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Tarrance Group Poll Finds Popularity Of Bush Economic Stimulus Plan Grows As Voters Learn More About It
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Tarrance Group Poll Finds Popularity Of Bush Economic Stimulus Plan Grows As Voters Learn More About It

A Tarrance Group/Citizens for a Sound Economy poll of 1007 registered voters conducted March 4-6 (+/-3.1%) showed: -- "Awareness of the President's economic plan has not yet penetrated the American public as the public has been focused on the U.N. inspections and the pending war with Iraq. Currently, 53% of American voters have heard something about the President's economic plan; and initial support for the economic plan is 44% favor to 37% oppose. However, once people hear the facts about the plan, support moves 13 points to 57% favor." -- "In most cases, voters have not heard the specifics of the plan; however, once they are given the facts, most Americans like the plan and find the proposals to be 'good ideas.' As one reviews the data, a few items jump out. First, there is virtually no gender gap among married men and married women. These married voters find most of the proposals in the plan to be very appealing and helpful financially to their families." -- "Second, there is a married gap. Throughout the entire survey, married voters have a very separate opinion of that of single voters; and married voters are very positive towards the economic plan. Throughout the data they show high favor towards the proposals. Single voters however, are much more skeptical and tend to lean to a more Democratic position." -- "46% of voters feel the country is headed on the wrong track, while 38% feel we are headed in the right direction. Voters in the Northeast are the most skeptical (54% wrong track) while voters in the South Central region are more positive (53% right direction). Women are more reflective of the total population with 47% saying wrong track and 34% saying right direction; yet, men are evenly split on this matter with 44% wrong track to 44% right direction." -- "When asked to rate the current state of the economy 17% say it is good, 42% say it is just fair and 40% feel the economy is poor. Those most likely to say it is just fair tend to be younger voters, minority men, dads, white married women with children and Republican voters. Retired women, minority women, Independent and Democratic voters, and labor union members tend to rate the economy as being poor." -- "Yet, even with a plurality saying the economy is currently poor, people have a fairly positive view of the future. Voters are optimistic as over a third of voters (34%) feel they will be better off financially a year from now, and 44% say they will be in the same shape financially. These are not daunting figures, as they show a populace who feels the economy will turn around. This opinion stems some from the fact that 16% say they are better off financially than they were last year, and 56% say they are doing the same financially. Only a quarter (27%) say they are worse off." -- Fifty-three percent (53%) of voters disapprove of the way the Democrats in Congress are handling the economy (31% disapprove "strongly"). Nineteen percent (19%) are unsure and 27% approve of the job they are doing. Those who are the most likely to approve of the job they are doing are younger voters, and more Democratic leaning constituencies such as African Americans, Latinos (37%), and Democrats." -- "In examining the generic Congressional ballot, the Republicans have a 5- point lead with 44% choosing the Republican candidate and 39% choosing the Democrat. Seventeen percent (17%) are undecided. Republicans are doing well among the self-employed, women at home (54%), white men, and among married voters with whom they have a 17-point lead (50% Rep to 33% Dem). The Democrats are doing well among younger voters, African Americans (86%), and single voters. Seniors are split with 40% choosing the Republican, 37% choosing the Democrat and 22% being unsure. " -- "President Bush currently has a 58% job approval rating (41% "strongly" approve), and Republican voters have the intensity with 87% saying they approve, while 66% of Democrats disapprove of his job. Blue collar workers are very supportive of Bush with 63% saying approve; and union members are split with 43% saying approve to 50% saying disapprove. Working men overall support Bush with 64% and voters ages 35 to 44 support him with 64%. However, seniors are split 49% approve to 41% disapprove (this is driven by retired women)." -- "Voters are currently split on their initial opinion of how President Bush is handling the economy - 49% approve to 43% disapprove. South Central voters (65% approve), voters ages 30 to 39 (57% approve), and married voters (55% approve) are the most positive of how Bush is handling the economy. Even the pre-retire group of 50 to 59 year olds approve of how Bush is handling the economy by 11-points (52% approve to 41% disapprove). Labor union members tend to be more negative with 58% disapprove." -- "At the end of the survey, voters were asked again to give their opinion on how President Bush is handling the economy. The results are 58% approve to 37% disapprove - an improvement of 9 points."

