I&I/TIPP Poll: Most Independents Oppose Biden’s Massive Spending Plan

I&I/TIPP Poll: Most Independents Oppose Biden’s Massive Spending Plan

Is President Biden in a no-win situation?

Terry Jones

As Democrats scramble to rescue their massive spending bill amid internal divisions between moderates in the party and the far left, they are getting little support outside their own base, according to the latest I&I/TIPP poll.

Over the weekend, President Joe Biden had to contend with not getting his bi-partisan $1.1 trillion infrastructure plan passed through the Democratically controlled House without having a vote on the $3.5 trillion spending plan. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had to scuttle plans for a vote on the $1.1 trillion infrastructure plan after far-left members of her caucus said they’d vote against that bill if they didn’t pass the larger one first.

Now some Democrats are all but conceding that they don’t have the votes for a spending package of that magnitude. How this all plays out is anyone’s guess at this moment.

But what is clear from the I&I TIPP poll is that only Democrats strongly support this gargantuan tax-and-spend plan. Republicans and independents oppose it.

The I&I/TIPP poll is carried out monthly by TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, I&I’s polling partner.  The latest was conducted from Sept. 29-Oct. 2 and includes responses from 1,308 adults surveyed, giving it a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.

Respondents were asked two questions related to the spending plan: “How closely are you following news stories about a plan in Congress to spend $3.5 trillion and raise taxes by $2 trillion?” and “Generally speaking, to what extent do you support or oppose the plan to spend $3.5 trillion and raise taxes by $2 trillion?”

Despite the stakes involved and the impact this plan would have on the economy, only 59% of those surveyed say they are paying close attention to the developments surrounding it. More than a third (35%) say they aren’t following this story closely

I&I/TIPP Poll Results: Americans and their interest in the democrat's infrastructure spending plan.

Details of what is actually in the $3.5 trillion plan, or how Democrats plan to raise $2 trillion to help pay for it, remain sketchy. Republicans contend that Democrats used a variety of gimmicks to make the spending plan seem cheaper by phasing out or ending new entitlement programs with the next decade, something unlikely to happen once the programs are in place. Critics of the bill say the real cost is more like $5 trillion.

Nevertheless, the I&I/TIPP poll found not surprisingly that the vast majority of Republicans (79%) oppose the plan. Fifty-nine percent of Republicans say they “strongly oppose” it.

Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan also failed to capture majority support among independents, with only 45% backing it, while 51% oppose it. Nearly a third of independents (32%) say they strongly oppose the plan.

This opposition was more than offset by the overwhelming support for the new spending and taxes by Democrats. The poll found that 88% of Democrats support the plan, with 51% saying they strongly support it.

I&I/TIPP Poll Results: American support for democrat's spending plan.

The findings undercut a key campaign promise of President Joe Biden, who ran as a moderate that said he could unite the country.

Because of the strong backing by Democrats, the plan gets 55% approval overall, with 42% opposing it. But there is an almost even split between those who strongly support and strongly oppose the plan (28% and 29%, respectively).

Other notable and sometimes surprising differences:

The poll found that support was strongest among urban dwellers (72%) and weakest among those living in rural areas (42%). Most of those living in the suburbs (51%) also oppose the plan.

The poll found that men were more supportive than women (59% to 50%), blacks and Hispanics far more than whites (73% vs. 47%), and young more than the elderly (67% of those 25-44 vs. 44% of those 65 and older).

Despite the sharp tax hikes being proposed for corporations, the wealthy, and investors, those who have money in the stock market were more supportive than those who did not (62% vs. 50%).

These findings come amid crumbling support for President Biden, growing concerns about the direction of the country, the exploding national debt, and worries that inflation will be a long-term problem.

A separate I&I/TIPP poll found that most Americans want the government to cut spending to rein in inflation. It also found that, contrary to assertions by the Biden administration that inflation was a temporary problem, fully 68% think it is “a long-term problem that will be with us for a while.”

