(CNSNews.com) – A plurality of Americans believe President Barack Obama’s stimulus package has harmed economic growth, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll released on Friday.
Less than a third, 29 percent, believe the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the stimulus package, improved the economy. Meanwhile, 43 percent believe it hurt the economy.
The survey was released the same day that the Labor Department released its monthly figures showing that while the number of job cuts were 125,000, the unemployment rate went down from 9.7 percent to 9.5 percent, or two-tenths of a percentage point. President Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus package in February 2009, vowing the bill would save or create 3.5 million to 4 million jobs.
In what Republican lawmakers would likely consider good news, 69 percent in the Rasmussen poll believe tax cuts are a better way to create jobs than more government spending.
But Republican or Democratic policies aside, most voters are looking to the private sector more than government to revive the economy.
“Ultimately, though, voters are looking to the private sector to create jobs,” the poll says. “Sixty-five percent (65%) say that decisions made by business owners seeking to grow their business will do more to create jobs than decisions made by government officials. Just 23% expect the government officials to have a bigger impact.”
During brief remarks Friday at Andrews Air Force Base, Obama said the economy is clearly moving in the right direction.
“This morning, we received the June employment report. It reflected the planned phase out of 225,000 temporary Census jobs,” Obama said Friday. “But it also showed the sixth straight month of job growth in the private sector. All told, our economy has created nearly 600,000 private sector jobs this year. That’s a stark turnaround from the first six months of last year, when we lost 3.7 million jobs at the height of the recession.”
Obama touted various infrastructure investments that have been made and will be made from stimulus funds.
“We’re competing aggressively to make sure that jobs and industries and the markets of tomorrow take root right here in the United States,” the president later said. “We’re moving forward. And to every American who is looking for work, I promise you we are going to keep on doing everything that we can – I will do everything in my power to help our economy create jobs and opportunity for all people.”
But Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, believes the poor labor report is more evidence that the recovery act was an “empty marketing slogan.”
“Disappointed Americans are dropping out of the workforce in increasing numbers as people across the country continue to ask, ‘Where are the jobs?’” Price said in a statement. “Private sector growth is still not where it needs to be, and the demise of temporary Census jobs has predictably left hundreds of thousands of Americans without work once again.
“Entrepreneurs and small business owners will not grow their companies without a basic understanding of future costs,” Price added.