03/21/2003
Roadkill
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Press Release

Roadkill

In Congress, the House and Senate Transportation Committees are spinning out of control. Unfortunately, it’s American taxpayers that are getting hit head-on. The man behind the swerving wheel is House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska). Setting the stage for a clash with President Bush and his own party leadership, Chairman Young wants to push through a 5.4 cent per gallon increase in federal gas taxes to help pay for a massive $375 billion highway bill.

03/20/2003
Raising Taxes Makes State Fiscal Crisis Worse
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Press Release

Raising Taxes Makes State Fiscal Crisis Worse

© 2002 Copley News Service, 3/19/2003 State governments are in a fiscal crisis not entirely of their own making but certainly exacerbated by their extravagance. According to recent estimates, states face combined budget deficits of $100 billion during the rest of this year and next, due in the main to a stagnant economy. But that is no excuse to raise taxes.

03/19/2003
This Week on Capitol Hill
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Press Release

This Week on Capitol Hill

President Bush’s economic growth and jobs creation plan is under attack from both sides of the aisle. Both chambers’ moderate Republicans concerned with the deficit and the price of war and reconstruction are looking to significantly alter the size of the tax cut during this week’s budget process. Chances for economic growth and future balanced budgets will we be severely handicapped if Congress fails to approve a budget conference report that carves out room for the entire $726 billion tax cut package. Presently, both resolutions prescribe for the entire tax cut and controls federal spending, but Democrats and moderate Republicans are doing their best whittle away at the tax cut.

03/19/2003
The Limits of Lawsuits
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Press Release

The Limits of Lawsuits

The litigation crisis in America has reached a milestone. In the wake of three decades of asbestos litigation—a trail marked by bankruptcies, hundreds of thousands of lawsuits, multibillion-dollar judgments, and real victims who have yet to be compensated—even the American Bar Association and some trial lawyers are admitting that something might be wrong.

03/19/2003
Empower America Announces: National Enterprise Zones of Choice
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Press Release

Empower America Announces: National Enterprise Zones of Choice

Today, Empower America announced a new legislative initiative titled: National Enterprise Zones of Choice. This proposal, which is targeted toward urban and rural communities, has two fundamental goals: 1) increase incentives for economic growth through a reformed tax structure. 2) improve educational opportunities by offering widespread parental choice.

03/19/2003
Empower America Announces: National Enterprise Zones of Choice
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Press Release

Empower America Announces: National Enterprise Zones of Choice

Today, Empower America announced a new legislative initiative titled: National Enterprise Zones of Choice. This proposal, which is targeted toward urban and rural communities, has two fundamental goals: 1) increase incentives for economic growth through a reformed tax structure. 2) improve educational opportunities by offering widespread parental choice.

03/19/2003
2003 Social Security Trustees’ Report
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Press Release

2003 Social Security Trustees’ Report

• Point: The Trustees’ Report shows that inaction is not an option The report clearly shows why inaction on Social Security is not a responsible option, and why President Bush is right to call for bipartisan action to modernize Social Security for the 21st century.

03/18/2003
Nobel Laureate, Parents Testify at Rowdy Vouchers Hearing
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Nobel Laureate, Parents Testify at Rowdy Vouchers Hearing

