JONATHAN CHAIT JULY 14, 2010
Heritage touts a Chamber of Commerce agenda-driven poll:
With a liberal President in the White House and both houses of Congress controlled by Democrats, it may seem that the country has made its choice already. However, polling done on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reveals that when U.S. citizens are asked directly, the opposite is true.
Eighty-seven percent of small business owners viewed free enterprise as “very positive” or “positive” ;78 percent of all voters agreed. Conversely, only 12 percent of small business owners and 3 percent of all voters viewed the idea of socialism “very favorably.” Small business owners know what they need for their businesses to flourish—and government isn’t it.
Well, that certainly sounds like a fair-minded attempt to measure public opinion! Actually, though, there's one result in this "poll" that I find interesting:
60 percent of voters thought that Washington could improve the economy by spending less and reducing deficits; 45 percent of small business owners agree.
Interesting! Small business owners are more conservative than the average American, but they're also more economically- literate than the average American. In this instance, the economic literacy is overwhelming the conservatism to make small business owners more pro-stimulus than the public as a whole. Heritage concludes, "Small business is the backbone of the U.S. economy, and those who keep those businesses running know better than anyone what they need to stay afloat." So I guess that means we need to spend more and increase deficits, then.