President Obama's job approval rating received no immediate bounce following his prime time speech before Congress last Thursday, unsurprisingly, but Americans do say several of his specific job proposals are promising. Obama's approval rating stands at 42 percent among adults interviewed from Friday to Sunday according to Gallup's tracking poll, identical to 42 percent early last week. But the public rates four out of five of his proposals tested in a separate poll as “very” or “somewhat” effective in easing high unemployment.
In a National Journal poll released Tuesday, just 16 percent say Obama’s jobs plan would lower unemployment “a lot,” but another 48 percent say it would help “a little.” Roughly a quarter of adults – 24 percent – say the plan would not help at all.
Majorities of Americans rate Obama’s specific proposals as “very” or “somewhat” effective for creating jobs, including tax cuts for employers who hire new workers or give current workers a raise (75 percent at least somewhat effective), giving money to state and local governments to prevent teacher and police layoffs (70 percent), helping homeowners refinance mortgages (67 percent) and spending on schools and roads (63 percent). Just over four in 10 said cuts in Social Security taxes paid by workers and employers would be effective (42 percent), a proposal that has received mixed reviews in past polling.
The poll also asked about job proposals from Republican presidential candidates. Fully two thirds say a balanced budget amendment would be very or somewhat effective in creating jobs (67 percent), while roughly half rate other proposals as promising, including corporate tax cuts (52 percent), repealing Obama’s health care law (50 percent), extending Bush tax cuts for wealthy Americans and requiring government to eliminate a regulation for each new one they propose (47 percent each).
Notably, few call any of these ideas from Obama or Republicans “very effective” at reducing unemployment, mirroring a Post-Pew poll released last week showing the tepid confidence in prominent proposals to improve the job situation. That poll found six in 10 or more adults saying tax cuts for businesses and individuals, budget cuts and infrastructure spending would help at least a “little” to aid the jobs situation, though fewer than four in 10 said any proposal would help a lot.