Gallup: Lack of spending cuts biggest worry for Americans in debt debate

posted at 9:30 am on July 19, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

And it’s not even close, according to Gallup’s latest survey.  While their analysis focuses on the support for compromise in the debate, the question of what gets compromised matters quite a bit to Americans — in fact, more than avoiding a default:

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.

Of course, Americans need to know that we’re still not really talking about actual spending cuts.  Every plan put forward so far has offered a reduction in the increase in spending.  That’s true of the Paul Ryan plan, the Tom Coburn plan [see update], and the debt commission plan that got published this year and roundly ignored by the man who created the panel, Barack Obama.  That still improves on Obama’s contribution, which actually increases deficit spending over the next decade, as the CBO pointed out in April.

But even a slowdown in spending is better than staying on the same trajectory on which we find ourselves, and this poll shows just how badly Americans want that trajectory changed.  The results echo the midterm elections, which took place less than nine months ago, when voters turned out a Democratic majority in the House and nearly did the same thing in the Senate while Democrats had a numeric advantage in the Senate election.  Even with the constant hysteria-mongering over the potential for fiscal ruin in a default — certainly with some basis in fact — Americans are fed up with Washington overspending and want it changed, and changed now.

Gallup did miss an opportunity here, though.  They should have asked the same question but replaced “spending cuts” with “tax hikes.”  We would then know whether 80% fear missing an opportunity to raise taxes and keep spending rather than solve the debt ceiling issue, as Barack Obama appears to desire.

Update: A source on the Hill corrects me by saying that the Coburn plan does actually reduce spending rather than just the rate of increase.  It eliminates the Commerce and Educatin Departments as well as 200 federal programs in order to get to an actual reduction.  However, since Coburn has backed the latest Gang of Six proposal, this will likely remain an academic point to be used for later efforts.

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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.

That’s why the House GOP needs to pass their plan and put the ball in Obama and Reid’s court. If the system is gonna collapse, let them own it.

Doughboy on July 19, 2011 at 9:34 AM

Spending cuts – starting with research on gay mens package sizes. (Maybe that was what Weiner was really working on!)

ctmom on July 19, 2011 at 9:38 AM

That’s why the House GOP needs to pass their plan and put the ball in Obama and Reid’s court.

Doughboy

Ummbama seemed to telegraph his bluff when he said he’d veto the house plan. He obviously doesn’t want it to get to him. CALL HIS BLUFF REPUBS!

dirtseller on July 19, 2011 at 9:38 AM

BOR used that CS poll that showed Obama winning the debt ceiling debate. After he was shown the ridiculous sampling data he continued to refer to it as if it were valid.

csdeven on July 19, 2011 at 9:39 AM

That should have been the “CBS poll”.

csdeven on July 19, 2011 at 9:39 AM

“80% of Americans want to felate me.”-Barack Hussein Obama

NotCoach on July 19, 2011 at 9:39 AM

Of course, Americans need to know that we’re still not really talking about actual spending cuts. Every plan put forward so far has offered a reduction in the increase in spending.

Whoopie: Not spending cuts, spending cuts.

Fallon on July 19, 2011 at 9:42 AM

spending cuts now!

csdeven on July 19, 2011 at 9:39 AM

they are all treating it as gospel

cmsinaz on July 19, 2011 at 9:43 AM

BOR used that CBS poll that showed Obama winning the debt ceiling debate. After he was shown the ridiculous sampling data he continued to refer to it as if it were valid.

csdeven on July 19, 2011 at 9:39 AM

At least Brit Hume mentioned the undersampling of Republicans and that it surveyed adults and not registered or likely voters. But O’Reilly is all over the map lately. Last week he’s chiding Juan Williams over the tax hikes proposed by Barry, yet this week he’s accusing the Tea Party of preventing the GOP from compromising. Well which is it, Billy? Do you want taxes to go up now or not?

Doughboy on July 19, 2011 at 9:43 AM

BOR used that CS poll that showed Obama winning the debt ceiling debate. After he was shown the ridiculous sampling data he continued to refer to it as if it were valid.

csdeven on July 19, 2011 at 9:39 AM

I was just going to point that out. He then went on to trash Bachman and the Tea Party.

RedRedRice on July 19, 2011 at 9:43 AM

But I thought we weren’t “paying attention”

This should play well today with the vote and threat of the veto.

gophergirl on July 19, 2011 at 9:43 AM

whats your plan dear leader, harry?

cmsinaz on July 19, 2011 at 9:44 AM

But O’Reilly is all over the map lately.

