Poll: Nobody knows anything about sequestration

posted at 6:01 pm on February 26, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

Americans aren’t really sure what’s going on, but they’re pretty sure it’s a big deal.

Not only are most people paying very little attention to the sequester, they also have only the faintest sense of what it would do. Less than one in five (18 percent) in the Post-Pew poll say they understand “very well” what would happen if the sequester went into effect.

Those remarkably low numbers come despite the fact that the debate over the sequester has dominated Washington for much of the last month and, in the past week or so, President Obama has cranked up the direness of his warnings about what it could do to the economy.

The lack of interest and knowledge about the sequester stands in contrast to the level of engagement the public showed in the last crisis — the fiscal cliff. In Pew polling done in the run-up to the cliff, 40 percent of people said they were following the negotiations “very” closely, while roughly three in 10 said they had a very strong understanding of what it would mean for themselves and the country if we went off the cliff.

The Washington Post opines that the gap between the sequestration and the cliff is all in a name, which means Washington monikers have devolved to such a state that the dismal “fiscal cliff” is now deemed one of the colorful ones. If only Obama could have foreseen this when he created sequestration and called it the Fiscal Gorge of Eternal Peril, he might be in better shape.

Not that he’s not in plenty good shape. As with most things, Americans seem happy to blame half of one House of Republicans for every problem even though the man who said he’d change the very level of the seas sits atop the federal government he constantly preaches will solve your every problem. Read the rest of the Post-Pew poll for an idea of how perennially bad things are for Republicans, and how bad the media has been at actually informing anyone about the nature of the sequester. I wonder what kind of insane answers pollsters would get if they did a multiple choice on what percentage of the budget sequestration cuts represent— 15 percent? more than 30 percent? Um, at least 50 percent, right?

But the fact that a very low percentage of Americans is deeply engaged in the President’s daily Armageddon briefings improves the chances that sequestration may just become a blip on the exhausted “crisis” radar of everyday Americans. Like that one co-worker who never got into “Downton Abbey,” but knows it’s important to maintain a facade of outrage over the fate of someone named “Matthew” around the water cooler, Americans are very concerned about the sequester but how much do they really care?

What explains the difference between sequester and the cliff? At first glance, it appears to be the fact that, without tax increases included in the sequester, most people don’t think it will really affect them. Just 30 percent of those tested say sequestration would have a “major effect” on their own financial situation — a contrast to 43 percent who said the same about the fiscal cliff…

The sea of numbers above should serve as a reminder that, for most Americans, the sequester doesn’t exist. All of the talk about it coming out of Washington about whom to blame is lost on these people — another fight in the nation’s capital that they don’t believe will have any actual impact in their lives.

Of, course we should never underestimate the ability of the president to foist blame for whatever negative economic sign that appears in the future upon this minuscule decrease in the rate of federal spending after escaping blame for the past four years. If he’s able to do that, good luck ever cutting or reforming anything because the American people have just signed on to the notion that whatever size of government Obama wishes to preside over is the exact size which prevents America from just ending, basically.

The National Journal looks ahead as we move onto the next fake crisis:

Against this backdrop, both parties will be gauging the public reaction to the sequester cuts set to begin on Friday. Groups on all sides of the debate plan to highlight the effects of the cuts once they are officially in place, in an effort to sway public opinion. Obama and Democrats may be evaluating the reaction with an eye on whether a significant public outcry might work to their benefit as they press to replace some cuts with revenue from sources such as levying higher taxes on millionaires, reducing farm subsidies, and closing tax loopholes for oil and gas companies.

If the sequester is met with a shrug, Republicans could use a lack of significant public anger to press Obama and Democrats for still more concessions on the spending they see as a driver of the federal debt. Whichever way it goes, the sequester is set to start soon, and the public’s reaction to the cuts will likely set the stage for what lies ahead.

We better hope Americans don’t really care about Matthew. They’ll soon find Mary will do fine without him.

A closing thought from Ron Swanson:


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Obama lies, the charlatanic Punk…all anyone sane would need to know.

