How Business Feels About Bill Clinton Now
JOB NO. 1 -- What is the most important signal the new President can send business and the financial markets about his future intentions? Reduce the deficit 17% Reduce government spending 10% Avoid tax hikes 8% Stimulate the economy 7% Offer business incentives 7% All others/Don't know 51% THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT -- If the economy remains sluggish through January, should President-elect Clinton push for short-term economic stimulus or try to boost long-term investment? Push short-term economic stimulus 17% Boost long-term investment 78% Not sure 5% FIRST THINGS FIRST -- A President can't do everything in his first 100 days. Which of the following portions of his program should Clinton implement in his first 100 days, do later, or not do at all? Implement Do Not do Not 100 days later at all sure Investment tax credit 86% 10% 4% 0% Increased taxes on highest earners 28% 28% 44% 0% Expanded federal support for education and training 27% 62% 11% 0% Reform health-care system 25% 69% 6% 0% Middle-class tax cut 20% 36% 44% 0% HOW SHARP A KNIFE? -- President-elect Clinton says he would like to cut the federal deficit in half over the next four years. Given the magnitude of the deficit problem and the need to boost economic growth, do you think his plan is too cautious, about right, or too ambitious? Too cautious 10% About right 28% Too ambitious 61% Not sure 1% HEALTHY SKEPTICISM -- President-elect Clinton is backing a health-care reform proposal that would require employers to buy coverage for their employees, either from private insurers or from a public plan. Companies that couldn't afford coverage on their own would be helped by tax credits, and a national ceiling would be set on health-care spending. Do you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose that plan? Strongly favor 7% Somewhat favor 42% Somewhat oppose 24% Strongly oppose 25% Not sure 2% GRAB BAG -- Let me read you some statements about President-elect Clinton. For each, tell me whether you agree strongly, agree somewhat, disagree somewhat, or disagree strongly. Agree Agree Disagree Disagree Not strongly somewhat somewhat stronglysure He doesn't understand how business works 18% 36% 37% 8% 1% He'll boost public confidence in the economy and could spur consumer spending 10% 66% 18% 5% 1% He's trying to do too much and spend too much 33% 37% 20% 6% 4% With a President and Congress from the same party, the government will be able to accomplish more 26% 43% 20% 10% 1% He'll be captured by Democratic interest groups 32% 44% 19% 4% 1% His plan may actually work and spur investment 5% 59% 24% 8% 4% His program will saddle business with costly new regulations 40% 37% 18% 3% 2% He'll get tough with Japan on trade 11% 45% 34% 8% 2% Like many Democrats, he's temperamentally hostile to business 13% 31% 42% 14% 0% The country needs youth and energy to meet the challenges of the '90s 39% 35% 18% 7% 1% LIBERALS IN DISGUISE? -- Which of the following statements is closest to your view of the incoming Clinton-Gore Administration?* Nov. July-Aug. They are a new breed of Democrats more attuned to economic growth and the concerns of middle-class Americans 53% 33% They are posing as champions of growth and the middle class, but are really "tax and spend" liberals in disguise 45% 64% Not sure 2% 3% *July-Aug. poll referred to "the Clinton-Gore Ticket" FOR BETTER OR WORSE -- Now thinking about your company, do you think it will do better in a Clinton Administration, worse, or about the same? Better 19% Worse 23% About the same 58% Not sure 0% Edited by Mark N. Vamos Survey of 400 senior executives at corporations drawn from the BUSINESS WEEK Top 1000. Interviews were conducted Nov. 10-17, 1992, for BUSINESS WEEK by Louis Harris & Associates Inc.
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