Republicans Are Losing Ground on the Deficit, But Obama’s Not Gaining
Far fewer Americans now say that Republicans in Congress have the better approach to the budget deficit than did so in November with the GOP losing ground among political independents as well as key elements of the its base, including Tea Party supporters. But the public is no more supportive of Barack Obama’s approach to the budget deficit than it was in November.
Tea Party’s Hard Line on Spending Divides GOP
Across a wide range of issues — including entitlements, education, agriculture and energy — Tea Party Republicans take a much harder line on cutting federal spending than do non-Tea Party Republicans, who are far more in sync with Democrats.
Rethinking Budget Cutting
Views about federal spending are beginning to change. Americans no longer call for more spending on many popular programs. Still, support for cutting spending remains limited, though in a few cases it has risen noticeably. The public remains reluctant either to cut spending — or to raise taxes – to balance state budgets.
Economy, Jobs Top Public’s Policy Agenda
Americans overwhelmingly cite the economy and jobs as the most important issues facing the president and new Congress. On health care reform, roughly as many would like to see legislation expanded as have it repealed.
Deficit Solutions Meet With Public Skepticism
While an overwhelming number of Americans deem the deficit a major problem that must be dealt with now, few are willing to support specific proposals to address the issue. On dealing with the deficit, Obama has more credibility than Republican congressional leaders.
Government Economic Policies Seen as Boon for Banks and Big Business, Not Middle Class or Poor
Partisan groups disagree sharply about many aspects of the government’s anti-recession policies — with two notable exceptions: Large majorities of independents, Republicans and Democrats all say large banks and financial institutions got the most help while few in each group say the policies have done much for the poor.
Public’s Wish List for Congress — Jobs and Deficit Reduction
Fully 80% say it is very important for Congress to pass legislation to address the job situation; nearly half of public disapproves of challenge to Arizona’s immigration law and health care legislation.
Public Uncertain How to Improve Job Situation
There is broad public agreement that past government policies intended to address the financial crisis and recession have not worked. At the same time, there is very little agreement about what the government should do now to deal with the nation’s biggest economic concern — the job situation.
Distrust, Discontent, Anger and Partisan Rancor
By almost every conceivable measure Americans are less positive and more critical of government these days.
Deficit Concerns Rise, But Solutions Are Elusive
While an increasing number of Americans cite addressing the government’s red ink as a priority, there is not much support for spending cuts, regardless of party.