Public sentiment about the new $789 billion stimulus bill hammered out by House-Senate negotiators Wednesday suggest that Americans are, above all, pragmatic about what will happen over the next few months.
Which is to say, they're not expecting much.
By Washington standards, the stimulus package is huge – one of the largest bills ever. (Click here for a look at what's in the bill.) But in a $14.3 trillion US economy, it packs a small punch – less than 3 percent of economic output over each of the next two years.
Action, not details
Not that Americans are indifferent, according to recent polls. They're eager to see action from Washington. Passage of the plan is more important than the specifics of the plan, one pollster told a Monitor reporter.
In a recent Gallup poll, only 12 percent said the stimulus plan would make the situation “a lot better,” the same percentage as those who think it will make things worse. (Click here to read about the surprising share of people who expect no effect at all.)
View from Atlanta
“It’s not going to solve anything for a year or two,” he says.