Center for Microeconomic Data

At a Glance: Findings from the December SCE Public Policy Survey
Survey data track consumers’ outlook on public policy—likelihood of changes and impact of shifts. The survey is fielded every four months.

  • The December survey reveals sharp post-election changes in expectations, with respondents assigning higher average probabilities to increases in the generosity of assistance and social insurance programs, and to a rise in taxes.
  • The average probabilities assigned to increases over the next twelve months in housing assistance, welfare benefits, Medicare expansions, paid parental leave, preschool education, and federal student aid and debt forgiveness all increased to new series highs, with expectations of benefit cuts reaching new lows.
  • Expectations regarding changes in federal and state minimum wage levels also increased substantially, but remained below their previous highs reached in August 2016.
  • The likelihood of an increase in the average income tax rate over the next year rose to 52 percent in December from 37 percent in August, reaching a new series high (with series starting in November 2015).

Due to a response recording error, the December 2020 values for the expected impact variables are unavailable.

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The SCE Public Policy Survey is fielded as a rotating module of the Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE). The data are updated online three times per year as results come in.

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