“Numerous polls in recent weeks show that a great majority of Democrats, Independents and Republicans want a balanced budget, reduced spending and entitlement reform,” according to Weber. “They fear that Washington D.C. has been transformed into an ever-growing money-pit and are waking up to the fact that spending is out of control and unsustainable.”
He pointed out that the polls were conducted by diverse organizations including the liberal Huffington Post, the independent Pew Research Center and the National Republican Congressional Committee. Consistently, he said, the majority of respondents saw “unchecked federal spending, the government’s reluctance to identify and cut wasteful programs and its foot-dragging approach to tax and entitlement reforms as the major threats to the economic future of the nation.
“If we don’t get it right this time around, consider the unthinkable alternatives such as the plan proposed in Cyprus last week to confiscate ten percent of all bank accounts, personal and otherwise. Or, right here at home, think about the California gambit where the state is seeking to impose a retroactive tax grab that unfairly changes the tax rules years later on unsuspecting residents to raise cash in a hurry.”
Weber cited one Huffington Post survey conducted in conjunction with the YouGov market research organization, which revealed that 64% of Democrats and 79% of Republicans feel strongly that cutting waste and fraud is a key to debt and deficit reduction.
A separate Huffington Post poll had a majority of respondents complaining that unnecessary programs are at the heart of the problem. Sixty percent of them said that such programs are wasteful expenditures and another 26% said that ineffective spending on programs that are necessary also needs to be cut.
The same bi-partisan sentiment emerged from a poll by the National Republican Congressional Committee. Its survey focused on Democratic districts and “swing states” and revealed that 64% of Democrats, 61% of Independents and 76% of Republicans who responded believe that balancing the budget through entitlement reform and spending cuts is also important to the country’s economic survival.
Finally, a Pew Research Center study found that 70% of Americans – including large majorities of individuals with wide ranging political leanings – deem it essential and Congress and the President “pass major legislation to reduce the federal budget deficit” this year.
“And, if the voice of the people is not enough to create a sense of urgency over the need to cut federal spending as soon as possible, the experts have their dander up too,” Weber said. He noted that the non-partisan Campaign to Fix the Debt sent a petition signed by 161 of the nation’s leading economists and thought leaders to President Obama and the leaders of both parties in the Senate and the House urging debt reduction.
The petition read in part: “We encourage you, our nation’s leaders, to identify a combination of spending reductions and tax and entitlement reforms sufficient to put the national debt on a downward path relative to the size of our economy. With a well-designed deficit reduction package, we can reassure markets and employers, grow our middle class, and restore faith in our political system.”
NOTE TO EDITORS: Dan Weber is available for telephone interviews on this issue. Editors/
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