When Is Two Plus Two Greater Than Four?

by Stuart Shapiro

Answer: When it refers to attitudes about the American Jobs Act.  While public opinion is divided on the Act as a whole, the individual pieces are pretty popular.  Steve Benen explains:

On President Obama's American Jobs Act, for example, the public is lukewarm -- a plurality are "somewhat" confident the agenda will "create jobs and improve the economy," but support is hardly one-sided. Notice, however, what happens when respondents are asked about individual provisions:

  • Cut payroll taxes
    Good idea 56%, bad idea 30%
  • State aid to prevent public-sector layoffs
    Good idea 52%, bad idea 40%
  • Infrastructure investments
    Good idea 80%, bad idea 16%
  • Small business tax cuts
    Good idea 81%, bad idea 14%

He also notes that this was exactly what happened with the Affordable Care Act (approval of the individual provisions but mixed sentiments about the bill as a whole).  The Republicans keep talking about breaking up the American Jobs Act into pieces for House consideration.  Fine, just have the guts to consider all of the pieces!

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