Although our elected officials are consistently polarized, Americans across the political spectrum agree on plenty of issues. While politicians would like us to believe polarization is the reason our government can’t get things done, the real problem is politicians that don’t represent the will of the people. Private and special interests have hijacked control of our political apparatus and issues that should be tackled immediately, due to supermajority popular support, are for the most part ignored.
We found ten significant issues where research, polls and surveys show a supermajority of Americans agree, including a majority of each political party and Independents. We’ve ranked these from low to high percentage of agreement. This initial part of the three-part series shows the bottom three of ten issues Americans agree on.
10. 71% of Americans think government should spend more on education, according to several Business Insider sources. 86% of Americans say education money is best put toward the public education system, according to a Federation of Teachers study. Improving education ranked #2 in the public’s policy priorities (just behind fighting terrorism), in a 2018 Pew Research study.
Interestingly, the U.S. already spends about 50% more on primary through tertiary (College and Vocational) education than the global average, including Canada, Europe and parts of Asia. However, the U.S. consistently trails in math, reading and science – the average American student is a year behind in math. Income inequality seems to play a large part in dragging down U.S. performance – the U.S. does a particularly poor job with education in lower income areas. Additionally, U.S. teachers earn only 68% of what other university-educated U.S. workers make.
9. 74% of Americans believe the world’s temperature has been rising, according to research conducted by ABC News and Resources for the Future. 81% believe the country should try to cut greenhouse gasses. 81% of us favor tax breaks to companies that produce electricity from water, wind and solar power.
Data from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication shows that 85% of Americans support funding research into renewable energy and providing consumers with energy-saving tax incentives (82%). 68% support a fossil fuel company carbon tax to reduce other taxes, such as income tax. Only 32% of Americans support drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which Congress voted to open up last year, despite public opinion.
8. 75% of adults would like to see congressional term limits, according to a recent Gallop poll. 82% of Republicans, 79% of Independents and 65% of Democrats favored term limits. The survey comes at a time when approval ratings of Congress are at an all-time low 14%.
The organization Term Limits has a national House and Senate term limits petition with almost one million signatures and 60 Congressional signers. Their research shows that 82% of Americans reject career politicians and want to replace them with citizen leadership.
Do you agree or disagree with these three issues? How important are each of the issues to you? Do you think Congress will take action on any of these issues in the coming year? Should Congress be pushed to take action? Stay tuned for parts two and three of this series that identify seven more important issues where Americans agree.