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62% Think Congress Unlikely to Cut Spending As Promised by One Trillion Dollars Over Next 10 Years

President Obama and Congress agreed to cut a trillion dollars in federal spending over the next decade as part of the recently concluded debt ceiling deal, but most voters doubt that will actually happen. 

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 30% of Likely U.S. Voters think it’s at least somewhat likely the federal government will cut spending by a trillion dollars in the next 10 years, with a mere eight percent (8%) who say it's Very Likely. Sixty-two percent (62%) think the spending cut is unlikely, including 25% who say it’s Not At All Likely. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Congress will form a special committee to recommend long-term fiscal reforms and make additional cuts by the end of the year.  If the committee cannot make a deal in time, automatic across-the-board spending cuts are supposed to go into effect, including cuts in Medicare and defense spending.  But a plurality (47%) doesn't think Congress is likely to let these across-the-board cuts take place. Forty-two percent (42%) believe Congress is at least somewhat likely to allow them to happen. These findings include 13% who say it’s Very Likely and 10% who believe it’s Not At All Likely.

 But then only 29% favor these automatic spending cuts if Congress doesn’t reduce spending by $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on August 3-4, 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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