Saturday, March 5, 2011

Poll Shows Budget-Cuts Dilemma

A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll came out Thursday.  The Journal reports:
"Poll Shows Budget-Cuts Dilemma; Many Deem Big Cuts to Entitlements 'Unacceptable,' but Retirement and Means Testing Draw Support"
From the Journal article:
In the poll, Americans across all age groups and ideologies said by large margins that it was "unacceptable'' to make significant cuts in entitlement programs in order to reduce the federal deficit. Even tea party supporters, by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, declared significant cuts to Social Security "unacceptable."

More than 60% of poll respondents supported reducing Social Security and Medicare payments to wealthier Americans. And more than half favored bumping the retirement age to 69 by 2075. The age to receive full benefits is 66 now and is scheduled to rise to 67 in 2027.
And:
As a snapshot of public opinion, the poll highlights some of the perils ahead for Republicans as their core voters and tea party supporters demand big reductions in federal spending to tame the deficit.
More than seven in 10 tea party backers feared GOP lawmakers would not go far enough in cutting spending. But at the same time, more than half of all Americans feared Republicans would go too far.
And:
Amid the union protests in Wisconsin, the poll found that 62% of Americans oppose efforts to strip unionized government workers of their rights to collectively bargain, even as they want public employees to contribute more money to their retirement and health-care benefits.
The results suggest that public opinion may be tipping against Wisconsin Republican governor Scott Walker in his prolonged faceoff with the unions.
I was surprised to read these poll results, in that they suggest that -- contrary to the crazy talk we are bombarded with day after day -- most Americans are thinking rationally.  It sounds like the Republicans may be over-reaching ... which bodes well for the federal budget negotiations ahead.