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The Public Supports Stimulus and Infrastructure Spending
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The Public Supports Stimulus and Infrastructure Spending

The public is ready for large-scale action on an economic stimulus, whatever the consequences for the deficit, writes Ruy Teixeira.

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Obama’s first priority when he assumes the presidency next month will likely be to pass a very large stimulus package that emphasizes infrastructure spending. And he’s already got a very important ally in his efforts to do so: the public. A December 6-8 Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll shows that the public, by 54 percent to 33 percent, believes “an economic agenda focused on spending for improvements to the country’s infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and schools” would be more effective than tax cuts in stimulating the nation’s economy and creating jobs.
Chart One

The public also said, by a 58-21 margin, that the threat of the country falling into deep recession worries them more than the threat of a trillion dollars of debt spent on boosting the economy.
Chart Two

No wonder the poll found almost a 2:1 margin (56-29) in favor of a half trillion dollar economic stimulus package, despite being reminded in the question that this would add to the budget deficit. The public is clearly ready for large-scale action on this front, whatever the consequences for the deficit, and will likely be especially sympathetic to plans that include a healthy dose of infrastructure spending.
Chart Three

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Authors

Ruy Teixeira

Senior Fellow

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