I&I/TIPP Poll Results: Americans and what should be done to reduce inflation

As we noted: “Businesses and families in the country are hurting and afraid of inflation, and they believe that big government spending is unwise.”

As a result, President Biden is in what appears to be a no-win situation. If he manages to get his $3.5 trillion, or something like it, it could backfire if inflation continues at this current high rate. If he fails to get his massive spending agenda approved by his own party, it will be another sign of weakness that will haunt his presidency.


TIPP Takes

Taiwanese Foreign Minister Warns His country Is Preparing For War With China, Asks Australia For Help

Taiwanese soldiers during the annual Han Kuang military drill in September
Taiwanese soldiers during the annual Han Kuang military drill in September

Taiwan's Foreign Minister warns his nation is preparing for war with China and urges Australia to increase intelligence sharing and security cooperation.

Speaking to the ABC's China Tonight program, Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu declared that if the PLA were to launch an actual strike, his democratic state would be ready to repel it.

The minister from Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party believes other like-minded countries such as Australia should now aid his besieged nation by developing closer ties.

Australia does not formally recognize Taiwan diplomatically, but the federal government regularly calls for a "peaceful resolution" of differences between China and the small independent nation through dialogue and without the threat or use of force or coercion.


Kishida To Take Office As Japan PM With Virus, Economy Top Challenges

Fumio Kishida sits on the chair reserved for the Liberal Democratic Party president at the Japanese ruling party's headquarters in Tokyo on Sept. 29, 2021. (Kyodo)
Fumio Kishida sits on the chair reserved for the Liberal Democratic Party president at the Japanese ruling party's headquarters in Tokyo on Sept. 29, 2021. (Kyodo)

On Monday, Fumio Kishida, the new leader of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, will take office as prime minister and form his Cabinet, tasked with keeping COVID-19 under control while reviving a battered economy.

The former foreign minister will also be looking to bolster cooperation with the United States to counter China's rising assertiveness and military buildup and address the recent resumption of ballistic missile tests by North Korea.


What's Behind Fresh Tensions On The Iran-Azerbaijan Border?

An explosion during a military exercise by the Iranian Army in the country's northwest, close to the border with Azerbaijan, on October 1.
An explosion during a military exercise by the Iranian Army in the country's northwest, close to the border with Azerbaijan, on October 1.

Iranian officials are linking the military drill on its northwestern borders to alleged Israeli influence in Azerbaijan.

Tensions have increased recently between Tehran and Baku over three issues: a joint military drill that Azerbaijani troops conducted alongside their Turkish and Pakistani counterparts some 500 kilometers from the Iranian border; Azerbaijani restrictions on Iranian truck drivers' access to Armenia and the detention of two drivers; and Azerbaijani ties to Iran's archenemy Israel.

Touraj Atabaki, professor emeritus of the social history of the Middle East and Central Asia at Leiden University in the Netherlands, told RFE/RL's Radio Farda that Tehran was concerned it was being sidelined.

Iran and Azerbaijan have enjoyed good relations in the past, but Tehran has increasingly expressed concern about alleged Israeli influence there.


Pandora Papers: Secret Wealth And Dealings Of World Leaders Exposed

infographic

Some 35 current and former leaders and more than 300 public officials are featured in the files from offshore companies, dubbed the Pandora Papers.

The leaked financial documents show how the King of Jordan secretly amassed a property empire in the U.K. and the U.S. worth more than £70m (over $100m). They identify a network of offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands and other tax havens used by Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein to buy 15 homes since he assumed power in 1999.

They also show how ex-UK PM Tony Blair and his wife saved £312,000 in stamp duty when they bought a London office.

Among the other revelations in the Pandora Papers:

Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta and six members of his family secretly owned a network of offshore companies. They have been linked to 11 firms - one of which was valued as holding assets of $30m

Members of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's inner circle, including cabinet ministers and their families, secretly own companies and trusts holding millions of dollars.

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