What are Americans thinking about the budget debate in Washington DC? The answer will not surprise you…anger at both sides. Andy Kohut is the president of the Pew Research Center. His non-profit corporation has been polling on the issues of the federal budget. Most of the poll respondents, regardless of political affiliation, gave poor marks to Congress and the White House on the federal budget negotiations. When asked to list one word that describes how they feel the most commonly used was “Ridiculous” , followed by “Disgusting.” In all 84%, or between 8 and 9 out of ten responses were worlds with a negative connotation. The attitude is “fie on both,” with both sides, says Kohut, with Democrats and Republicans, the Tea Party and Obama blamed for not compromising. The Tea Party is most often blamed by Democrats, independents and some moderate Republicans, with Obama and Democrats to blame by Republicans and other independents.
So according to Pew Trust research Jobs and rising prices are a priority over the deficit in polls. The wars we are fighting barely show up, despite their impact on the budget. Libya, while important morally, finds opposition if it means making sacrifices at home. People say we should raise taxes and cut programs. But 64%, between six and seven out of tem Americans say they are opposed to raising taxes when asked only about taxes. When you test specific programs to be cut the public wants cuts but not in areas that impact their particular demographic, income or life style.
The president’s approval is slipping, but could be related to Libya, but could also reflect disillusionment from his own party by those who expected him to tow the line and resist all cuts. These are Gallop numbers, not Pew, so less reliable, however the president of the Pew Trust says his data, still too early to release due to their methodology, confirm the trend.
Reactions to the Medicare Voucher Concept in Paul Ryan’s Republican House Budget by Pew Trust respondents say that most Americans oppose it, not wanting to see any change in Medicare.
It is a Dead on Arrival proposal in a budget which was endorsed by all but four of the Republicans in the US House of Representatives, and could hurt them come election time.