Poll: Americans OK with cuts, more taxes

March 15, 2011 7:43:10 PM PDT
The national budget battle on Capitol Hill continues. On Tuesday, the House passed another short term funding bill and it is a win for the GOP, but there is a new poll out that could be troubling for Republicans.

Congress agreed to fund the government for another three weeks and to get that agreement Republicans exacted another $6 billion in spending cuts. But a new ABC News-Washington Post poll shows that the vast majority of Americans don't favor a cuts-only plan.

On Feb. 17, Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, was quite clear when he said, "When we say we're going to cut spending, read my lips, we're going to cut spending."

When Republicans refused to let tax breaks expire for the rich, Democrats caved.

House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Feb. 18 said, "I just think it's important for all of us to recognize we cannot allow the government to shut down."

When Pelosi said that a month ago, the polls showed the country was evenly split on who they would blame if the government ran out of money. Now, a new ABC News-Washington Post poll shows 31 percent would will hold the president responsible, while 45 percent would blame Congressional Republicans.

"I'm not sure anybody wants to go to the wall yet," said ABC7 political analyst Bruce Cain, Ph.D.

Cain said the new numbers are not strong enough to embolden Congressional Democrats. He said the more significant numbers in the poll have to do with fixing the federal deficit. About 31 percent say the best way is to just cut federal spending, only 3 percent say just raise taxes, but a whopping 64 percent say it's should be a combination of spending cuts and tax increases.

Cain thinks House Republicans aren't listening and said, "The Republicans at this point are more concerned about their primary constituencies than there general election constituencies."

Cain said Republicans who agree to tax increases, risk being voted out in their Republican primaries. The tea party was pretty successful with that in the last election. In California, Republicans in the Assembly and Senate won't even agree to put tax extensions on the ballot, even though the poll validates Gov. Jerry Brown's approach of spending cuts and taxes.

The question for California Republicans in the next election is: should they continue to play to their base when California primary system has changed to a top-two system where Republicans and Democrats will be on the same primary ballot?


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