Poll: Budget deal wins support, but Americans wary

Interesting numbers from USA Today/Gallup Poll…

In summary, the “public” is okay with the budget deal from last week, but most don’t want anymore cuts to Domestic spending…

They also want to rescind the Bush Tax Cuts for the Rich…

And no one wants to cut Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security…

I hope President Obama is willing to go to the mat for those programs…

I’m not yet convinced he will…

In the public’s view, so far so good.

By more than 2-to-1, 62%-25%, those polled say they approve of the deal, and few see it as a partisan victory. Three of four say it was a victory either for neither side (56%) or for both sides (20%).

There is less consensus on what to do next, though, and little encouragement for policymakers such as House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan who are urging bold action to control the exploding costs of Medicare.

“Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die,” says Gary Jacobson, a political scientist at the University of California, San Diego. “People want a balanced budget … but they really don’t like the cuts that are involved.”

He questions whether it will be possible for the White House and Congress to strike a grand bargain that calls on both to take some political hits. “I’m not sure there’s enough mutual trust possible in Washington these days for that kind of deal to be made.”

In the poll, those surveyed:

• Are split over whether there should be significant additional cuts in domestic spending: 47% say no, 45% yes. On this issue, there is a yawning divide between the parties. Democrats by 2-to-1 oppose more cuts; Republicans by 2-to-1 support them.

• Overwhelmingly oppose making major changes to Medicare. By 2-to-1, they support minor changes or none at all to control costs, rather than major changes or a complete overhaul. Even a third of Republicans say the government should not try to control the costs of Medicare.

• Favor imposing higher taxes on families with household incomes of $250,000 and above, as Obama has endorsed: 59% support the idea, 37% oppose it.

Still, the divide on the issue could make Republicans less likely to compromise on it. While 78% of Democrats favor higher taxes on top earners, 60% of Republicans oppose it.

via Poll: Budget deal wins support, but Americans wary – USATODAY.com.

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