The details of the Democratic economic stimulus package are starting to emerge:
Congressional Democrats are putting the final touches on an economic stimulus package worth almost $850 billion, hoping to have the details ready in time for President-elect Barack Obama to promote it during a trip to Ohio [today] aimed at building public support for the recovery plan.
With its cost estimate almost tripling since shortly after Obama’s November election victory, the stimulus package is expected to include at least $300 billion in tax cuts and nearly $550 billion in domestic spending, making the price tag of his first major legislative initiative almost equal to the annual cost of funding all federal agencies.
Democrats vowed to support the broad outlines of Obama’s initial ideas, but they continued to alter the details of the plan. Support continued to slip for his tax-relief proposals for businesses — which were initially intended to appeal to Republicans — and preliminary spending plans showed that more than half of the new domestic spending would go to the states to provide budget relief for health, labor and education services.
And Republicans who are considering knee-jerk opposition to the plan should keep this in mind:
Americans support the economic-stimulus plan being pushed by President-elect Barack Obama
Overall, the poll found strong public backing for the stimulus plan and its major planks, particularly proposals to spend more federal money to create jobs.
Asked about the economic-stimulus package, now estimated to cost $850 billion over two years, 43% of people surveyed called it a “good idea,” while 27% said it is a “bad idea.” The rest didn’t have an opinion.
Even Republicans and independents think GOP lawmakers should work to move the legislation forward. Asked whether Republicans in Congress should do everything to stand firm for their party’s principles and oppose the legislation, or look to compromise with the Obama administration, 68% of Republicans and independents chose compromise, with 20% picking standing firm.
By a nearly 2-to-1 ratio, people preferred government spending to create jobs over tax cuts to give Americans more money to spend. Large majorities endorsed many details in the plan, with 89% saying they like the idea of creating jobs through increasing production of renewable energy and making public buildings more energy efficient.
The survey listed areas where Mr. Obama could potentially be seen as going “too far.” The only one where a majority of people registered concern was with providing aid to corporations facing bankruptcy.
The American people support the Democratic stimulus plan. More people support increased government spending over increased tax cuts. And the only problem we have is shoveling too much money over to Wall Street and big corporations.
Republicans, who have been agitating against government spending and for tax cuts, particularly corporate tax cuts, are not in the majority here. If they oppose the stimulus package, they do so at the risk of losing even more public support. Smart Republicans would be advised to support this plan and help make it work as much as possible.
More details on the plan will be released later today, but the GOP should see these numbers as a shot across the bow 0f their opposition.