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WP Poll: Most Support Gov’t Cuts, Sparing DOD

From the Washington Post:

(Click to enlarge)

Cut government spending? Sure….in theory.

By Jon Cohen and Sean Sullivan | March 6, 2013

Americans broadly support an across-the-board cut in spending for a government often seen as wasteful, but there is wide opposition to blanket cuts to the military, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Oops.

So it turns out a 5% across the board cut in overall spending is supported by 61% to 33%. Whereas an 8% across the board cut in military spending is only supported by 34% to 60%. That is a fairly dramatic difference.

The general idea of slicing government spending is popular, with majorities of Republicans, independents and Democrats all saying they support an across-the-board five percent reduction in federal outlays….

Unsurprisingly, support for cutting government spending peaks at 82 percent among conservative Republicans, including 60 percent who say so “strongly.” But even 50 percent of liberal Democrats back such cuts, at least in general terms. Some 55 percent of liberal Democrats also back the eight percent slashing of the U.S. military budget included in the sequester. Republicans overwhelmingly oppose such cuts to defense.

In fact, the Washington Post is so ticked at these results they immediately set out to undermine their own poll:

The large support for cutting government spending stands in stark contrast deep public opposition to decreasing spending on particular programs.

In February the Pew Research Center surveyed Americans on 19 areas of federal spending, and there was majority support for decreasing spending in precisely zero of them.

You see how much better the leftists at Pew are at doing push polls?

In short: the American public likes the idea of cutting federal spending; what they don’t like are actual cuts in federal spending.

And never mind that this is not what the poll being reported in this article says.

That paradox makes it very difficult for elected officials to navigate the issue of whether — and what — to cut.

Again, there is no "paradox" in the Washington Post’s poll. The vast majority say cut government spending, but spare defense spending. What could be more clear?

It also explains why we should have seen the sequester as politically inevitable right from the start. Without any clear signal from the public of how, specifically, it wants the cuts to happen, politicians did the easy thing: They let an across-the-board cut go into effect without having to vote (read: explain) on it.

In other words, the Post is claiming that the sequester is fair. Even though the sequester does cut the military, which their own poll shows most people don’t want. (In fact it cuts far more than domestic spending. Since defense is only 19% of the budget and it is getting 50% of the cuts.)

But the Post doesn’t mind lying about their own poll if it will help the cause.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, March 7th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

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