Dem pollster says public ‘split’ on possible future auto bailouts

Democratic pollster Pia Nargundkar said in an interview that aired Thursday on “What America’s Thinking” that the public is split about any future federal bailouts for automobile companies.

A new American Barometer survey, conducted by Hill.TV and the HarrisX polling company, found that 31 percent of Americans say President Trump should not intervene in the decisions of private businesses when asked what action he should take on General Motor’s recently announced layoffs. 

“Eventually, public opinion did support the auto bailouts, but if you remember in 2009, 2010, the first couple of years of President Obama being in office, they were very unpopular,” Nargundkar, a senior associate at ALG Research, told Hill.TV’s Joe Concha on Wednesday. “Public opinion did not support the auto bailouts.”

“We’ve come a long way in the last 10 years from where we were then, and I think that’s why you see these split results because people say ‘OK, it did turn around in the auto industry. GM is alive. What should we do now?'” she continued. 

The survey also found that 21 percent said Trump should negotiate with Congress to help GM with financial incentives to save jobs, while 19 percent said the president should take away GM’s federal subsidies and tax credits. 

Nargundkar went on to say that there is growing discontent on the left with the government giving corporations money, pointing to Amazon’s recent announcement they would open headquarters in New York City and Northern Virginia. 

“But at the same time there are members, especially on the left, who are resistant to giving more handouts to big companies,” she said. 

“Amazon just announced its new headquarters are going to be in New York and D.C., and there’s a lot of outcry about the billions of dollars given to them by those cities, and counties, and states to incentivize them come at the expense of what will eventually be higher rents for people,” she continued. 

— Julia Manchester

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