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Poll: Americans Oppose Make-Believe Legislation

In addition to super-accurate presidential and local race polling, Rasmussen Reports traffics in polls that ask unusual questions that have been bouncing around conservative circles. In October 2008, for example, the company asked if Americans agreed with President Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural address and the statement “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” Fifty-nine percent said yes, which directly or indirectly encouraged the McCain-Palin campaign to pound home the message that Barack Obama was a big-government redistributor of wealth. (Reagan actually said that this pertained to “our current crisis,” but never mind.)

Now, RR has polled the stimulus.

Generally speaking, do you favor or oppose the economic recovery plan proposed by Barack Obama?

44% Favor

28% Oppose

27% Not sure

What will do the most to stimulate the economy– tax cuts or new government spending?

47% Tax cuts

32% New government spending

22% Not sure

Suppose the economic recovery plan changed so that it included tax cuts only and there was no new government spending. Would you favor or oppose an economic recovery plan that included tax cuts only?

37% Favor

38% Oppose

25% Not sure

Suppose the economic recovery plan changed so that it included only new government spending and there were no tax cuts. Would you favor or oppose an economic recovery plan that included only new government spending?

21% Favor

58% Oppose

21% Not sure

Message: Americans like tax cuts more than “new government spending.” Subtext: the Republican suggestions for the stimulus, which are all tax cuts all the time, is more popular than the Democrats’ spending plans. “Many Democrats are concerned that there is not enough spending in Obama’s plan,” points out Rasmussen.

The problem is that the Democrats are proposing both tax cuts and new spending. Obama’s plan, which includes both, is favored 44-28, while the Republicans’ plan is opposed 38-37. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear Republicans cite this poll in criticizing the Democrats’ spending plans.

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