Six in 10 Americans approve of the 11th-hour federal budget agreement that congressional leaders reached in time to avert a government shutdown. Support for the deal made on Friday is somewhat higher among Democrats than among independents and Republicans, 71% vs. 60% and 58%, respectively.
But, who was the political winner in all of these last minute machinations?
Well, neither the Democrats nor Republicans.
Now, it is on to three more budget related battles:
- 2011-2012 Federal Budget
- Raising the Federal Debt Ceiling
- Long-Term /Debt reduction
The Democrats and Obama will now try a “balanced approach” of tax increases and budget cuts while the GOP will pursue mainly budget cuts. Which is the more popular approach?
Not really a surprise here.
And, with regard to cutting domestic programs, Americans have taken polarized positions.
And, Medicare in which GOP Rep. Paul Ryan has proposed massive reforms? Americans say hands off and support minor changes.
This is typical polling that drives the political discourse. Americans don’t want hard painful choices of cuts in spending. As to who will pay for the pain, it is easy for the “rich” to do so. This will be President Obama’s message today.
The President can read the polls.
Americans mostly approve of Friday’s budget agreement that will keep the federal government running through September, but few say it was a victory for either party. Whether this is because of the messy politics involved in reaching it, or because the $38.5 million in spending cuts was not, in fact, a complete victory for either party, is not clear.
Republican and Democratic leaders are making considerable noise about the federal debt, and Americans share this concern. President Obama is expected to spell out his vision for reducing the national debt in a White House speech Wednesday afternoon, and Republicans are expected to press for dramatic deficit reduction in the looming negotiations over raising the debt ceiling. With a divided Congress, the challenge will be, once again, to strike a compromise between Democrats’ calls for higher taxes on the wealthy and Republicans’ calls for deeper domestic spending cuts. At this stage, the Democrats’ position seems to have the greater public appeal.