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More Want Spending Cuts & Fewer Taxes to Reduce Debt

 

UTICA, New York - A majority of likely voters believe the proposal made last week by the chairs of the debt commission appointed by President Barack Obama is a good starting point. However, among those with opinions about some specifics of the proposal, most voters say it goes too far in raising taxes and not far enough in cutting spending.

Voters are also more likely to see the proposal as centrist (37%) or liberal (32%) than they are to see it as conservative (17%).

Those results come from a Zogby Interactive poll of likely voters conducted from Nov. 12-15, 2010.

A plan was offered last week by debt commission chairs, former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson and businessman and former Clinton Administration official Erskine Bowles. The plan drew criticism from politicians and partisans of both the left and right.

Do you agree or disagree that President's Obama debt commission's proposal is a good starting point?

Response

All Voters

Republicans

Democrats

Independents

Strongly + Somewhat Agree

54%

44%

63%

55%

Strongly + Somewhat Disagree

37%

47%

28%

37%

Not Sure/Other

9%

10%

9%

8%

Totals may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

 

President Obama's debt commission recently announced a proposal for reducing the deficit that, among other things, contains changes in tax code, Social Security structure and defense spending.

Which of the following statements comes closest to your view of the proposal of the debt commission?

Response

All Voters

Republicans

Democrats

Independents

The proposal goes too far in raising taxes on all Americans to increase revenue

48%

73%

24%

46%

The proposal doesn't go far enough in increasing revenue by raising taxes

25%

7%

41%

26%

Other/Not Sure

28%

21%

35%

28%

Totals may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

 

Response

All Voters

Republicans

Democrats

Independents

The proposal goes too far in cutting spending

20%

6%

34%

17%

The proposal doesn't go far enough in cutting spending

50%

72%

23%

57%

Other/Not Sure

30%

21%

42%

26%

Totals may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

 

Which of the following statements comes closest to your view of the proposal of President Obama's debt commission?

The debt commission proposal is

All Voters

Republicans

Democrats

Independents

Centrist

37%

30%

42%

39%

Liberal

32%

52%

13%

31%

Conservative

17%

5%

29%

18%

Other/Not Sure

14%

13%

17%

13%

Totals may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

 

While liberals and conservatives align with the respective opinions of Democrats and Republicans, moderates opinions are closer to those of Democrats. For example, the percentage of moderates who see the commission chairs' plan as centrist is identical to that of Democrats (42%) and nearly so on whether it is a good starting point (62%). Moderates are more likely to favor the same opinions as Republicans when it comes to whether the proposal goes too far in cutting spending and raising taxes, but do not hold those positions nearly as strongly.

Pollster John Zogby: "Voters appear positive about the intent of the debt commission report put out by Simpson and Bowles, and favor cutting spending over raising taxes to accomplish the mission. The rub, as always, is in what programs and benefits to cut. Conservative voters see cutting government as the only way to go, but moderates seem more cautious. Newly elected conservative Republicans say they will push hard on cutting government spending, but the reality of doing so will be a high risk electoral venture."

 

The interactive poll consisting of 2,062 likely voters was conducted from Nov. 12-15, 2010, and has a margin of error of +/-2.2%.  A sampling of Zogby International's online panel, which is representative of the adult population of the U.S., was invited to participate.  Slight weights were added to region, party, age, race, religion, gender, and education to more accurately reflect the population.

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