Schadenfreude on February 26, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Anyone who calls it “cuts” should spontaneously combust.

Same as anyone who call them “illegal immigrants”.

Goebbels and Obama, especially the latter, are masters of propagandist deceit.

Schadenfreude on February 26, 2013 at 6:05 PM

“Americans have a right to be stupid”

Schadenfreude on February 26, 2013 at 6:06 PM

If…then

Schadenfreude on February 26, 2013 at 6:08 PM

When will the lies stop? The Congress already approved an automatic annual 30 percent spending increase, the sequestration amounts to 10 percent of that spending increase. Decreasing a 30 percent spending by 10 percent still represents a 20 percent spending increase. Making any other assertion ,claim or argument is straight up flat out lying.

SWalker on February 26, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Hi MKH, with the same affection, even with Juan :)

Schadenfreude on February 26, 2013 at 6:09 PM

“Americans have a right to be stupid”

And far too many Americans exercise that right far too often.

hawkeye54 on February 26, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Hopefully the stupidly-named sequester will expose Obama for the charlatanic Punk he is, was, always will be.

Schadenfreude on February 26, 2013 at 6:10 PM

What’s with the front page picture?
What do dead Dowton Abby characters have to do with anything?

Count to 10 on February 26, 2013 at 6:10 PM

There`s somethin` happening here……. What it is ain`t exactly clear.

ThePrez on February 26, 2013 at 6:11 PM

And far too many Americans exercise that right far too often.

hawkeye54 on February 26, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Sure…see Obama brung/kept.

However, you don’t go abroad and advertise your moronic children…alas, by Kerry.

Schadenfreude on February 26, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Americans are woefully uninformed.

What they do not know thanks to the MSM is the following:

The $787 BILLION stimulus passed in 2009 has been in the budget every year since! It was not, as most Americans believe, a one time shot in the arm.

The sequester about which Obama is acting like Chicken Little is a little more than a 10% cut in a 30% increase. It’s peanuts.

Why do you think the Senate Democrats don’t want to pass a budget? It’s because they’re trying to keep the higher spending from the perpetual stimulus and crafting a budget would expose them.

If there had never np been a stimulus current federal spending would be $787 billion less than today, not a paltry $87 billion.

Charlemagne on February 26, 2013 at 6:11 PM

MK, are we heading for a devastating car wreck…?

d1carter on February 26, 2013 at 6:11 PM

What it is ain`t exactly clear.

ThePrez on February 26, 2013 at 6:11 PM

You ought to know; you’re the Prez :)

Schadenfreude on February 26, 2013 at 6:12 PM

So, does the sequester actually cut anything other than the military (which is actually going to have less money per year after than before), or are all the “cuts” to Democrat programs just reductions in the rate of growth?

Count to 10 on February 26, 2013 at 6:13 PM

When will the lies stop?

When the world ends, and not a second before.

hawkeye54 on February 26, 2013 at 6:13 PM

SWalker on February 26, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Actually a 10% cut in a 30% increase would leave you with a 27% increase overall.

Charlemagne on February 26, 2013 at 6:14 PM

or are all the “cuts” to Democrat programs just reductions in the rate of growth?

Count to 10 on February 26, 2013 at 6:13 PM

This

Schadenfreude on February 26, 2013 at 6:14 PM

However, you don’t go abroad and advertise your moronic children…alas, by Kerry.

You do if you want to advertise firsthand to the world that the USA is no longer a superpower to be feared.

For that, Kerry makes an outstanding SOS.

hawkeye54 on February 26, 2013 at 6:15 PM

So, does the sequester actually cut anything other than the military (which is actually going to have less money per year after than before), or are all the “cuts” to Democrat programs just reductions in the rate of growth?

Count to 10 on February 26, 2013 at 6:13 PM

The cuts are actual cuts. The reason you hear about the “rate of growth” and denial of there being cuts is that entitlements grow by more than the value of the sequester.

Stoic Patriot on February 26, 2013 at 6:16 PM

hawkeye54 on February 26, 2013 at 6:15 PM

This, indeed, indeed.

