Pollster.com

Articles and Analysis

 

US: National Survey (Pew/NJ 6/24-27)

Topics: National , Poll

Pew Research Center / National Journal
6/14-27/10; 1,001 adults, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Pew release)

National

Job Approval
Pres. Obama: 13% Excellent, 27% Good, 29% Only Fair, 27% Poor
Congress: 2% Excellent, 11% Good, 37% Only Fair, 43% Poor

State of the Country
27% Satisfied, 64% Dissatisfied (chart)

Balance Budget
26% "federal government give more money to the states to help them meet their budgets, even if it means higher federal deficits"
58% "states take care of this themselves, either by raising state taxes or cutting state services"

Favor / Oppose to Balance Budget
22 / 73 Cuts in K through 12 public schools
25 / 71 Cuts in funding for police and fire and other public safety departments
27 / 65 Cuts in health care services provided by the state or local government
43 / 50 Cuts in funding for maintaining roads and public transportation systems
39 / 58 Raising taxes

Party ID
24% Republican, 31% Democrat, 35% Independent (chart)

 

Comments
Rob:

This poll is exactly why Congress and the President just need to make some tough decisions and do them - like ripping off a band aid. This poll is the perfect example of how people want to have their cake and eat it too. The majority of people are opposed to raising taxes AND cutting spending, and you have to do AT LEAST one to cut the deficit.

____________________

Farleftandproud:

"Balance Budget
26% "federal government give more money to the states to help them meet their budgets, even if it means higher federal deficits"
58% "states take care of this themselves, either by raising state taxes or cutting state services"

Favor / Oppose to Balance Budget
22 / 73 Cuts in K through 12 public schools
25 / 71 Cuts in funding for police and fire and other public safety departments
27 / 65 Cuts in health care services provided by the state or local government
43 / 50 Cuts in funding for maintaining roads and public transportation systems
39 / 58 Raising taxes"

These figures also seem to show just how contradictory the voters truly are, and why they should not vote for candidates that will probably try in some way to cut all these things.

____________________

Roman:

This poll is the quintessential example of why we are all screwed.

Are you concerned about the deficits? YES!
Should we cut the deficit? YES!
Should we raise taxes to cut the deficit? NO!
Should we cut spending to cut the deficit? YES!
OK, what do you want to cut? NOTHING!

____________________

hoosier_gary:

Those are the only 4 choices to cut?

Our democrat Mayor does this every 2 years. He says that if we don't increase taxes he will have to lay off fireman, policeman, close the zoo, close the parks, and whatever else he can think of that people don't want cut.

He never talks about the million dollars spent for a downtown sculpture garden, the 4 million per year we spend on a failed college football hall of fame, the million per year we spend on minor league baseball stadium that they can't even fill when they give tickets away.

There are thousands of places where spending can be cut. As soon as you see "fire/police/teachers/hospitals" you know the poll is a scam.

____________________

Field Marshal:

Gary,

I think a lot of cuts can be made in the fire/police/teacher category. Pay to fire and police has gotten way out of hand. Not to mention the pensions being completely ridiculous.

____________________

Field Marshal:

They should just cut EVERYTHING 10%, across the board. Make the existing depts. become leaner and more efficient, maybe even let an employee or two go.

____________________

IdahoMulato:

@hoosier_gary

Yes, it's true there are many areas where federal or state governments can cut to reduce deficits. However, those listed above are the major ones that can have significant impact on the deficit.

It's the same arguments being made by people who are asking the US to cut aid to less developed countries as a way to reducing federal deficit spending. However, aid comprise less than 1% of federal spending and cutting that wont result in any significant or noticeable effect on the deficit level. The only items that may have any significant impact are the very things Americans wont want the federal government cut like medicare, social security, medicaid, and other public spending on road construction, etc.

I was very amused the way Roman puts it above thus:
"Are you concerned about the deficits? YES!
Should we cut the deficit? YES!
Should we raise taxes to cut the deficit? NO!
Should we cut spending to cut the deficit? YES!
OK, what do you want to cut? NOTHING!"

____________________

melvin:

The 1st thing they should cut is the Defense Bill which is going to be 700 billion dollars this year,it should be cut in half by next year period.The Gop wants to cut everything Domestically, but when it comes to the Defense Bill they looks the other way,the Defense Bill is Bankrupting this Country,America cannot afford to defend the entire world anymore, can these Neo-Cons in the Republican party see this.

