President Obama is expected to announce on Wednesday plans for at least $50 billion in new government spending on the nation’s transportation infrastructure and billions more in tax credits in hopes of jumpstarting the troubled economy with midterm elections less than two months away. But the administration has been careful not to call the new spending a second economic stimulus plan, although Republicans and others view it that way.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 55 percent of U.S. voters continue to oppose a second economic stimulus package. Only 31 percent support a second stimulus, and 14 percent more are undecided.
These findings are unchanged from March of last year when a second stimulus was first proposed, following passage of the initial $787-billion economic stimulus package.
However, 63 percent of voters believe it is at least somewhat likely that Congress will try and pass another economic stimulus package this year. Only 24 percent view an effort by Congress to pass another stimulus as unlikely. This includes 32 percent who say it is Very Likely and a mere two percent (2 percent) who think it is Not At All Likely.
The number who say it’s likely Congress will try and pass another stimulus package is down 11 points from March 2009.
With the economy continuing to stumble along, voters are now almost evenly divided over whether the first stimulus plan has helped or hurt.
Seventy percent of voters believe there are things the federal government can do to improve the economy and create jobs, but nearly as many lack confidence that the president and Congress will enact policies to help the economy in the near future.
Just 36 percent of voters are at least somewhat confident that the president and Congress will enact such policies, with 16 percent who are Very Confident. Sixty-one percent lack such confidence, including 33 percent who are Not At All Confident.
Predictably, most Democrats are confident that the president and the Democratic-controlled Congress are likely to enact such policies, but most Republicans are not. More tellingly, 73 percent of voters not affiliated with either major party are not confident that the president and Congress will enact policies to help the economy in the near future, including 46 percent who are Not At All Confident.
Only 14 percent of all voters think there is not anything the government can do to improve the economy and create jobs in the near future. Another 17 percent are not sure.
Generally speaking, however, voters tend to see tax cuts as better than more government spending when it comes to job creation.
Heading into the final two months of the mid-term election campaign, most voters believe Democrats in Congress want to raise taxes and spending, while Republicans in Congress want to cut taxes and spending.
As is often the case, there is a wide disagreement between the Political Class and Mainstream voters over a second economic stimulus plan. Sixty-six percent of Political Class voters favor such a plan, but 74 percent of those in the Mainstream are opposed.
Ninety percent of the Political Class are confident that the president and Congress will pass policies to help the economy in the near future. Eighty percent of Mainstream voters do not share that confidence.
Ninety-three percent of all voters say they are following at least somewhat closely news stories about unemployment and job creation.
Eighty-one percent of American adults know someone who is out of work and looking for a job. Just 14 percent say the job market is better now than it was a year ago.
The Rasmussen Consumer and Investor Indexes, which measure daily confidence in both groups, have changed little since the first of the year.
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