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January 27 2010

What do Women Want to Hear in the State of the Union?

Nicole Kurokawa Neily

According to a poll released by the Independent Women's Voice this week on Massachusetts, 80 percent of men and 79 percent of women said "jobs and the economy" either was the top issue for them, or among their top three.

Accordingly, three things that I want the SOTU to hit on the economy are:

  1. Control spending. Freezing spending at high rates isn't good enough! Americans are tightening their belts, and the government should cut back too.
    • The IWV poll showed that 49 percent of women and 64 percent of men agree with the statement "Congress should stop spending at its current rate and should instead focus on reducing the country's debt, even if it means the federal government cannot create new programs or has to make cuts to existing programs." In addition, 61 percent of independent women agree with that statement!
  2. Tax cuts/ deregulation. The IWV poll shows that voters preferred "reducing taxes and regulations on small businesses" over "increasing government spending on projects like road repair, school construction, or other infrastructure developments" by a 49-32 margin. 46 percent of respondents agreed that "increased federal spending will slow down the country's economic recovery."
    • 63 percent of respondents in the IWV poll had voted for Ted Kennedy in the past - and of them, 79 percent felt that providing tax cuts to small businesses for job creation would speed up the nation's economic recovery.
  3. No new jobs programs. Subsidies, special programs and handouts interfere with the market!

Health care reform is sure to be addressed in the State of the Union as well - but it's almost certain the President will try to advance his health care agenda, despite indications that Americans do not support such a move. In Massachusetts, the IWV poll showed that self-identified independent women voters opposed the health care bill 55 percent to 33 percent, while 86 percent of independent women indicated that Brown's declaration that he would be the "41st vote" against health care was very or somewhat important. In addition, only 16 percent of total respondents to the IWV poll thought that health care negotiations should continue as they are. Real, sustainable health care reform is achievable - and it doesn't necessitate a government takeover of one-sixth of the economy!

The four action items the President should propose in his SOTU to help address the nation's health care crisis are:

  1. Transparency. 47 percent of total respondents in the IWV poll felt that negotiations should be opened to the public.
  2. Portability/ affordability. 57 percent of total respondents in the IWV poll thought that small businesses should be allowed to form groups to buy health insurance at lower rates, and 50 percent wanted provisions to make it more affordable to buy health insurance on their own.
  3. Tort reform. 46 percent of respondents in the IWV poll want medical malpractice reform.
  4. Scale it back. 29 percent of respondents in the IWV poll want to remove special treatment provisions for certain states.

It's unlikely that I'll get my wish tonight, but hey, "hope" is still in vogue, right?

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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