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Most Voters Fear Debt Deal Will Raise Taxes Too Much, Cut Spending Too Little

Friday, July 22, 2011

While Washington wrangles over how to avoid defaulting on the government’s massive debt load, voters are worried the final deal will raise taxes too much but won't cut spending enough.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 62% of Likely U.S. Voters are worried more that Congress and President Obama will raise taxes too much rather than too little in any deal to end the debt ceiling debate. Just 26% fear they’ll raise taxes too little. Twelve percent (12%) aren’t sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Similarly, 56% worry that Congress and the president will cut spending too little in the final debt ceiling deal, while only 25% are concerned that they will cut spending too much. Nineteen percent (19%) are undecided.

There’s a wide difference of opinion, however, between the Political Class and Mainstream voters. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of the Political Class is worried the deal will cut spending too much, while 63% of Mainstream voters fear it won’t cut spending enough. Those in the Mainstream worry more than Political Class voters by a near two-to-one margin – 70% to 37% - that the debt deal also will raise taxes too much.

Whatever spending cuts are in the final deal, 49% of all voters don’t think the government will actually cut the spending agreed upon.  Seventy-five percent (75%) believe that even if the deal includes tax cuts only on the wealthy, ultimately taxes will be raised on the middle class, too.

“Based on the history of the past few decades, voters have learned that politicians promising unspecified spending cuts should be treated with all the credibility of a six-year old boy caught with his hand in the cookie jar promising to be good for the rest of his life,” Scott Rasmussen notes in a column for the Politico this week.

Most voters (55%), in fact, oppose including any tax hikes in the debt deal.

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The national telephone survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on July 20-21, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.See methodology.


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