When Is Two Plus Two Greater Than Four?

Posted by | September 17, 2011 17:23 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Answer: When it refers to attitudes about the American Jobs Act.  While public opinion is divided on the Act as a whole, the individual pieces are pretty popular.  Steve Benen explains:

On President Obama’s American Jobs Act, for example, the public is lukewarm — a plurality are “somewhat” confident the agenda will “create jobs and improve the economy,” but support is hardly one-sided. Notice, however, what happens when respondents are asked about individual provisions:

  • Cut payroll taxes
    Good idea 56%, bad idea 30%
  • State aid to prevent public-sector layoffs
    Good idea 52%, bad idea 40%
  • Infrastructure investments
    Good idea 80%, bad idea 16%
  • Small business tax cuts
    Good idea 81%, bad idea 14%

He also notes that this was exactly what happened with the Affordable Care Act (approval of the individual provisions but mixed sentiments about the bill as a whole).  The Republicans keep talking about breaking up the American Jobs Act into pieces for House consideration.  Fine, just have the guts to consider all of the pieces!

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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