Most Americans want the federal government to cut back on programs that benefit them instead of raising their taxes to pay for those programs, according to a new poll by The New York Times and CBS News. Majorities in the survey also believe that such cuts are necessary and that tax hikes are n
ot -- except when it comes to Medicare and Social Security.
A majority (55 percent) chose decreased military spending over cuts to Medicare (21 percent) or Social Security (13 percent). Nearly two-thirds chose higher payroll taxes for those two programs over reduced benefits.
While 7 of 10 Americans call the deficit a “very serious” problem, the Times concludes that voters’ “sometimes contradictory impulses” leave politicians facing “political crosscurrents ... as they gird for debate over how to address the fiscal woes of a nation with an aging population, a complex tax system and an accumulated debt that is starting to weigh on the economy,”
In a poll question considering a different menu of domestic programs, cutting education spending was the least popular option, at 8 percent. There was less opposition to spending cuts for roads, bridges and other infrastructure (34 percent), science and medical research (26 percent), and aid to the unemployed and poor (21 percent).
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