Shared by Faith in Public Life (http://www.faithinpubliclife.org):
Americans think it is more important to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for families earning less than $250,000 a year, as President Obama proposed on Monday, than extending them for all taxpayers, as advocated by congressional Republicans and presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, according to a new United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll. The public also favors Democrats’ plan to create jobs through additional spending on infrastructure and retaining public-sector employees over the Republican plan to cut taxes for businesses.
Presented with a list of five legislative priorities, Americans continue to say that “new federal spending to try to create jobs by rehabilitating public schools, improving roads and mass transit, and preventing layoffs of teachers, police officers, and other first responders”—the spending proposal offered by the Obama administration and congressional Democrats to boost employment and the overall economy—is the most important thing Congress can do before the end of year. But the GOP proposals, such as business-tax cuts and repealing the 2010 health care law, also score fairly well with the public; roughly half say it is “very important” for Congress to reach agreement on those initiatives before the end of 2012.
The Congressional Connection Poll was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, which surveyed 1,004 adults from July 5-8. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.
The poll is the latest in a series of national surveys tracking the public’s priorities for Congress—and its assessment of Washington’s performance—during most weeks that Congress is in session during this election year.
Seventy percent of respondents say it is “very important” for Congress to come to an agreement on spending for infrastructure and retaining teachers and first responders, and a combined 87 percent say it is “very” or “somewhat” important. That Democratic proposal scores higher than the GOP plan—passing “a plan to create jobs mostly through tax cuts to small and large businesses”—with 52 percent saying the Republican initiative is “very important.” But the difference is largely one of intensity: 29 percent say that the GOP plan is “somewhat important,” meaning that the combined percentage of Americans who ascribe some importance to the Republican proposal is comparable to results for the Democratic bill.
Read the rest of this National Journal article at http://ht.ly/c8GUq.