As President Obama's $825 billion stimulus package made its way to the House of Representatives last week, House Minority Leader John A. Boehner said on the morning of Jan. 25 that many in the Republican party would vote against the plan unless significant changes are made. In response, Big Builder launched an online survey to gauge its readers' reactions.
Half of all respondents anticipated that the Obama administration would increase business tax cuts in the stimulus plan, while 42.9% expected increased payroll tax cuts. Meanwhile, just 7.1% expected to see a decrease in government spending. And many respondents said they expected to see minimal to no changes whatsoever. As one reader put it: "This is not stimulus. It is pure pork."
At the time, the House had not yet passed its version of the stimulus package, but 46.7% of respondents felt it was somewhat likely that the stimulus pan would pass through the Senate and a third thought it was very likely. While 6.7% of respondents felt it was extremely likely, the remaining 13.3% of respondents said it was very unlikely.
Noted one respondent, "Washington has no restraint. They are spending our money like drunken sailors." Said another, perhaps more pragmatic reader, "[There is] lots of pain out there. Republicans can't be seen as obstructionists just yet."
Overall, reader response to the proposed stimulus package was hardly enthusiastic, with one survey respondent going so far as to claim that "RINO [Republican in name only] and moderate senators are more worried about their re-election than the country."
"What happened to, 'The country needs fixing, and we will work together'?" asked another. "Today, we need politicians who work for the USA, not for their own agendas."