In a recent Rasmussen poll, 51% believe that the US Government will go bankrupt before the budget is balanced. Of course, it is hard to have a balanced budget when there hasn’t been a budget for over 3 years.
Depleted expectations of congress and an election in the offing doesn’t make it easy to address the critical issues facing us but an elevated acknowledgement by taxpayers of the fiscal dilemma America finds itself in could help encourage our elected officials to find the courage (or perhaps an election might provide the motivation). But how do Americans think we can solve the fiscal issues? Are the taxpayers willing to do their fair share to reduce the debt?
Recent polling gives us insights but is also confusing. A poll released by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation touted findings that:
• 67% of voters strongly agree that “I am willing to do my part to reduce the national debt, as long as other people also do their part.”
That sounds great. People get it…but not so fast.
A Rasmussen poll done during the same time, found only:
• 26% would be willing to “pay more in taxes to reduce the deficit”.
Which is it?
Without robust economic growth, and that is a not forecasted, increased taxes or decreased spending are the two options on the table to reduce the deficit. So what would voters choose if they were casting their votes in Washington DC? A September 2011 Rasmussen poll notes that 50% favor a mix of spending cuts and tax hikes. If there was a mix proposed to reduce the deficit, 59% of Americans think that mix should include more spending cuts. Just 24% feel the proposal should be heavier on tax hikes.