The world will realize, soon enough, how stupid they were about the US’s demise.

Schadenfreude on February 26, 2013 at 6:16 PM

What it is ain`t exactly clear.

ThePrez on February 26, 2013 at 6:11 PM

There’s a man with a gun over there telling me I got to beware.

JPeterman on February 26, 2013 at 6:16 PM

“Less than one in five (18 percent) in the Post-Pew poll say they understand “very well” what would happen if the sequester went into effect.”

Did they make them take a pop quiz to find out if they truly understand what would happen, or did they take in on faith these clowns really knew what would happen?

Dusty on February 26, 2013 at 6:17 PM

For your consumption regarding sequestration: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/legislative_reports/stareport.pdf

Stoic Patriot on February 26, 2013 at 6:18 PM

What it is ain`t exactly clear.

ThePrez on February 26, 2013 at 6:11 PM

There’s a man with a gun over there telling me I got to beware.

JPeterman on February 26, 2013 at 6:16 PM

Hey Children, whats that sound..

SWalker on February 26, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Ok, can we take a poll to see who wants HA to stfu with the stupid pre-ordained-outcome polls already?

Midas on February 26, 2013 at 6:25 PM

What it is ain`t exactly clear.

ThePrez on February 26, 2013 at 6:11 PM

There’s a man with a gun over there telling me I got to beware.

JPeterman on February 26, 2013 at 6:16 PM

Hey Children, whats that sound..

SWalker on February 26, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Everybody look what’s going down.

Count to 10 on February 26, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Everybody look what’s going down…

d1carter on February 26, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Results for #sequester

Chuck Woolery ‏@chuckwoolery

#sequester Please understand #POTUS will decide what cuts will take place. He will hurt the people who voted for him and blame congress.

https://twitter.com/search?q=%23sequester

canopfor on February 26, 2013 at 6:26 PM

What it is ain`t exactly clear.

ThePrez on February 26, 2013 at 6:11 PM

There’s a man with a gun over there telling me I got to beware.

JPeterman on February 26, 2013 at 6:16 PM

Hey Children, whats that sound..

SWalker on February 26, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Everybody look what’s going down.
Count to 10 on February 26, 2013 at 6:25 PM

There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong

JPeterman on February 26, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Results for #Obamaquester

Speaker John Boehner ‏@SpeakerBoehner

Instead of urging Senate to replace #obamaquester, @NN says POTUS holds campaign rallies to “inspire public outrage” http://j.mp/Yw7bgW

Senate Republicans ‏@Senate_GOPs

This is Obama’s sequester (VIDEO): http://youtu.be/repeQNK-zSA #Obamaquester #SpendingIsTheProblem

https://twitter.com/search/%23Obamaquester

canopfor on February 26, 2013 at 6:29 PM

What a wonderful land (Drudge):

OBAMA SPRINGS ILLEGALS…

Blames ‘sequestration’…

Government Report: Obamacare to Add $6.2 Trillion to Deficit…

President’s Paycheck Exempt From ‘Sequester’…

Taxpayers Give Big Banks $83 Billion a Year…

Pay employees $156 million a year not to work…

Big Sis Warning on ‘Security’…

Homeless will starve…

Boehner Tells Senate To ‘Get Off Its ASS!’

Schadenfreude on February 26, 2013 at 6:31 PM

I hope everyone who voted for Obama has a negative impact from the sequester, unfortunately I think the sequester will go into effect without much effect at all.

That outcome will be okay, because it will forever (at least ’til next week) blow a hole in Obama and the Left’s scare tactics.

Tater Salad on February 26, 2013 at 6:32 PM

The $787 BILLION stimulus passed in 2009 has been in the budget every year since! It was not, as most Americans believe, a one time shot in the arm.

The sequester about which Obama is acting like Chicken Little is a little more than a 10% cut in a 30% increase. It’s peanuts.

Why do you think the Senate Democrats don’t want to pass a budget? It’s because they’re trying to keep the higher spending from the perpetual stimulus and crafting a budget would expose them.

