President Obama’s new deficit-reduction plan doesn’t even try to project a time when the federal budget will be balanced. Congressman Paul Ryan’s Republican alternative puts a balanced budget at least 25 years away. No wonder most voters don’t foresee a day in their own lifetimes when the budget will be balanced again.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 30% of Likely U.S. Voters think it is at least somewhat likely that the federal budget will be balanced for even a single year during their lifetimes. Only nine percent (9%) say it’s Very Likely. Nearly two-out-of-three voters (64%) think they are unlikely to see a balanced budget in their lives, with 26% who say it is Not At All Likely. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Interestingly, voters ages 18 to 29, those who will live the longest, are even more skeptical about the chances for a balanced budget in their lifetimes than are those who are older.
The Political Class is more optimistic. While 76% of Mainstream voters say a balanced budget is unlikely, those in the Political Class are evenly divided on the possibility.
Seventy percent (70%) of all Americans said during the 2008 presidential campaign that a balanced budget is good for the economy. Seventy-five percent (75%) of voters want Congress to cut its own pay until the federal budget is balanced.
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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on April 11-12 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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