Households See Less Chance of Increase in Safety Net Spending, Lower Likelihood of Tax Hikes
The results of the April 2022 SCE Public Policy Survey show several striking changes in the public’s expectations regarding federal assistance and social insurance programs. Following the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020 and the 2020 general election, and lasting until about August 2021, there was a steady rise in the average likelihood respondents assigned to spending increases for a range of public support programs, including housing, welfare, and unemployment benefits, subsidies for preschool education, and federal student aid. Since then, there has been a strong reversal in the average perceived likelihood of such expansions, as respondents increasingly expect to see no changes in these policies over the next twelve months. In addition, the reported likelihood of future tax increases has declined; anticipation of various tax hikes had been on the rise between December 2019 and April/August 2021.
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Survey Shows Consumers See Future Tax Increases and Expansions of Government Assistance and Insurance Programs as Increasingly Unlikely