Did the economic "stagflation" and recession of the mid-1970s through the early 1980s increase anti-poor sentiment and opposition to anti-poverty programs, or did they bring about a more sympathetic view of the poor? I present over-time and cross-sectional analyses which show that beliefs about the causes of poverty and attitudes toward welfare were affected little by this recent period of prolonged macro-economic difficulties. On the one hand, I argue that these findings have positive implications for poverty policy, while on the other hand, the stability of prevalent individualistic explanations for poverty in the face of prolonged economic troubles has negative implications. In light of this stability. I suggest that the increase in anti-welfare sentiment indicated in polls and surveys during the 1970s may be illusory.