POLL: Majority Backs Across-the-Board Spending Cuts, Doubts They Will Happen

January 4, 2013
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Survey respondents were prophetic, predicting that significant spending cuts would not take place

DENVER – More than six in ten Americans — 62 percent — support across the board spending cuts as a solution to the nation’s fiscal crisis, according to a recent poll published by Rasmussen Reports. But those same respondents are not confident that such spending restraint will occur, with 57 percent saying they don’t think such cuts are likely to happen.  

In fact, only 39 percent of respondents believed it was somewhat likely that government spending would be significantly reduced over the next couple of years.

The poll of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted from December 29-30, before the fiscal cliff deal was signed, with a sample 32 percent Republican, 38 percent Democrat, and 30 percent Independent or other voters.

It turned out the respondents were prophetic in their assumption that significant spending reform would not take place, as the fiscal cliff deal included virtually no spending cuts and some $600 billion in new taxes affecting almost every income group. The final deal ended up with a ratio of $1 in spending cuts for every $41 in new taxes.

Conservative blog Colorado Peak Politics published a chart, based on Business Insider data, showing the federal tax increase for Coloradans based on their income level, with the average middle class family seeing a tax hike of nearly $1,000 just in payroll tax increases.

“Once again, Obama says he’s protecting the middle class, when in reality, the middle class is suffering too,” said Peak Politics. “This fiscal cliff deal is simply not a good deal for America, or for most Coloradans.”

A more recent poll by Rasmussen, conducted January 2, after the deal was reached, shows that most voters don’t know yet that their taxes are going up.  Only 50 percent of the 1,000 Likely Voters surveyed by Rasmussen believed the fiscal cliff deal would raise taxes on the middle class.

That realization may change quickly when people receive their paychecks, only to find them smaller than expected.

On Twitter, a hashtag campaign #WhyIsMyPaycheckLessThisWeek is now trending worldwide.

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