Americans Have a Different Plan to Grow the Economy

Conservatives are on a crusade to cut spending on everything but the military while preserving tax cuts for the rich. That’s their plan—but the public has a different agenda.

In the recently released American Values Survey, conducted by Penn Schoen Berland for The Atlantic Monthly and the Aspen Institute, the public endorses spending more on education and infrastructure while raising taxes on the wealthy as the best route to economic growth (56 percent) instead of lowering taxes on individuals and businesses while cutting spending on government services and programs (42 percent).

Figure 1

The public’s opposition to cutting even less essential government services to provide such tax cuts was made clear in a mid-July CBS/New York Times poll where 66 percent opposed that approach, compared to just 30 percent who supported it.

Figure 2

Conservative politicians’ crusade to cut spending and preserve tax cuts for the wealthy may charge up the conservative base. But the broader public seems distinctly unenthusiastic.

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.