If there had never np been a stimulus current federal spending would be $787 billion less than today, not a paltry $87 billion.

Charlemagne on February 26, 2013 at 6:32 PM

Everybody look what’s going down…

d1carter on February 26, 2013 at 6:26 PM

**clink**

JPeterman on February 26, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Keep Calm
….and eat cupcakes….

ted c on February 26, 2013 at 6:34 PM

He will hurt the people who voted for him and blame THE GOP in congress.

Fixed it. The GOP is the perpetual target which will be attacked until it becomes irrelevant to the point of extinction. Doesn’t help that many Republicans on Capitol Hill are helping to push the party to eventual extinction. Its irrelevancy is already nearly established.

hawkeye54 on February 26, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Keep Calm
….and eat cupcakes….

Only if they are Hostess…..(sigh). Darn it!

hawkeye54 on February 26, 2013 at 6:36 PM

“Americans have a right to be stupid”

Schadenfreude on February 26, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Schadefreude:Excellent catch:)

canopfor on February 26, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Keep Calm
….and eat cupcakes….

ted c on February 26, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Heh, Adolf said “keep calm, or we’ll shoot you”.

Schadenfreude on February 26, 2013 at 6:41 PM

“Americans have the right to be stupid” stated John Kerry today. What he did not say, but should have, was “and we had evidence of such last November”.

Pop culture idiots have doomed us.

hillsoftx on February 26, 2013 at 6:42 PM

Just in:Brace For Impact:

NBC/WSJ poll: Public wary about sequester cuts, but Obama in stronger political position than GOP – @NBCNews

3 mins ago from firstread.nbcnews.com by editor

http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/26/17105540-nbcwsj-poll-public-wary-about-sequester-cuts-but-obama-in-stronger-political-position-than-gop?lite

canopfor on February 26, 2013 at 6:43 PM

Mary, the picture is messed up.

bluegill on February 26, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Keep Calm
….and eat cupcakes….

ted c on February 26, 2013 at 6:34 PM

ted c:Will do,and awash it down with Tea,haha:)

canopfor on February 26, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Oh Boy!!

Reuters Top News ‏@Reuters

Immigrants freed, Obama cites Navy threat as cuts loom http://reut.rs/Wgrnai
========

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/26/us-usa-fiscal-idUSBRE91P0W220130226

canopfor on February 26, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Don’t “gauge the public reaction”… the public is too stupid…

ninjapirate on February 26, 2013 at 7:20 PM

Yay for new PolSpeak:

Spending Increases are now ‘Devastating Cuts’
Taxes are now ‘Revenue’
Unbridled spending is now ‘Investing’
Borrowing to pay loan interests is now ‘Fiscally Responsible’
Funneling guns to foreign gangsters is ‘Fighting Crime’
Taking guns away from law abiding citizens is ‘Safety’
Illegals are now ‘Undocumented Immigrants’
Forcing citizens to buy a huge government scam is now ‘Healthcare’
Know-nothing idiots who vote are now ‘Obama Supporters’
Dead people who vote are now ‘Obama Supporters’

ghostwalker1 on February 26, 2013 at 7:21 PM

Think:

Pretend $1 billion = 1 mile.

It’s 3,300 miles between miami and seattle.(think budget)

Now picture 85 miles. (“cuts”)

Hell, the distance between Tucson and Pheonix is 110 miles.

wolly4321 on February 26, 2013 at 7:21 PM

Maybe Mary will be fine without him but millions will not watch the show any longer.

Jayrae on February 26, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Maybe Mary will be fine without him but millions will not watch the show any longer.

Jayrae on February 26, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Just watched the DVR’d finale…stunned. Why on earth would they kill off the most popular character in the show? Must have been the plan all along…pretty courageous plot twist.

Jaibones on February 26, 2013 at 8:03 PM

The cuts are actual cuts. The reason you hear about the “rate of growth” and denial of there being cuts is that entitlements grow by more than the value of the sequester.

