Center for Microeconomic Data

At a Glance: Findings from the August SCE Public Policy Survey
Survey data track consumers’ outlook on public policy—likelihood of changes and impact of shifts

  • The average percent chance of a decrease in federal welfare benefits declined to 26.7 percent in August from 34.3 percent a year earlier. The measure has been trending downward since April 2017, with the average percent chance of no change in benefits trending upward by about the same amount over that period.
  • The same pattern applies with respect to unemployment benefits and Medicare, with a trend downward in the average likelihood of a reduction in benefits since April 2017 and a trend upward in the outlook for no change.
  • The average probability of an increase in the income tax rate for the highest income bracket rose to 22.3 percent in August, up 0.6 percentage point since April and up 2.0 percentage points since August 2018. The average likelihood of a decline in the rate fell sharply over the same period, from 32.9 percent in August 2018 to 20.3 percent in August 2019.

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