I've been wondering something for awhile now. With the recent one-year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (aka "the stimulus"), and also President's Day this week, I figured it was time to pop the question - and a poll.

What do people in construction think of President Obama's impact on the industry? I know certain people in the industry who are normally quite vocal about being fiscally conservative, but when it comes to the impact of the stimulus, they're quite upbeat and positive about it. Also, transportation contractors, for good reason, tend to be more positive about the stimulus than general builders. But some GCs are generally favorable to the impact of the stimulus, too.

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President Barack Obama - Hero or villain?

So - Is he the person who gets most of the credit for the positive impacts from the stimulus? Or do you view the stimulus as deficit spending that will bankrupt the country, despite its benefits to the construction industry? Does he get your positive reviews because of his promotion of a high-speed rail network and his recent announcement of loan guarantees to jump start the construction of nuclear power plants? On the other hand, maybe you're a supporter of the merit-shop concept and you think President Obama is overly pro-union.

There's no doubt about it. Opinions are divided, and heated - which is why I wonder what people in the construction industry think about him. I'm also wondering this because, in my opinion, he's had one of the biggest impacts on the construction industry of any president I can remember. In fact, an argument could probably be made that he's having the greatest direct impact of any president since Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal. Then again, maybe you think I'm wrong about that.

So, two requests: First - Cast your vote in the simple one-click poll we've created with the following question: "What do you think of President Obama's impact on the construction industry?" You'll have five choices, and again, one click will do the trick.

Secondly, please provide your comments here. This is what this blog post is all about - hearing what you think! Like I said, I've been wondering about this for awhile now, and I'm truly anxious to hear what you have to say.

EDITOR'S NOTE Re: COMMENTS: I encourage you to be as passionate as you'd like with your comments. I have a request and a reminder. The Request - Please indicate what your vocation is (contractor, engineer, etc.). The Reminder - All comments are monitored, and anything inappropriate or offensive will be deleted. So let's keep it clean. I appreciate the feedback!

Go ahead. Let me hear what you think!

EDITOR's UPDATE, 3/1/2010: Thanks for the outstanding response to this blog post! Your comments -- 59 at the time of this update - made for interesting reading and collectively provided some insights into how at least some people in the industry feel about this subject. Our related web poll has gathered 500 votes. I'll post another blog soon in response to this one, along with the results of the poll. "Talk" to you again soon!