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U.S. Voters to Pols: Drop the Radicalism

It turns out the American people aren’t as generous with other people’s property or with their hard-earned tax dollars as some politicians would have us think.

New polling data show the majority of our fellow Americans are more sagacious than are too many officials in Washington. The recent survey of voters, conducted by the Center for Individual Freedom, a coalition member of Conservatives for Property Rights, reveals respect for property rights, prudence in priorities and carrots instead of sticks. And they long for those they sent to Washington to work across the aisle like grownups.

Rather than the radical socialism, environmental extremism and identity politics Washington is pushing, the CFIF poll shows that voters want common-sense protections for American innovation. Take the World Trade Organization proposal to waive treaty protections for intellectual property. Some 83 percent of voters think foreign countries should protect U.S. intellectual property as they promised in trade agreements.

Two-thirds favor licensing U.S. IP for COVID-19 vaccine instead of waiving drug companies’ IP rights — Republicans, 77 percent; Independents, 69 percent; Democrats, 55 percent. And 63 percent of voters (including 61 percent of Democrats) consider IP licensing the better way to boost COVID vaccine supplies.

Voters have empathy for others around the world. Some 62 percent agree that it’s very important for the United States to help make COVID vaccines available in other countries. Only, they insist on doing it the right way that respects the property rights of innovators.

Notably, nearly 9 out of 10 (87 percent) value America’s pharmaceutical industry for its producing COVID vaccines, and 82 percent consider the sector important for safeguarding us from future pandemics.

More than 8 out of 10 (82 percent) worry that a COVID vaccine IP waiver like that proposed at the WTO might lead to vaccine development and safety problems. Some 81 percent are concerned about an IP waiver raising risks from counterfeit vaccines.

Nor do voters support government price controls and confiscatory taxes as government hammers to drive down prescription drug costs. Heck, only 5 percent consider drug costs a burning issue. Most American voters consider jobs and the economy (37 percent) or the COVID-19 pandemic (32 percent) the top issue. And the most important health policy issue is the cost of health insurance (53 percent), not prescriptions.

Almost three-fourths of voters, including majorities in each party, say no thanks to government price controls and yes to providing medical providers, insurers, and pharma companies incentives and transparency. About 2-1 favor the approach in Republicans’ H.R. 19 to the punitive, heavily regulatory H.R. 3 of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. This includes majorities in each party, Respondents frown upon H.R. 3’s likely results, such as slowing access to new medicines, crimping seniors’ access to cancer drugs, killing biopharma industry jobs and reducing drug innovation.

For bipartisan cooperation, 62 percent of voters want to see President Biden compromise and build Republican support for any new federal spending. And at least three-fourths oppose using Medicare cuts to drug spending or a 95 percent tax on prescription medicine (in H.R. 3) for funding government spending.

It’s reassuring that the American electorate retains common sense and fundamental American principles. Maybe the radical pols driving us down the road to radical ruin will pay attention to the good instruction from the voters in CFIF’s survey.

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