Stoic Patriot on February 26, 2013 at 6:16 PM

Bullspit. The DOT’s budget is going up from 2012 to 2013 with sequester in real dollars. Up. And this is supposed to cause “significant security delays”. Explanation: government corruption.

Jaibones on February 26, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Sequestration ? … You inventing new words, Mary?

listens2glenn on February 26, 2013 at 8:08 PM

“I don’t know nothin’ ’bout sequestration!” Modern Prissys.

Fallon on February 26, 2013 at 8:21 PM

This a Note To Mary Katherine Ham:

I watched you on O’Reilly suggesting we aren’t going to get any voters saying we are ashamed of them.

Number 1) Is EVERYTHING a Republicans “get out the vote” effort? Can Rush or any of us talk to each other without the left picking it up and causing you young pundits a friggin heart attack!!

Number 2) Maybe you should consider WHAT Rush said. He is ashamed that we live in a country where the president and leading Democrats say we want to starve kids and kill grandma and THAT IS AN OPEN QUESTION to some ADULTS.

You better wake up Mary Katherine if you think that we don’t need to SHAME some fellow Americans into giving the benefit of the doubt they would give a prisoner in maximum security prison!!

and if you are WONDERING where these poll results are coming from you BETTER start taking what Rush said and I agree with SERIOUSLY!!!

You better confront the idea the PRESIDENT is selling Republicans as just plain Evil and the public is considering it POSSIBLE!!!

Conan on February 26, 2013 at 8:25 PM

…DUMBFLUKES!

KOOLAID2 on February 26, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Conan on February 26, 2013 at 8:25 PM

Um, I’m not the one having a heart attack. Rush said he was ashamed of his country. That was a dumb thing to say because it allows everyone to focus on one dumb, inflammatory sentence instead of his overall message. Please see also, “Fluke, slut, 2012″ When asked about it, I had to differentiate myself from him by saying I’m NOT ashamed of my country, because I’m not. I’m worried about it. I’m discouraged about our situation and the way people are reacting in the Obama era. But I’m not ashamed. You would be bashing anyone else who said the same thing, but because it’s Rush, it’s okay. And, no, calling voters the source of our shame is not a good way to win them over, so I wanted to avoid that.

If you are ashamed, fine. Do your thing, but I don’t have to agree on that particular point when it doesn’t help me communicate with anyone. Instead, it just obscures my message by getting everyone talking about my vain shame, not my ideas. I don’t want them paying attention to my self-involved emotions, though I get as discouraged as anyone, and said that in the clip if you had listened to any of the rest of it while YOU were having a heart attack.

Not everything Rush says is perfect. He’s a big boy, and he can take it. Frankly, if he hadn’t called Fluke a slut, as he’s admitted, last year might have looked a little different. So, no, it’s not my job to agree with his every word just because you want me to, even though I like and respect him.

Mary Katharine Ham on February 26, 2013 at 8:57 PM

Boehner Tells Senate To ‘Get Off Its ASS!’

Whoooo… someone’s trying to win the Senate’s “Miss Linsday, All butched Up And Talkin’ Tough” trophy.

Just watched the DVR’d finale…stunned. Why on earth would they kill off the most popular character in the show? Must have been the plan all along…pretty courageous plot twist.

Jaibones on February 26, 2013 at 8:03 PM

I believe that the actor who played Matthew wanted off the show, to do other things. I think he has something opening in NYC soon.

bofh on February 26, 2013 at 9:26 PM

Conan on February 26, 2013 at 8:25 PM

.
Mary Katharine Ham on February 26, 2013 at 8:57 PM

.
Question for everyone, not just Conan and Mary.
.
What’s the difference between “the country” (as Rush used it), and “our fellow countrymen”?
.
I’m ashamed as can be of too many of my fellow Americans, not to mention politicians, particularly our current POTUS and Vice-POTUS.

Does that qualify me as being “ashamed of my country?”

listens2glenn on February 26, 2013 at 9:33 PM

Sorry Mary. You got called out by Rush. You’ve been called out here before.

But you hit the big time. In a negative way.

There are many folks HERE that you should be humbled to be in the same space with.

