Conservatives claim the only way to create jobs is to cut taxes and spending, which will magically induce businesses to invest at a furious rate. The public seems to understand, however, that in today’s economic climate some spending might perform a useful role. One approach that meets with considerable public approval is spending on infrastructure.
In a just-released ABC/Washington Post poll, the public favored by a wide margin (52-33) spending money on projects such as roads, bridges, and technology development over cutting taxes as a way of creating jobs.
And in an early August Washington Post/Kaiser poll, more spending on roads, bridges, and public works projects was the most popular of five choices offered to respondents on how to address the job situation in the country. By an overwhelming 63-13 margin, the public thought such spending would help rather than hurt the job situation.
Conservatives’ knee-jerk hostility to government spending (except on the military) is clearly out of step with today’s job-hungry public.
Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. To learn more about his public opinion analysis, go to the Media and Progressive Values page and the Progressive Studies program page of our website.
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