Capitol Hill is deadlocked over how deep to cut the current federal budget with Republicans hoping to cut nearly twice as much as Democrats. Yet while voters like the idea of big spending cuts, they don’t think even the GOP cuts will make much of a difference.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 26% of Likely U.S. Voters feel that the spending cuts proposed by congressional Republicans will significantly reduce federal spending and deficits. Fifty-three percent (53%) recognize that the proposed GOP cuts will have little impact on overall levels of spending and deficits. One-in-five voters (21%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
While recognizing they won’t make much of a difference, voters still support short-term budget cuts. Fifty-seven percent (57%), in fact, think making deeper spending cuts in the federal budget for 2011 is more important than avoiding a government shutdown.
Voters expressed similar feelings about the three-year freeze on government discretionary spending that President Obama proposed in his State of the Union speech last year. While most approved of the freeze, 81% said it would have no impact on the nation’s historic-level budget deficits.
The skepticism may be rooted in the fact that voters routinely vote for politicians who promise to cut taxes and spending but government spending in America has gone up every single year since 1954.
These latest survey results are just about identical to those in late February as the budget battle in Washington, D.C. began heating up.
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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on March 30-31, 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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