World Split on Stimulus Spending: Global Poll

Over half of the people in the some of the world's biggest economies are opposed to their government's spending money in stimulus programs, according to a BBC World Service poll published Tuesday.

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The broadcaster said that in its poll of more than 22,000 people in 22 countries, the strongest opposition for increased government spending to boost the economy was in countries that have already seen stimulus programs, such as Germany, France and the United States.

Some 66 percent of those surveyed in Germany were opposed to government spending money to prop-up the economy. In France 63 percent were opposed, and in the United States 58 percent of those surveyed rejected the idea.

Debates over the effectiveness of the multibillion dollar measures have raged in all three countries, which are trying to put their finances back in order after pumping massive amounts of money into their respective economies in the wake of the global financial downturn.

Germany, which injected billions of euros into its economy last year, is cutting back in a bid to rebalance its budget. In France, efforts to impose fiscal discipline have spawned a series of strikes, while President Barack Obama's plans to renew parts of the U.S. stimulus programs face stiff opposition in Congress.

The survey also found much broader support for the idea that government needs to play a more active role in regulating the economy, with majorities in 19 of the countries surveyed saying that government oversight of the economy needs boosting.

But 56 percent of respondents in the United States disagreed, many of them strongly. A majority in Spain also opposed the idea of more government intervention.

The BBC said the results were drawn from a survey of 22,783 adults in 22 countries conducted by international polling firm GlobeScan together with the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland. Fieldwork, carried out in person or over the phone, took place between June and September 2010.

Besides the U.S., France, Germany, and Spain, other countries sampled included Canada, Mexico, Britain, Brazil, Russia, China, India, Australia and Egypt.

The pollsters said that full sample results for each country had a margin of error of between 2.1 and 3.5 percentage points 19 times out of 20. It noted that some of the questions were asked of smaller samples.