You take it for what it’s worth, but as a conservative blogger I don’t think having RUSH LIMBAUGH call me out is considered a resume enhancer. S.E. Cupp stragety?

The thing is,, I respect your verve. I do. But don’t confuse that with knowledge or life experience.

It’s a career ender.

But if you want to butt heads with El Rushbo,,, feel free. 25 years. Are you even 25 years old?

Your arrival here was hyped, and so far a few good pieces, but overall disappointment.

Sure you are a great lady. Work on humility.

You didn’t understand a thing he said.

wolly4321 on February 26, 2013 at 9:52 PM

I wore a uniform and I am ashamed of my country right now. Is that okay with you? Did I earn the right to feel that way? Like it was wasted?

wolly4321 on February 26, 2013 at 9:58 PM

Ask JPeterman if there comes a time to feel that way Mary.

wolly4321 on February 26, 2013 at 10:04 PM

What do dead Dowton Abby characters have to do with anything?

Count to 10 on February 26, 2013 at 6:10 PM

That’s “DowNton AbbEy.”

I believe it has to do with the British love for everything horse racing. I pick Sequestration to show in the 3rd.

What?

Shy Guy on February 26, 2013 at 11:20 PM

Look at it this way: Limbaugh isn’t winning us any converts anymore.

We are past the tipping point. 40+ years of federal dominance of public education and the university combined with the creation of a permanent client class of parasites with their hands perpetually reaching out for more have left an America where the clueless and the corrupt have a working majority.

You can’t shame the shameless or leave clues for the clueless.

Adjoran on February 26, 2013 at 11:29 PM

the upside of this (that republicans don’t understand) is that most people don’t have a clue about anything that happens in washington and don’t care. Conservatives could conceivably cut huge swaths of gov’t spending and NO ONE WOULD NOTICE. Well, so few people would notice… it is just that the media would scream and shout and make noise.

This is the lesson to learn from the Dems. It doesn’t really matter what you do because most people aren’t paying attention, so do what your platform calls for and call it a day.

Republicans are afraid of the media, but why should they be?

theblackcommenter on February 27, 2013 at 3:00 AM

this minuscule decrease in the rate of increase of federal spending

FIFY, MKH.

And, the title should really be “Ain’t nobody knows nothin’ ’bout no sequestration“.

If he’s able to do that, good luck ever cutting or reforming anything because the American people have just signed on to the notion that whatever size of government Obama wishes to preside over is the exact size…

Too late, MKH. We know they already have signed up to that – they re-elected Obamao.

GWB on February 27, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Shy Guy on February 26, 2013 at 11:20 PM

I think Dowton Abby was a frumpy girl I knew in high school……

GWB on February 27, 2013 at 9:08 AM

I wore a uniform and I am ashamed of my country right now. Is that okay with you? Did I earn the right to feel that way? Like it was wasted?

wolly4321 on February 26, 2013 at 9:58 PM

Soldier, I really cannot blame you.

Us civvies have killed tens of millions more babies than the entire armed forces than you’ve ever been accused of, just for starters. We haven’t the faintest idea how to run a budget, and national security is a total joke.

Frankly if the army marched into DC and announced it was running the show for a couple generations I would be cheering and crying with joy. A frightening amount of our ‘leaders’ are flat-out guilty of treason.

MelonCollie on February 27, 2013 at 9:11 AM

I think DC has certainly captured it’s own imagination in this award-winning PBS drama called “Sequestration Chambers”, where each week they thrill to twists and turns in this period fiscal suspense:

But, John, whhhatt will we do if Congress does not release billions of dollars? It’s simply shocking!

I don’t know, Harry, it’s unimaginable. I hate to say it, but we are going to have to go to the treasury again – I say, Carney, can you send a telegram to Ben, he needs to be here by the morning high-speed train…

(the dowager Nancy arrives) Well, gentlemen, I trust that this nonsense will be sorted out soon: the staff are talking!

This quality programming is made possible by Barack Obama, the Senate of the United States and by tax-payers like you.

virgo on February 27, 2013 at 11:20 AM