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Voters See Tax Hikes, More Spending and A Higher Deficit Over Next Two Years

The Tea Party may be lighting a fire under congressional Republicans to cut the size of government, but voters still expect government spending, taxes and the deficit to go up over the next two years.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 46% of Likely U.S. Voters predict that government spending will increase during the upcoming session of Congress. Only 17% think spending will go down over that two-year period, while 29% say it will stay about the same. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

As for taxes, 49% of voters believe they will go up over the next two years, while just nine percent (9%) think they will go down. Thirty-seven percent (37%) expect them to stay about the same.

But voters express the greatest pessimism about the federal budget deficit. Sixty-four percent (64%) say the federal deficit will go up over the next two years. Twelve percent (12%) say the deficit will go down during that period, and 21% believe it will stay about the same.

A majority of voters have consistently said for years that increased government spending and higher taxes hurt the economy, and right now voter concern about the economy is at its highest level in over two years.

Perhaps it’s no surprise then that 67% of voters think it is at least somewhat likely that most voters will be disappointed with Republicans in Congress - scheduled to take charge of the House this week - before the 2012 elections. Even more (82%) expect most voters to be disappointed in congressional Democrats, still in control of the Senate, by the time the next national elections come around.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on January 2, 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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