Over two-thirds back Biden’s multitrillion-dollar infrastructure package and believe he’s doing more for the nation’s roads, bridges and power grid than his predecessor.
(CN) — Most Americans support President Joe Biden’s multitrillion-dollar infrastructure plan — and a proposed health care expansion — and say they are willing to greenlight tax hikes for corporations and the wealthy to get them paid for.
Less than two weeks after being formally announced by the president, a poll released Monday by Monmouth University suggests most Americans are ready to throw their support behind the gigantic spending package aimed at rebuilding America’s infrastructure. According to the poll, nearly 70% of Americans say they back the spending plan and just under 30% say they oppose it.
The plan, set to cover a myriad of infrastructure projects ranging from road management, clean energy investments and even expansions to internet access, comes with overwhelming support from Democrats and independents. Nearly 95% of Democrats and 70% of independents support spending package, but just around a third of GOP members say the same.
The public is not quite as united on what the proposed infrastructure revamp will mean for the country on the world stage. Just over half of Americans say they believe the plan will help strengthen the United State’s position in the world economy, while around a third believe it won’t make much of a difference at all. Meanwhile, 1 in 10 Americans maintain the bill will weaken the United States’ competitive edge.
Support for Biden’s spending aspirations are not limited to just infrastructure, however. The White House is reportedly set to unveil another spending plan later this week aimed at expanding access to health care and child care, and despite not being formally announced yet, is already enjoying support nearly on par with the infrastructure package.
When asked which of these plans should receive priority over the other, 21% say they think the top spot should go to the health care plan and 19% say the infrastructure bill. More than half of Americans, however, say both plans are equally crucial for the country.
Regardless which plan they prefer, most Americans back how both bills will be paid for: tax hikes on businesses and the wealthy. According to the poll, roughly two thirds of Americans say they have no problem with raising taxes on corporations and individuals pulling in more than $400,000 a year to help cover the costs of Biden’s plans.
But Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, notes this kind of overwhelming early support for Biden’s ambitious spending goals should not be taken for granted. A similar spending package passed in 2009 was widely praised during its earliest days but was deemed a dud by many that same year when some Americans felt like its promises didn’t come to fruition — a lesson, Murray says, on the importance of tangible results.
“The Biden administration’s presumption that spending programs are popular is borne out by these poll numbers,” Murray said with the release of the poll. “The key to maintaining this level of support is whether Americans can point to direct benefits in their own lives once those plans are put into action.”
While only time will tell how these plans will go over with most Americans if enacted, more Americans believe the government is at least getting its priorities straight by giving the issue of infrastructure a harder look.
Monday’s poll reports that around half of Americans believe the feds are not putting enough money into transportation-related infrastructure projects, down from the 62% of Americans who voiced the same sentiment in 2018. The number of Americans who believe the government is spending just the right amount of money on infrastructure, around a quarter of them, is also up slightly from three years ago.
Biden seems to be driving these changes in the public’s perception of infrastructure, with just under half of Americans believing the president is giving the issue the right amount of attention and around a third saying he’s not giving it enough.
These numbers well outpace the faith the public had in Biden’s predecessor on the same subject. Three years ago, despite frequently citing it in campaign speeches and official events as one of his administration’s top priorities, just 26% of Americans believed that then-President Donald Trump was giving transportation infrastructure the attention it deserved.
“It seemed like every week was Infrastructure Week during the Trump administration, but Biden is already getting more credit than his predecessor for tackling this problem,” Murray said.
Monday’s poll of 800 adults contained a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.