Doughboy on July 19, 2011 at 9:43 AM

Yeah. He isn’t sure who is going to win the debate, so he takes both sides so eventually he can say he was right.

csdeven on July 19, 2011 at 9:46 AM

BOR has thoroughly lost me. He’s trashing the Tea Party nightly and then saying he agrees with them.
I had to shut it off last night. He is becoming painful.
The spending has to stop. There is no way that it is a tragedy if the debt ceiling is reached.
The tragedy is that we have a chief executive that no one can figure out how to rein in. If the debt ceiling has to be reached to shed light on the cockroach, so be it.

ORconservative on July 19, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Well which is it, Billy? Do you want taxes to go up now or not?

Doughboy on July 19, 2011 at 9:43 AM

I believe the White House has gotten to BOR. He is a cockroach. He will do what is necessary to survive.

Fallon on July 19, 2011 at 9:52 AM

ORconservative on July 19, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Whoa. How often does cockroach appear twice in a row.

Fallon on July 19, 2011 at 9:53 AM

These are amazing times. Ha.
Although more stunning than the word is that BOR is being described as the same as Obama. I think BOR had better get his crap together or his taxes will go down no matter what the cockroach in the WH dooes.

ORconservative on July 19, 2011 at 9:58 AM

That’s 4 actually. Thanks for the laugh.

ORconservative on July 19, 2011 at 9:59 AM

And yet their headline is “Americans, Including Republicans, Want Debt Compromise.” Gallup is burying the lede again, I see.

Caiwyn on July 19, 2011 at 9:59 AM

That’s why the House GOP needs to pass their plan and put the ball in Obama and Reid’s court. If the system is gonna collapse, let them own it.

Doughboy on July 19, 2011 at 9:34 AM

Unfortunately, it looks like too many Republicans are refusing to raise the debt ceiling at all. We’re going to end up with McConnell’s last resort plan because the house GOP can’t work like a team.

Caiwyn on July 19, 2011 at 10:01 AM

I believe the White House has gotten to BOR. He is a cockroach. He will do what is necessary to survive.

Fallon on July 19, 2011 at 9:52 AM

I understand(although I don’t condone) his kid gloves treatment of Obama for the most part in 2009 and 2010 as he desperately tried to secure another interview with the guy. But he’s been incoherent lately in his arguments over issues like spending.

Doughboy on July 19, 2011 at 10:02 AM

Doughboy on July 19, 2011 at 9:43 AM

BOR’s performance confirmed for me that he and his staff are just mailing it in. That CBS poll was such a crock that it was worth about as much as on of BOR’s polls.

Beyond that, I realize that Hume was constrained by BOR’s questions and timetable. But it took a little time for Hume to criticize the poll and, hence, he lent it some credence when it deserved none. Hume should have dismissed it out of hand and explained exactly why to the viewers. That would have been informative. A lost opportunity to shine some light on bogus liberal polling.

BuckeyeSam on July 19, 2011 at 10:03 AM

BOR has thoroughly lost me. He’s trashing the Tea Party nightly and then saying he agrees with them.
I had to shut it off last night. He is becoming painful.

ORconservative on July 19, 2011 at 9:50 AM

With Beck gone, Ted Baxter is terrified that Media Matters will turn their attention to him. He is far too concerned knowing that they are taping every show, going through it to find any comment they can take out of context and burn him with. All he’s doing anymore is playing for the Media Matters jack-off who is listening to his show tapes every night. Ted Baxter needs a long vacation. Fear is boring.

Rational Thought on July 19, 2011 at 10:06 AM

“80% of Americans want to felate me.”-Barack Hussein Obama
NotCoach on July 19, 2011 at 9:39 AM

Proud 20%er here.

CantCureStupid on July 19, 2011 at 10:06 AM

“80% of Americans the LSM want to felate me.”-Barack Hussein Obama

NotCoach on July 19, 2011 at 9:39 AM

-
True dat…
-

RalphyBoy on July 19, 2011 at 10:11 AM

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.

Why doesn’t somebody just put THAT in the form of a poll question?