BY Connie Mabin

Nobel Laureate economist Milton Friedman, who advocates the use of taxpayer-funded vouchers for use in private schools, was among those who testified Tuesday at a rowdy House committee hearing on school vouchers. Friedman, a Stanford University economist, was invited to speak at the House Public Education Committee by its chairman, Rep. Kent Grusendorf. Grusendorf, R-Arlington, has filed a bill that would establish laws authorizing government money for low-income parents who transfer their children from public to private schools. Such a system is commonly referred to as "school vouchers" or "school choice." Grusendorf calls them "freedom scholarships." Friedman said he believes the American public education system has worsened over time, particularly in poor areas, and blames what he calls a government monopoly and powerful teachers unions. "The government provides food stamps but it doesn't run grocery stores," he said. Friedman called Grusendorf's proposal the nation's most broad attempt to use vouchers for public education. "It's the system, not the people" making children fail, Friedman said, and competition would demand improvement in all schools. The audience often erupted in applause and let out loud hoots when supporters voiced agreeable statements. More than 100 people signed up to testify. Dozens of children and parents supporting vouchers wore bright blue T-shirts declaring: "school choice works." But there were vocal opponents, too, including dozens of educators and Sam Smoot, executive director of the Texas Freedom Network. She's opposed to using taxpayer money in schools that don't have to follow the same laws meant to ensure equality and separation of church and state. Texas State Teachers Association President Donna New-Haschke said it's not the time to try vouchers with nearly $3 billion in proposed budget cuts to public education. "We simply cannot afford using tax dollars to fund the interest of private schools when our students are being told to wait for new textbooks, our teachers are facing cuts in health insurance and highly touted programs like master math teachers programs are on the chopping block," New-Haschke said. On the other side, Peggy Venable of Citizens for a Sound Economy said she was disgusted that teachers appeared to be more interested in their own financial future than children's education. "I believe that parents deserve the freedom to choose," Venable said. If public schools fear mass exodus of students because of vouchers, that proves there is a problem, she said. Rep. Scott Hochberg, D-Houston, said he was concerned that the bill did not prohibit religious or gender discrimination. Grusendorf said it prohibited discrimination against race and national orientation. Also, he said, critics must trust parents to select a school that's best for their children. William Bryant, a pastor from Dallas, said vouchers would empower parents, particularly minority or poor parents. "We say yes to it because we believe it's time for real freedom in education for all of the children in Texas," he said. Texas lawmakers, under pressure from teachers unions and 1,100 school districts, have consistently rejected legislation calling for a voucher experiment in selected urban counties. This session is likely to be different in the GOP-dominated Statehouse, however, because Republicans House Speaker Tom Craddick, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Gov. Rick Perry all support a pilot voucher program. Under Grusendorf's legislation, the program for children of low income families would be limited to the state's largest school districts, where enrollment tops 40,000 and a majority of students are eligible for the federal free and reduced priced lunch programs. Eleven public school districts would be initially affected: Aldine, Alief, Houston, Pasadena, Fort Worth, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Brownsville, El Paso and Ysleta. In 2005, local school boards could vote to allow any district to participate. The private schools that accept the vouchers would be required to make tests scores public, a provision critics said is bad because the public has no say in what kind of test. Public schools would continue to receive some funding for students who choose to use a voucher, including about 10 percent of the value of the voucher. Private schools would receive 90 percent of the voucher or the school's average annual cost per student, whichever is less.

03/18/2003
What Does America Actually Think About President's Economic Plan?
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What Does America Actually Think About President's Economic Plan?

Brenna Hapes of Citizens for a Sound Economy, 202-942-7629 News Advisory Featured Speakers: Ed Goeas, President The Tarrance Group Paul Beckner, President Citizens for a Sound Economy WHEN: Friday, March 21, 2003 12:30-1:30 pm 1302 Longworth House Office Building Good sandwiches will be served Do voters in your state support the president's economic growth plan? How can President Bush win on the repeal of the dividend tax? What should your Member be doing today to get ready for a high profile tax cut vote this spring? We've got answers. Join us to hear top GOP pollster Ed Goeas explain the political environment surrounding tax cuts, based on two recent CSE/Tarrance Group nationwide surveys of registered voters. We've tested voter opinion on the economy, Congress, and all of the individual elements of the president's plan. This is the only polling done on the President's plan. Discover what messaging works, and how to position the issue going into April and May. You can't afford to miss this briefing!

03/18/2003

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