What if pollsters asked Americans which concerns them more: The prospect of tax hikes on people like them, or the possibility of cuts to Medicare and Social Security?
Well, a new National Journal poll released today has done just that. And by a sizable margin, a plurality is more concerned about cuts to entitlements than about paying more taxes. It’s yet another sign that the public is on the Dems’ side in this fight.
Here’s the key finding, from the internals of the poll, which were sent my way by National Journal:
In the debate over proposals to increase the federal debt ceiling, which of the folllowing possible outcomes concern you most?
A default on the federal debt that could raise interest rates for things like mortgages and consumer loans: 17
An agreement that raises taxes on people like you: 17
An agreement that authorizes too much federal spending in the next few years: 19
An agreement that cuts too much from government programs like Medicare and Social Security: 39
Far more worry about cuts to entitlements than about tax hikes on themselves. Even among Republicans worry is running slightly higher over entitlements, 25-23.
And this also applies to those over $75,000, with 28 percent worried about entitlements cuts and only 19 percent worried about higher taxes.
These findings come as yet another national poll finds majority support for the White House/Dem position. Reuters/Ipsos found today that 56 percent want the deficit fixed through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases.
And yet, even though the public strongly supports a mix of cuts and taxes, and even though the public strongly opposes entitlements cuts, the plan now being championed by the White House and Democrats cuts spending, contains no new tax increases, and sets up a commission that would zero in on entitlements later. And there’s even some question whether this plan can pass the Dem-controlled Senate. It’s yet another measure of just how dysfunctional the Senate has become, and how far to the right of public opinion the debate in Congress has drifted.