March 24, 2010

Deficit Neutral

47-47

Americans are evenly split on whether spending more to help the economy recover or reducing the federal deficit should be a higher government priority.

Americans have become increasing concerned with budget deficits in the past year. In a January 2010 survey, 60% said reducing the deficit should be a top priority for President Obama and Congress, up from 53% the previous January. One-in-ten (11%) say the deficit is the most important problem facing the nation. Most Americans, however, are not prepared to take action to eliminate government red ink. This is because much of the public is more concerned about the economy. Three times as many Americans cite jobs (31%) as the nation’s top problem as cite the deficit, and another 24% cite the economy more generally. Furthermore, as many Americans say they place a higher priority on more government spending to help the economy as say the deficit should be a higher priority (47% each). Nor are tangible cuts popular either. A CBS News/New York Times poll found that majorities were unwilling to decrease spending on health care/education (62%) or on the military (51%). Read More