A new poll shows the very reasonable ideas Americans have for how to address the budget deficit.
[W]hen given a straight-up choice between broad spending cuts and tax increases, Americans say they would prefer to reduce the deficit mostly through less spending. It’s not even close: 62 percent for spending cuts, 29 percent for tax increases.So, we think the deficit is a serious problem (70%); we want it solved through spending cuts (62%), unless you're talking about spending we care about (64%); Then you should raise taxes, but not ours - go for spending cuts instead. Got that, Congress?
A few questions later, though, our pollsters offered a different choice. Would people rather eliminate Medicare’s shortfall through reduced Medicare benefits or higher taxes?
The percentages then switch, becoming nearly a mirror image of what they had been. Some 64 percent of respondents preferred tax increases, while 24 percent chose Medicare cuts. The same is true of Social Security: 63 percent for higher taxes, 25 percent for reduced benefits.