Poll: Cut the deficit, keep entitlements and tax the rich

Looking at how well the rich continue to make out during the recession, is anyone surprised? Why should the middle class and poor be asked to accept less when the rich keep getting richer? As we see the Wall Street bonus numbers emerge, few Americans are going to be sympathetic to accepting cuts as the bankers shop for their latest articles of conspicuous consumption.

Should the economy continues to stagnate (there’s very little reason to see significant growth in the next two years) it will be very interesting to see how the public will view the latest giveaway that the GOP and Obama are hoping to wrap up soon. Outside of White House economists, it’s difficult to find anyone who believes in a rapid economic turnaround. Bloomberg:

Americans want Congress to bring down a federal budget deficit that many believe is “dangerously out of control,” only under two conditions: minimize the pain and make the rich pay.

The public wants Congress to keep its hands off entitlements such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, a Bloomberg National Poll shows. They oppose cuts in most other major domestic programs and defense. They want to maintain subsidies for farmers and tax breaks like the mortgage-interest deduction. And they’re against an increase in the gasoline tax.

That aversion to sacrifice is at odds with a spate of recent studies, including one by President Barack Obama’s debt panel, that say reductions in Medicare, Social Security, military and other spending are necessary to curb a deficit that totaled $1.29 trillion in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, or 9 percent of the gross domestic product.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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