Let’s cut YOUR stuff, not mine:
…[W]hen given a straight-up choice between broad spending cuts and tax increases, Americans say they would prefer to reduce the deficit mostly through less spending. It’s not even close: 62 percent for spending cuts, 29 percent for tax increases.
Republicans long ago succeeded in framing the debate around deficits because tax increases were “assumed” to be evil.
But wait…there’s more:
A few questions later, though, our pollsters offered a different choice. Would people rather eliminate Medicare’s shortfall through reduced Medicare benefits or higher taxes?
The percentages then switch, becoming nearly a mirror image of what they had been. Some 64 percent of respondents preferred tax increases, while 24 percent chose Medicare cuts. The same is true of Social Security: 63 percent for higher taxes, 25 percent for reduced benefits.
Don’t hold your breath: the richest 1% already got a two-year, guaranteed tax cut so, really, there’s nowhere to go on THIS until THAT gets ironed out.
But there is reason for optimism because the American people do have common sense:
When Americans are given a set of realistic choices, they are perfectly willing to prioritize.
The poll’s respondents, for example, said they would rather cut military spending than Medicare or Social Security (and several bipartisan groupshave made specific suggestions for doing so). If Medicare and Social Security must be changed, people prefer increasing payroll taxes on high-income households or raising the Medicare eligibility age – not cutting back on Social Security paychecks or Medicare treatments. Within the tax code, a reduced tax break for mortgage interest looks more palatable than a reduced tax break for health insurance.
Lesson learned: when the question is framed properly, the common sense solutions ARE self-evident.