One in four Americans has an opinion about an imaginary debt plan

December 4, 2012

It's Panetta-Burns, the imaginary debt-reducing unicorn!

A new poll from Public Policy Polling found that an impressive 39 percent of Americans have an opinion about the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan. 

Before you start celebrating the new, sweeping reach of the 2010 commission's work, consider this: Twenty-five percent of Americans also took a stance on the Panetta-Burns plan.

What's that? You're not familiar with Panetta-Burns? That's probably because its "a mythical Clinton Chief of Staff/former western Republican Senator combo" that PPP dreamed up to test how many Americans would profess to have an opinion about a policy that did not exist. They found one in four voters to do just that. 

Panetta-Burns' nonexistent policy proposals were supported by 8 percent and opposed by 17 percent of the voters surveyed. Simpson-Bowles' real policy proposals had stronger favorables, with 23 percent support and 16 percent opposition.

If you need to read up on Simpson-Bowles, here's Ezra Klein with 11 shocking, true facts about the deficit reduction plan.

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Suzy Khimm · December 4, 2012