December 10, 2010

New Poll on Deficit Shows Americans Want The Impossible

David M. Primo

Senior Affiliated Scholar
Summary

A new Bloomberg National Poll shows that Americans believe the budget deficit is “dangerously out of control,” but they oppose cuts to entitlements, defense, and most major domestic programs.

Contact us
To speak with a scholar or learn more on this topic, visit our contact page.

A new Bloomberg National Poll shows that Americans believe the budget deficit is “dangerously out of control,” but they oppose cuts to entitlements, defense, and most major domestic programs.

The public’s demand for deficit control, coupled with its unwillingness to make cuts in popular programs, illustrates why legislators are hesitant to make tough budget choices.

This is why creating binding budget rules is so essential.  With real spending limits, the public and politicians would no longer be able to say, "cut the deficit but don’t cut any programs," which just doesn’t work. Politicians would be forced to make hard choices, but they would be politically protected by the budget rules. They could tell constituents they don’t want to make the cuts but have to abide by the rules.