____________________

HookedOnPolls:

Yeah! Cut the military budget. Weaken our defense capabilities. Weaken us globally. Great idea.

BTW: Do you work in the White House?

____________________

hoosier_gary:

FM - there might be cuts that can be made in those areas. The point is that, at least here in the midwest, this is a typical democrat tactic. Bayh used to do this every year when he was governor. The mayors do it. The county councils do it. Even Granholm did this in Michigan.

They could be spending 75% of the budget on buying gold plated fire hydrants and if they wanted to raise taxes would claim that they will have to fire policeman - which would save 1% of the budget.

The gimmick is to choose the things people are least likely to want cut and say that is the only thing the politician can cut unless he gets more taxes.

Granholm did that in Michigan to get the legislatures to agree to a tax hike. She shut down all of the state parks, closed the DNR - forbidding the issuance of hunting/fishing permits, and told all hunters and fisherman that they would have to stop because the big bad republicans wouldn't raise taxes.

Those cuts amounted to less than a tenth of a percent of the statewide budget but she chose the things that would make people scream the loudest. There were near riots when parks, lakes, hunting, and fishing were shut down.

That could also be why she has about a 7% approval right now, but this is a well-worn democrat tactic to try to get people to approve of tax increases.

Why not ask people if they would support cutting paying farmers to not grow crops. How about if they asked about eliminating tobacco subsidies? How about if they asked about a wage freeze for federal employees?

What about eliminating ethanol subsidies that are driving up the price of food, and require is to import 1.1 gallons of fuel for every gallon of ethanol produced?

There are tons of cuts that could be made before you have to start cutting basic services.

____________________

Aaron_in_TX:

Cut thee and thine, but don't cut mine.

This poll is so great. No one wants to cut the things that are busting the budget, namely defense and health care. They all want to make cuts in *something* else.

Why not cut the Dept of Education and with it federal direct aid that subsidizes 75% of the students? At the same time stop subsidizing public universities. Oops, now we don't have funding to search for that AIDS or Alzheimer's cure, and we've also destroyed a bunch of local economies dependent upon universities and servicing the students for this and that. Plus now millions can't afford college, so you can bet they'll be b**ching. But I just saved us at least 100 billion, maybe more.

How about Homeland Security? All those border patrolmen make too much. Oops, but we want greater border enforcement. Those boots on the ground and humvees to take them there cost money. Also the drones cost a lot, as well as the technicians to service them, operate them, and analyze the imagery products. We don't need all that, but I saved us minimum $10 billion.

Oh, now medicare and medicaid are the big cahunas driving us broke. Let's cut those. Then you'll have fewer patients going to hospitals and costing us money. Oooops but gov't spending is about 50% of all health care spending. Bye bye to the only sector in America that's growing and kiss those well-paid nursing positions that everyone wants goodbye. But we already cut education so really it's okay. I just saved us $500 billion minimum.

I'm actually surprised at the level of support for cutting public road maintenance. What do people want, toll roads? Ask Rick Perry how popular that is among conservatives. Let the roads go bad and wait until people start harangueing their representatives.

Budget cuts are easy to talk about but damned hard to do. I don't believe for a second that republicans will truly make a dent in the deficit by way of cuts for the reasons I outlined above and others.

____________________

Huda:

lol, this is why leadership and real change for the betterment of humanity never relies on majority of people. Americans do not know much about fiscal responsibility and effective social services, which reflect on most of the idiots elected into office.

I'll say voters judge you by the results of your actions, so Obama is safe as long his decisions get things done and fix the current crisis. Forget about daily polling and endless approval and disapproval, Americans want to see a winner who benefits them and could care less about the deficit as many polls have shown.

____________________

Xenobion:

Haha how true Huda. If we referendum every bill that congress did this country would be at each other's throats. Don't cut this, don't cut that, but cut that big government and that pork... that I so happen to enjoy.

____________________

Field Marshal:

I agree Aaron. This is similar to the kind of hold the government puts on certain people; like Democrats and minority and poorer citizens. The more services that the government provides people, the more they become dependent on these services and it becomes impossible to cut. Like I've said before, just cut the entire budget 10% and we're back in business.

