Commentary: Stimulus bill hatred is misplaced

Obama administration officials are fanning out across the country to raise awareness about the impact of the federal stimulus bill, which became law a year ago today. Based on a new CNN poll, they have their work cut out.

Only one-quarter of Americans think the federal stimulus plan has helped the middle class, and only one-third think it helped low-income Americans. Meanwhile, 74 percent think that at least half the stimulus spending has been wasted.

Such perceptions are understandable, given the struggles families are facing and the stimulus bill's failure to reduce the unemployment rate. But they don't match what was actually in the bill.

The largest item in the stimulus package was a workers' tax cut worth $116 billion. According to the CNN poll, 70 percent of the public support the tax cuts in the bill.

The second and fourth largest items in the package were aid to states for Medicaid ($87.1 billion) and education and other essential services ($53.6 billion). Imagine how much worse state budget problems would be without this federal help.

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