The components of President Barack Obama’s jobs plan meet with general approval — and there even is bi-partisan support for some of the ideas — at least until the public is told that the plan is Obama’s. But there remains skepticism in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll that the President’s proposals will create a significant number of new jobs.
Only 32% believe the President’s jobs plan will create a significant number of new jobs; 39% say it won’t. And when Americans look backwards, many don’t see the 2009 stimulus package as having helped the economy. Only one in four say it did; a majority believes it either had no effect or hurt the economy.
The public supports several aspects of the current jobs plan, however. They want spending — for highways and transit, for school construction, for hiring teachers, police and firefighters. They would give tax credits to businesses for hiring the long-term unemployed, and for hiring disabled military veterans. Smaller pluralities would extend unemployment benefits and extend the Social Security tax cut for workers. Nearly half favor raising revenues with a 5.6% tax hike for those whose incomes exceed $1 million.
Do you favor or oppose the following measures to stimulate the economy and create jobs? (Asked of half of respondents)
Extending and expanding the Social Security
Reducing the Social Security taxes paid
Funding highways, transit, rail
Funding school construction
Extending unemployment benefits
Offering tax credits for businesses that
Providing aid to local governments
Funding job creation measures through a 5.6%
Offering tax credits for businesses hiring military
Extending tax provisions allowing companies to more
Half the sample was asked for their opinion on these items without being told that they were part of the President’s jobs bill. The other half was told these were pieces of the President’s bill. Overall support did not change much, but on some items where the support came from did. For example, a majority of Republicans favored extending tax provisions allowing businesses to write off the cost of new equipment more quickly in principle; GOP support was ten points lower among the half sample told this was what the President’s plan did. At the same time, Democratic support rose 12 points.
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