February 17, 1995

Strong Support for Minimum Wage Hike and Preserving Entitlements

Public Yawns at 104th Congress

Report Summary

While the Contract for America is getting all the play in Washington these days, there is still a lot of New Deal thinking in the rest of the country. No fewer than 79% of respondents in the latest Times Mirror Center survey say they approve of Bill Clinton’s proposal to increase the minimum wage – a level of affirmation that is very unusual for this administration. The poll also finds that although the public thinks taking steps to balance the budget deficit is more important than a middle class tax cut, by a 70% to 24% margin it feels that maintaining Social Security and Medicare benefits is more important than deficit reduction. Republicans, Democrats and Independents give about equally high priority to preserving these entitlements and all strongly approve of a hike in the minimum wage.