The results of an ENR reader poll published after President Biden’s proposed $2-trillion jobs package was unveiled show readers have grown in support of increased infrastructure spending, paid for by an increase in the corporate tax rate.
As of May 20, the poll had received more than 1,700 responses to two questions: 1) Is the $2-trillion-plus amount of infrastructure funding in President Biden’s jobs package the right amount?; and 2) Is the proposed top corporate income tax rate (from the current 21% to 28%) the right approach to new funding?
As ENR reported, President Joe Biden's formal announcement March 31 of his ambitious American Jobs Plan called for hundreds of billions of dollars for highways, bridges, transit, water systems, airports, marine ports, schools and other infrastructure, with spending generally spread over eight years.
In the first few weeks after the poll was published, survey respondents split almost evenly between pro and con choices to both questions. The results have since evolved, however.
How Much Funding?
To the first question about funding levels, results from the first few weeks after the President's proposal indicated about 50% of respondents said the $2-trillion figure was “too high,” while the rest were split between the spending level as “too low” or “just right.”
But as of May 20, just 25% of responses indicate the proposed spending is “too high.” By contrast, a majority of poll-takers, 59%, say the $2-trillion-plus figure is “too low.” The remainder, 16%, think the funding level was just “right.”
Answers to this question correlate with various polls taken by national news organizations about public opinion of the American Jobs Plan, according to analysis by Fivethirtyeight.com. Fox News found that 49% of respondents supported the plan, while 41% opposed it. In a poll conducted by CBS News/YouGov, 58% supported the plan, while 42% opposed it.
Let Corporations Foot the Bill?
Similar shifts were seen to responses to ENR's second question: “Is the proposed top corporate income tax rate (from the current 21% to 28%) the right approach to new funding?”
Initially readers were divided nearly 50/50, with half indicating that “another funding source should be identified.” The other half approved of using some level of corporate income tax increase to pay for infrastructure spending, although responses were split on the degree of increase.
But as of May 20, a majority of responses, 59%, favor some corporate tax increase, but at a lower amount than President Biden’s proposal. The next highest percentage, 23%, voted in favor of finding another funding source altogether, while 17% approved of the plan to increase the corporate tax rate to 28%.
The poll remains open.