Voters See Infrastructure as Key to Job Creation, Growing Economy 2009 Stimulus Use Misunderstood By Voters
WASHINGTON, July 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The results of a new national Clarus Poll show that large majorities of voters nationwide believe building infrastructure is necessary to a healthy, growing economy and would "create a significant number of new jobs."
The poll also revealed important public misconceptions about the 2009 economic stimulus package. Most voters are under the mistaken impression that a much greater amount of the stimulus package's funding was dedicated to transportation infrastructure than was actually the case.
Even though only 3.4 percent of the federal stimulus funding in last year's $800 billion package was specifically dedicated to highways, roads, and bridges, 65 percent of voters believe it was three times greater than that. At the same time, 69 percent of voters think that at least 25 percent of the stimulus package should have been used to create jobs by building and improving highways, roads and bridges – which would be eight times more than it actually was.
"Because much of the buzz around the stimulus focused on 'shovel-ready' public-works projects that would put people back to work rebuilding the nation's infrastructure, many voters believe that's where a major portion of the money went," said Dennis Slater, President of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, the group that commissioned the poll. "But only a small part of the stimulus was used for that purpose. Voters aren't very happy about that because they understand the link between rebuilding infrastructure and creating jobs and a healthy economy."
The Clarus Poll also found that only five percent of all voters surveyed said the stimulus has been "very effective" in creating jobs.
Clarus Research Group, a nonpartisan survey research firm based in Washington, D.C., conducted the 1,000-sample nationwide poll for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. Interviewing was conducted June 27-July 2, 2010 by live telephone interviewers. The poll's margin of error was +/- 3.1 percent. For more information, go to ClarusRG.com
Highlights of the poll:
- 88 percent of voters nationwide believe that having "modern, safe and efficient" infrastructure is "necessary" to a healthy, growing economy.
- Two-thirds of voters (67 percent) agree that, "Given current economic conditions, it's a good time to build and repair America's roads and bridges."
- Over two-thirds of the national electorate believe investing "more money into building and improving roads, bridges and other public works projects – such as sewer, water, and flood control systems" would…
- "make America a more desirable place to live and work" (71 percent)
- "create a significant number of new jobs in the United States" (68 percent)
- "help America build a stronger economy for future generations" (67 percent)
- "help American farmers and manufacturers get their products to customers quicker and at less cost" (67 percent)
- Even though only 3.4 percent of the 2009 stimulus funding was dedicated to highways, roads and bridges, 65 percent of voters believe that at least 10 percent and 41 percent of voters believe that at least 25 percent of stimulus funding was dedicated to this purpose.
- 69 percent of voters think that at least 25 percent of the stimulus package should have been used for highways, roads and bridges (that's 8 times more than was actually the case).
- 39 percent of voters think that at least HALF of the stimulus package should have been used for this purpose (that's over 15 times more than was actually the case).
- Voters are negative in their assessment of the job Congress is doing on major infrastructure issues:
- 72 percent give Congress negative marks on "repairing and replacing unsafe roads and bridges" (33 percent rated Congress "poor" and 39 percent "only fair")
- 65 percent give Congress negative marks on "repairing and replacing outdated water, sewer, and drainage systems" (34 percent rated Congress "poor" and 31 percent "only fair")
- 68 percent give Congress negative marks on "improving flood control and levee systems to protect from hurricanes and storms" (37 percent rated Congress "poor" and 31 percent "only fair")
SOURCE Clarus Research Group