Polling data indicates that President Obama’s proposed American Jobs Act contains provisions the public supports, according to TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira’s latest ‘Public Opinion Snapshot’:
The two biggest components of the act are payroll tax cuts, both for employees and employers (about $240 billion) and infrastructure spending on roads and schools (about $140 billion). Over the next few weeks we will see a lot of polling about these ideas, but we already have indications from polling prior to his speech that these two big items will receive a friendly reception from the public.
Start with the payroll tax cuts. Around a week before the speech, the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that the public, by 2:1 (40-20), thought continuing to cut the payroll tax was a good idea for a jobs plan rather than a bad idea.
Regarding infrastructure spending, Teixeira reports:
…The same poll found the public supporting funding a new road construction bill, with 47 percent terming it a good idea, compared to 26 percent who thought it was a bad idea.
Infrastructure spending was also tested in another poll before the speech, conducted by George Washington University/Politico. In that poll, the public was asked about an infrastructure measure very similar to what the president proposed: “a large scale federally subsidized nationwide construction program putting Americans back to work building roads, bridges, schools, and hospitals.” The public supported this idea by a wide 51-21 margin.
“The public is clearly ready for the American Jobs Act,” says Teixeira. “But is Congress? The next few weeks will tell the tale.”