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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending April 16, 2011

Talk, talk, talk. That’s apparently all voters expect out of Washington, DC, because they don’t anticipate serious budget solutions any time soon.

Just 31% of Likely Voters, in fact, think it is at least somewhat likely that President Obama and congressional Republicans will reach an agreement to significantly cut long-term government spending trends before the 2012 elections. But then most voters also believe neither side is likely to propose a serious plan to deal with federal spending and deficit problems.

That’s despite Republican Congressman Paul Ryan’s new plan that claims to cut $4 trillion from the federal deficit over the next decade. The proposal has Washington, DC abuzz, but 47% of voters don’t know enough about it to voice an opinion. Thirty-one percent (31%) accurately believe the proposal presented by Ryan calls for major changes in defense, Social Security and Medicare which together account for over half of federal spending.

Ryan’s plan prompted the president to come back with a budget-cutting proposal of his own this past week, but his plan does not include changes in the budget-busting Medicare and Social Security programs. Forty-eight percent (48%) of voters now believe it is necessary to make major changes in defense, Social Security and Medicare to make truly significant, long-term cuts in government spending. Thirty-seven percent (37%) don’t believe changes of this kind are necessary.

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