Nobody in his right mind would ever expect anything remotely like perfection from the government. But I’d say this pretty much sums up what most Americans – and at least 90% of taxpayers – think.

logis on July 19, 2011 at 10:11 AM

BuckeyeSam on July 19, 2011 at 10:03 AM

he also defended the poll on special report as well which was a shock to me…

cmsinaz on July 19, 2011 at 10:12 AM

Ted Baxter needs a long vacation. Fear is boring.

Rational Thought on July 19, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Never watch him. Of course, I’m not a masochist. I don’t have to beat my head against a wall to know that it feels good to stop. I’m not suggesting you stop watching him. Should he ever utter something intelligible, I count on you folks to let me know. I honor your sacrifice.

SKYFOX on July 19, 2011 at 10:14 AM

On the cockroach theme: What is the difference between a dead cockroach in the corner and Obama’s economic proposals. The dead cockroach does not constantly change positions and tell you “As I have always said”.

BTW, where is the Senate? They proposes nothing, pass nothing and do nothing. No budget, no raise of the debt ceiling — nada. They are supposed to pass a budget and negotiate differences with the house. They are like a firehouse where the guys are all playing gin rummy while the place burns down. I hope people remember how hopelessly passive they have been in 2012.

KW64 on July 19, 2011 at 10:17 AM

Get an agreement done, even if it is not an ideal plan, but make sure it includes major spending cuts.

Oh and don’t forget to raise taxes so we can finish off a few more jobs too.

katablog.com on July 19, 2011 at 10:24 AM

What’s similar to a dead cockroach in the corner and Obama’s economic proposals?

They both lie

katablog.com on July 19, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Of course, Americans need to know that we’re still not really talking about actual spending cuts. Every plan put forward so far has offered a reduction in the increase in spending.

And it is THIS that is the problem with all the ‘plans’: they do not address the beast, itself, only that we won’t feed it as fast. It isn’t the food that goes into the beast that is the problem it is the size, scope and power of the beast that requires such feeding and will always require more as bureaucracies must grow to justify themselves.

Cut off the arms of the beast and the spending goes down, and hard, and so does the growth rate as there is nothing there to grow. Sever the tentacles and other appendages and the cost of government drops now and in the future as it doesn’t have a large BASE to start with.

It isn’t the debt, it isn’t default, it is the size of government that is the peril. The rest are symptoms of the disease, not the disease itself.

ajacksonian on July 19, 2011 at 10:35 AM

What’s similar to a dead cockroach in the corner and Obama’s economic proposals?

They both lie

katablog.com on July 19, 2011 at 10:27 AM

And, fake their demise…

Fallon on July 19, 2011 at 10:36 AM

I get so tired of this congregation of feebleminded wusses. I have conservative friends who ask why I don’t call myself a Republican, and why I refuse to donate to support them – and I think it all comes down to this, post. Until they can stand up and say, “I think we owe the American people an apology. We have lied. In every plan we’ve put forward and presented as including spending cuts, there have been none.”

I want the bstrds to say, our federal budget was approximately 3.5 trillion this year, next year’s budget will be 3.4 Trillion. This represents less than a 1% cut in spending.

I want them to institute a fair and flat tax that doesn’t punish anyone for anything.

Why would I support these liars? Because I like their lies better than the demorat lies? Is that it? What a lousy reason.

WashingtonsWake on July 19, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Where is the Senate?
Why busy with DOMA of course. The only ones watching are the polygamists.

ORconservative on July 19, 2011 at 10:49 AM

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.

That’s why the House GOP needs to pass their plan and put the ball in Obama and Reid’s court. If the system is gonna collapse, let them own it.

Doughboy on July 19, 2011 at 9:34 AM

They already did! It’s called a budget—something our congress is charged to do—and the U.S. Senate has refused to do for the better part of two years.

Rovin on July 19, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Every plan put forward so far has offered a reduction in the increase in spending. That’s true of the Paul Ryan plan, the Tom Coburn plan, and the debt commission plan that got published this year and roundly ignored by the man who created the panel, Barack Obama.

This fact is disturbing on two levels.

(1) The Democrats are totally unserious when it comes to preventing a fiscal meltdown. They are full steam ahead to socialism and collapse. They treat the mere slowing down of government growth as an armageddon that must be avoided at all costs.

