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Voters Say Businesses Should Spend To Create Jobs But Don’t Want Government To Force Them

President Obama in a meeting last week with top U.S. business leaders urged them to use some of their ample cash reserves to create new jobs, and most voters think that’s a good idea. But they draw the line at the government making the businesses spend their money that way.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 68% of Likely U.S. Voters believe that when a corporation has a tremendous amount of cash on hand, its primary objective should be to create jobs. Just 25% disagree and say the corporation’s emphasis should be on making more money for shareholders. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

But only 30% of voters say the government should require the corporation to either spend the excess money creating jobs or else pay a heavy tax on it. Fifty percent (50%) oppose any such government requirement, while 20% are undecided.

Voters are more narrowly divided when asked what the primary purpose of a business is in an ideal world. Thirty-two percent (32%) say it’s to serve customers, while 28% believe making money for the company owners is paramount. Thirty percent (30%) put creating jobs first.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on December 19-20, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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