Most Jewelers Disapprove of Job Performance of President Bush, Congress

Add jewelers to those dissatisfied with President George Bush’s job performance. A new JCK national survey of hundreds of jewelers finds 53 percent disapprove of the job he is doing on domestic and foreign issues, and 42 percent aren’t happy with how he’s supported legislation affecting small business.

The President isn’t alone. Only a third polled approve of the job the just-passed Republican-controlled 109th Congress did on legislation affecting small businesses—even though a sizeable majority said Republicans are more sympathetic to small business—and over 80 percent have little or no confidence that a Democratically controlled Congress can do any better.

What makes these results striking is that just over half (51 percent) of those polled in the JCK November Retail Panel identified themselves as Republicans. More important, they take their birthright as citizens seriously.

The survey’s most notable finding is that an amazing 98 percent voted in the 2006 mid-term elections, in a long-term pattern of consistent voting.

Surprisingly, the biggest factor affecting how jewelers voted, and who they voted for in Congress (both House and Senate), wasn’t the war in Iraq—reportedly a major motive in the 2006 election’s dramatic returns—or national or local issues, but candidates’ character and experience.

Yet, well over half those jewelers polled believe the war in Iraq distracted the 109th Congress from acting on legation affecting small business. Even more (six in 10) believe that distraction will continue in the new 110th Congress.

But jewelers know very well the small business issues they want Congress to address, whether Democrats or Republics control it. Topping the list are tax issues (36 percent), including permanent repeal of the estate tax (14 percent) and getting rid of Internet’s sale tax exemption (12 percent). Surprisingly, only a few didn’t cite the problem that vexes most U.S. small businesses—the soaring costs of health care insurance effort employees.