Half of Americans support Republican proposals to trim the federal payroll and require federal workers to pay more for their benefits, according to a new poll.
Republican lawmakers and presidential candidates are pushing the idea of replacing every two federal employees who leave the government — by quitting, retiring or being fired — with just one new hire. The proposals are seriously devoid of specifics, but are included as part of budget or deficit-reduction proposals introduced by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and presidential candidate former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
Fifty percent of respondents said they would somewhat or strongly support the Republican workforce proposal and similar plans that would force federal workers to pay more for their retirement benefits, according to the poll conducted by National Journal.
President Obama is also calling on federal workers to pay more: On Monday he unveiled plans that would require federal employees to make larger contributions to their pension plans as one of his tools to fight the nation’s deficit. The increase of 1.2 percentage points is much less than ideas pushed by Republicans and conservative think tanks.
Overall, support for the federal workforce proposals is not as high as some Democratic proposals, including plans to reduce defense spending by $350 billion over the next decade. But the proposals scored highest among five GOP-backed ideas mentioned in the poll.
The poll of 1,006 adults, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.
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