____________________

ndirish11:

Let me remind all of you. Under President Clinton and a Republican Congress we had a balanced budget. Democrats say it's extreme and radical for the Tea Parties and others to want to balance the budget and that it is not practical. Is it so extreme to go back to the spending levels of 2000? Is it so completely insane and absolutely so dumb to think that we could simply shrink the government to the size it was merely 10 years ago? No. But this ultra-liberal media would give you that impression.

Correct me if I'm wrong but last time I checked our country wasn't in shambles 200. We weren't living in caves, we had electricity and tooth brushes. We were really in better shape truthfully. It is purely a myth and nonsense to think that everything will just shut down and we can't cut money from here or there. All it is is liberal propaganda.

We can cut big time from energy and education. We can cut all across the board and become more efficient. We can even cut from defense. How about we bring our troops home from Iraq? And we can even bring the troops home in Germany. Yeah. We still have troops stationed in Germany. World War II could start up again any second now.

____________________

Aaron_in_TX:

"energy and education."

Drops in the bucket. It's like obsessing over your cable bill when the reason you're going broke is that you're renting a 3 bedroom apt when you can really only afford a 1 bedroom. Cutting your cable is irrelevant. You'd have to cut your cable, utilities, credit cards, transportation, and only eat Ramen and maybe you'd just barely be able to afford that 3br. All the while you decrease your lifespan by eating fatty, salty foods, while freezing because you can't pay the heat bill. So essentially you've cut off your nose to spite your face.

Defense. Health Care. That's like 30% of the budget right there. Defense accounts for 60% of discretionary spending. Add in Social Security, unemployment, "global war on terror," and interest on the national debt and you've got close to 70%.

DoE is .8%. Ed is 1.9%. I would argue the multiplier effect for every dollar spent on a Pell grant is far greater than every dollar spent on the next-gen fighter jet. Those terrorists' pipe-bomb IEDs are no match for our fighter jets.

http://www.noonewatching.com/archives/2009/06/Fy2008spendingbycategory.png

And that was Bush's FY 08 budget, which conveniently left out a lot of the war spending.

FY 09 is more or less the same

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d4/Fy2009spendingbycategory2.png

The last time we had fiscal sanity was the budget in 1990 that probably doomed George's Bush's re-election chances. That more than anything else was responsible for the budget surpleses of the 90s. Plus, Clinton downsized the military in the 90s.

We could cut VA benefits. But I bet you the republicans would howl about that.

____________________

jamesia:

@Field Marshal
"I agree Aaron. This is similar to the kind of hold the government puts on certain people; like Democrats and minority and poorer citizens"

How did you twist what Aaron wrote into what you posted? What Aaron said is that a huge chunk of the American middle class is dependent on federal government spending on domestic issues - i.e. typically Democratic platform spending!

He also said that typical proposals for spending cuts are chump change compared to what most our money is spent on. Most conservatives rail on cutting "10%" or some random, arbitrary amount off the top of everything, but everything isn't on a remotely equal scale. Our defense//military related spending - like Aaron said - is at minimum 60% of our yearly budget. Yet conservatives like you and ndirish11 suggest cutting from the less than 3% spent on energy and education? That doesn't make sense given all the stable, high-paying middle class jobs that come out of that domestic spending.

Specifically:
FY 2009 allocates around $150 million daily to education vs around $760 million daily to the War on Terror ... and the War on Terror is only 1/4 of military spending. We could literally reduce all domestic spending by half and it simply wouldn't matter in terms of the deficit. And cutting a dollar out of education spending has far greater consequences than cutting a dollar out of the military.

____________________

Aaron_in_TX:

"a huge chunk of the American middle class is dependent on federal government spending on domestic issues "

Yes, I bet a lot of republicans would be surprised to find out how dependent they themselves are on domestic spending. They would realize it if it was cut. But many of them would nevertheless like to cut off their nose to spite their face.

The most obvious one is education spending - 75% of students are subsidized as are about 60-70% of colleges & universities. Education is supposed to be the gateway to the middle class...go ahead and close that gate and see how happy people are.

____________________

jamesia:

It's just bizarre to cut 10% off the amount spent on education or energy. That's the equivalent of a "rounding error" of our military spending.

____________________



Post a comment




Please be patient while your comment posts - sometimes it takes a minute or two. To check your comment, please wait 60 seconds and click your browser's refresh button. Note that comments with three or more hyperlinks will be held for approval.

MAP - US, AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY, PR