ICYMI: DATA FOR PROGRESS BLOG: VOTERS PREFER THE AMERICAN JOBS PLAN TO SMALLER GOP COUNTER-PROPOSAL

New polling from Invest in America and Data For Progress shows that the American Jobs Plan is overwhelmingly popular and that the Republican attempts to make the package smaller and/or insert poison pills like user fees and a gas tax are unpopular.

Key findings:

  • 69% of voters support the American Job Plan when it is paid for by a mix of adding to the national debt and raising taxes on large corporations by a +45 point margin — including 45% of Republicans and 70% of Independents.
  • 69% of voters support the American Jobs Plan when it is paid for by raising corporate taxes by a +43 point margin — including 42% of Republicans and 67% of Independents.
  • 59% of voters, including 66% of Independents and 68% of Republicans, oppose gas taxes to fund infrastructure investments.
  • 56% of voters, including 60% of Independents and 61% of Republicans, oppose user-fees such as tolls and miles-per-traveled taxes on cars to fund infrastructure investments.

Data For Progress: Likely Voters Support the American Jobs Plan

As part of an April, 2021 survey of likely voters nationally, Invest in America and Data for Progress tested support for the American Jobs Plan (AJP) using two different pay-for schemes: 1) raising the corporate tax rate and 2) a small corporate tax increase combined with deficit financing. In addition, we tested the American Jobs Plan in a head-to-head against the current Senate Republican counterproposal. Last, we looked at attitudes towards two alternate funding schemes — the gas tax and levying user fees like higher tolls and a mile-per-traveled tax — to finance new infrastructure spending. 

Regardless of how it is paid for, the AJP is popular with likely voters. Paying for it exclusively through a corporate tax hike is supported by a 45-percentage-point margin. Meanwhile, paying for the plan by a mix of hiking the corporate tax rate and adding to the national debt is backed by a margin of 42-points. Likely voters that self-identify as Democrats and Republicans narrowly prefer the blended financing approach. Likely voters that self-identify as independents slightly prefer paying for the AJP solely through hiking the corporate tax rate. This suggests that both of these AJP financing paths offer substantial bipartisan support from likely voters. 

Next, we tested the AJP in a head-to-head against a proposal similar to the GOP counteroffer that has been floated, specifically, a package roughly $600 – $800 billion in size with a narrower focus on physical infrastructure, and funded through reallocating unspent money from pandemic relief bills and user fees — such as a miles-per traveled tax, functionally a hike to the gas tax. Likely voters were told the AJP would be funded exclusively by increasing taxes on large corporations.

We find that, by a margin of 26-points, likely voters prefer the AJP to the GOP plan. Democrats and independents prefer the AJP by margins of 52-points and 33 points, respectively. Republicans, meanwhile, are split: thirty-seven percent prefer the AJP and 43 percent prefer the GOP counter offer — while 20 percent remain undecided.

We also polled two funding sources that some lawmakers have proposed be used to pay for new infrastructure spending. First is the gas tax. We find that likely voters oppose raising the gas tax to pay for new infrastructure spending by 24-point margin. Opposition to the use of this tax extends across partisan lines: Democrats, independents, and Republicans oppose it by margins of two-points, 39-points, and 41-points, respectively. 

We then asked about the user fees like tolls and a miles-per-traveled tax for cars. This yielded a similar result to the gas tax question. Overall, by 20 points, likely voters oppose the use of user fees to fund investment infrastructures. This support, again, extends across partisan lines: Democrats oppose it by a two-point margin, independents by a 28-point margin, and Republicans by a 30-point margin.

Regardless of how the AJP is funded, the plan is popular. Likely voters are supportive of both the use of a corporate tax hike, exclusively, as well as a blended approach that combines a smaller corporate tax rate increase with some deficit financing. Moreover, A robust majority prefers the AJP to a plan that resembles the GOP counterproposal. Last, the use of the gas tax and user fees to pay for new infrastructure spending is unpopular. Democratic lawmakers should understand that these payfors are potential poison pill provisions that could seriously undercut support for AJP. Corporate tax hikes and deficit financing are popular funding mechanisms and, from a polling standpoint, there is no reason to diverge from this course of action. 

Toplines can be found here.

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