Monday, May 25, 2009

Americans don't want taxes raised or spending cut.

According to this poll by Harris.

I guess people must love deficits.


A 71 percent to 15 percent majority of adults do not think "it is necessary to increase taxes to reduce the budget deficit". Large majorities of Republicans, Democrats and Independents feel this way...

When it comes to cutting government spending, there is little support for cutting any substantial programs.
When asked what should be cut if something had to be cut, almost no one, including Republicans, said Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, or education. By far the most popular thing to be cut is the space program.

I found out about the poll from Matthew Yglesias, who links to it on Twitter and sums it up this way:
everything is unpopular
Or is it the opposite? This poll says that people don't want anything taken away. So ... everything's popular!

Americans don't want the government taking away their money. But we want to keep getting everything the government gives them. We want it all.

As the Harris report says,
Once a tax has been cut, there is usually a lot of resistance to increasing it again. And, once money is committed to a program or entitlements are established, cutting back on that spending is also very tough.
RELATED: Thing you're not supposed to point out #1.


Jason (the commenter) said...

People like things to be free. If our elected officials lack the wisdom to make sustainable budget decisions other people will make the decisions for them.

Jennifer said...

Perhaps many believe that if only the government did things better they could do more with less money.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Jennifer: But why would they think the government is actually going to do things better? We should be making decisions based on the less-than-ideal conditions of the real world, not based on a utopia where the government does things perfectly.

Jason (the commenter) said...

JAC : But why would they think the government is actually going to do things better?

I think Jennifer sums up the mood of the country perfectly. If I can make an analogy to environmentalism: we are living a fiscally unsustainable lifestyle. We can say we know it all day long but that means nothing, because we aren't acting like we know it.

I wonder how much we could shrink our carbon footprint if we just cut back on our spending?