues his PR push, many Americans aren’t yet sold on the plan. While a Pew Center Research Poll found 51% support the bill, those numbers have declined from 57% with the biggest drop coming from those who’ve “heard a lot” about the stimulus. That group favors the package by 49% to 41%, but they used to favor it by nearly two-thirds.

The problem is, this is a bill that is easier for most people to oppose than to support. Anyone who cares to, can easily find tens of billions of dollars in spending that seems unnecessary. It’s hard to get excited about tens of billions in superfluous spending, even if the general idea behind the bill is solid. Many Democrats don’t seem to understand that concern. Most have adopted the “all spending is good spending” mantra. If that was true, shouldn’t President Bush’s wastrel ways have been enough to stave off the recession? Clearly some spending is just waste, and that truth doesn’t change just because the party in charge changes.

With a $10 trillion national debt, we can hardly afford more waste.

Unfortunately, for those of us concerned by some of the cavalier spending of this bill, the upcoming House and Senate negotiations are unlikely to make us feel better. More likely than not, the bill will expand with the usual back scratching deals. And President Obama has made it clear he will sign just about anything which comes across his desk, so long as it’s labeled a stimulus.

I actually expect elements of the stimulus to work. I just hope the economic gain far outweighs the wastefulness. I had higher hopes for Obama and the Democrats.