The other day, President Obama suggested in a press conference that 80% of Americans wanted tax hikes to solve the national debt problem. Of course, no poll done in America showed results anywhere near that number, but I digress.
Today a Gallup poll indicates what people truly want in a debt deal. Namely, less spending.
Americans continue to express a strong desire that any agreement that is reached include plans for major cuts in future spending. Americans now by a 20-point margin — 55% vs. 35% — say they worry more that the government would raise the debt ceiling without plans for major spending cuts, than that the government would not raise the ceiling and an economic crisis would ensue.
Americans appear to be saying to their elected representatives: Get an agreement done, even if it is not an ideal plan, but make sure it includes major spending cuts.
The important thing to keep in mind is that not a single one of the various budgets and plans released or outlined by Democrats and Republicans actually cuts spending. Coburn’s plan, the Paul Ryan budget, the plans outlined by Senator Kent Conrad and Obama’s budget all leave America running a deficit.
A smaller deficit, to be sure, but still a deficit meaning that we’re not cutting national spending we’re slowing the growth in spending. Which is good, as far as it goes, but it does mean that even if we go with the most aggressive spending cuts on the table now (that’s probably the Coburn plan) we’ll still have more work to do before the budget is balanced.