Center for Microeconomic Data

Expectations for Expanded Assistance Improve
Consumers’ expectations regarding increases in federal assistance and social insurance programs improved, according to the April 2024 SCE Public Policy Survey. The average perceived likelihood of an increase in federal welfare and unemployment benefits rose to 36 percent and 30.4 percent, respectively. The average perceived likelihood of a rise in Medicare and Social Security benefits also increased to 28.1 percent and 28.2 percent, respectively. Prospects for an expansion in paid parental leave decreased to 25.9 percent, with the series remaining somewhat above levels observed before the 2020 election.

Expectations about future tax and fee increases were mixed, with the average probability of an increase in the payroll tax rate rising to 44.9 percent from 37.7 percent a year ago, the highest level since August 2021. Also, the average perceived likelihood of an increase in state public college tuition rose to 52.2 percent, a new series high. Expectations regarding a rise in the income tax rate on the highest income bracket and in the capital gains tax rate both declined, however, to 41.0 percent and 35.8 percent, respectively. The average perceived likelihood of a year-ahead increase in the mortgage interest deduction reached a new series high of 24.8 percent, up from 21.1 percent last year.

For more details:
Press Release: SCE Public Policy Survey Shows Consumers’ Increased Optimism about Expansions of Public Assistance Programs
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