(2) This is an indication of how screwed we are – and may indicate that ultimately the liberals may have already won. Government as large as we have it is unsustainable yet the battles being fought aren’t even over real reductions in the size and scope of government. We’re squabbling about just slowing down the rate at which government will get bigger.

gwelf on July 19, 2011 at 10:53 AM

BOR used that CS poll that showed Obama winning the debt ceiling debate. After he was shown the ridiculous sampling data he continued to refer to it as if it were valid.

csdeven on July 19, 2011 at 9:39 AM

BOR is just an idiot without a coherent political philosophy. I watch the show for the commentary from guests, and in that respect anyone can ask the questions.

Media Matters should let him be, because he’s the best thing they have going at Fox News, other than Shemp of course.

slickwillie2001 on July 19, 2011 at 10:55 AM

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.

That’s a funny conclusion to the poll when you think about it – especially if you check over at Rasmussen and can see a clear question.

Which is more dangerous in the short-term: the government defaulting on the federal debt or the failure to significantly cut government spending?

55% indicated that default was less dangerous than raising the limit without significantly cutting government spending.

So how did Gallup come up with “get an agreement, any agreement”?

katablog.com on July 19, 2011 at 10:59 AM

The people gave the house to the Repubs so they could cut spending, and establish fiscal sanity. I can’t explain why they didn’t give them the senate also, but the “why” is irrelevant at this point.

The political right needs to pass it’s agenda in the house with no compromises. That is what the base that elected them wants. When the Senate refuses to pass it, the house need’s to re-affirm its stance and send exactly the same legislation back to the senate. Let the Dem’s own the lack of a plan, and all of the resistance to spending cuts. This will affirm to the people that the repubs are being faithful to the reason they were elected, and if they are given control of the Senate in 2012, the public will get the legislation they want. If the Prez vetos, then he owns the problem.

Keep giving the people good legislation, and they will recognize where the problems lie. Good legislation watered down with bad legislation (compromise) does not equal good legislation.

samuelrylander on July 19, 2011 at 11:10 AM

This issue of continued spending is a hill worth dying on.

samuelrylander on July 19, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Well that information certainly doesn’t jive with CBS’s poll that 81% agree with Obama on tax increases does it now.

jaimo on July 19, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Remember the words of Trent Lott: we will co-opt them when they get here. Meaning that they will bend to the will of their senior members and the lobbyists.

Mirimichi on July 19, 2011 at 11:41 AM

REAL CUTS NOW:

Let’s start with 15% across-the-board: EVERY SINGLE BUDGETED ITEM, plus 15% mandatory overhead savings in EVERY SINGLE ENTITLEMENT and/or MILITARY item. ALL CUTS TO BE BASED ON THIS YEAR’S BUDGET!! ALL CUTS TO GO INTO EFFECT IMMEDIATELY!!! ALL FUTURE BUDGETS TO BE “ZERO BASELINE” BUDGETS!!!

The private sector does this all the time: why should government be exempt???

landlines on July 19, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Real spending reductions starting right now, not a reduction in the growth of spending in the future, is what America needs. Most of our governing class does not accept that.

GaltBlvnAtty on July 19, 2011 at 12:05 PM

gwelf on July 19, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Most of the Tea Party affiliated new members of congress under the need for actual reductions in the size of government. They are fighting the good fight, but are small in numbers now. The only way to turn the country around is for their numbers to grow significantly in the 2012 elections, and for Obama to be replaced by a true conservative.

GaltBlvnAtty on July 19, 2011 at 12:12 PM

The private sector does this all the time: why should government be exempt???

Because they’re special?

Bugler on July 19, 2011 at 1:08 PM

O’really’s a filthy whore.

I know that’s a bit off-topic. It’s just something I like to say as often as I can.

Bugler on July 19, 2011 at 1:10 PM

That is really one ugly pink table.

Dhuka on July 19, 2011 at 1:18 PM

Well since 80% of the people want taxes increases. who sees a problem???

tarpon on July 19, 2011 at 1:24 PM

My problem is with cowardly Republican politicians that manage somehow to get re-elected over and over. I am terrified that if American voters don’t wise up fast and throw these Benedict Arnolds out of office during this election (along with the POTUS) that America has run out of chances.

hachiban on July 19, 2011 at 3:27 PM

That’s why the House GOP needs to pass their plan and put the ball in Obama and Reid’s court. If the system is gonna collapse, let them own it.

Doughboy

Silly rabbit. Don’t you know that only Republicans can be blamed when things go wrong? I think it’s a rule or something.

xblade on July 19, 2011 at 6:51 PM