Survey Results: What will work in the new stimulus package?

by Salary.com Staff - Original publish date: January 18, 2012

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 incorporates several different initiatives designed to jump start the economy. In a recent survey we attempted to gauge how confident our readership is in the effectiveness of these initiatives.

Tax Relief ($288 Billion)

The largest section of the bill, Tax Relief received a favorable response from our readership. Regardless of party affiliation a clear majority had faith that tax incentives and tax breaks will have a positive impact.

Health Care Reform ($147.7 billion)

Health Care Reform showed striking - if not surprising - division along party lines with a large majority of Democrats believe it will have a positive impact on the economy and Republicans are overwhelmingly convinced it will be harmful.

Emergency Aid Money to States ($144 Billion)

This issue is also split along party lines, but not as dramatically. Democrats were confident in the provisions, but Republicans and independents were relatively evenly split across the board as to whether it would help, hurt or have no effect.

Increased Funding for Education ($90.9 Billion)

This initiative was viewed favorable by all political affiliation groups, but most favorably by democrats than any other group.

Welfare ($81 billion)

This issue was the only issue with an overwhelmingly negative response from all respondents. Democrats were suppo rtive of the welfare spending, but only in a small measure and not enough to compensate for the negative response from Republicans and Independents.

Infrastructure Improvements ($80.9 Billion)

This initiative had the most favorable response of all the initiatives surveyed. Most likely due to the part infrastructure played in Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. The creation of the United States Public Works Administration in the 1930s created jobs and played a significant role in stabilizing the economy during the Great Depression.

Energy Initiatives ($49.7 Billion)

Energy initiatives were also viewed quite positively across the board - possibly fueled by the memory of last summer's high gas prices.

Housing ($12.7 Billion)

Housing is a relatively small section of the package. With the exception of Democrats the rest of the country seemed split as to whether it would hurt, help or have no effect.

Tax Relief Thought to be Most Effective

When asked to pick which initiative would be most effective in jump-starting the economy, most people choose Tax Relief. Even Democrats preferred it by a modest margin. 46.3% of Republicans, 25% of Democrats and 36.1% of everyone else thought Tax Relief would be the most effective initiative.

Welfare Thought to be Least Effective

When asked to pick which initiative would be least effective in jump-starting the economy, the overwhelming majority picked welfare. 39.1% of Republicans, 36% of Democrats, 37.2% of Others believed welfare to be the least effective initiative.

When will we recover?

This question also had surprisingly strong agreement across party lines. 35.5% of Republicans, 38.6% of Democrats and 37.7% of Independents believe that the economy will take 12-24 months to recover.

Thank you for your Participation

We would like to thank everyone who participated in this survey for their time.

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