WSJ-NBC Poll: Half of Americans Believe Sequester Will Hurt Economy

Thursday, 11 Apr 2013 01:00 PM

By Michael Kling

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While nearly half of Americans believe the sequester cuts will hurt the economy, most don’t think the budget cuts will harm their own families much, a new survey shows.

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows that 47 percent of Americans believe the sequester will damage the economy, 16 percent say it will help and 30 percent see no impact.

On the other hand, 58 percent of the 1,000 adults participating in the telephone survey say the spending cuts have had “not much” impact on their own households. Nearly one in six say the cuts will have either “quite a bit” or a “great deal” of impact.

Editor's Note:
Economist Warns: ‘Money From Heaven a Path to Hell.’ See Evidence.

A Washington Post-ABC News survey done in March also reported that 64 percent of Americans surveyed thought the budget cuts would hurt the economy. That belief was spread across party lines — 67 percent of Democrats, 59 percent of Republicans and 65 percent of independents said the cuts would hurt the economy. About two-thirds want Congress to end sequester.

In addition, 69 percent of all adults surveyed said the cuts would hurt the military, with Republicans more likely to agree they will.

Like the NBC poll, the survey showed that many Americans do not see a great impact on their personal finances, as 48 percent said they foresee no damage to their personal finances.

Despite agreeing that the sequester is harmful, survey respondents in different parties do not agree on a solution. Most Democrats support reducing military spending (62 percent), reducing tax deductions for higher-income taxpayers (67 percent) and limiting deductions businesses can take (54 percent).

Cutting military spending and limiting deductions for higher-income individuals was supported by just 47 percent of Republicans. Limiting deductions garnered even less support, with just 43 percent of Republicans backing that idea.

Cutting spending for Medicaid got little support: only 26 percent of survey respondents prefer that option. But more Republicans (42 percent) favored cutting the government insurance program for the poor than did Democrats (18 percent).

The same goes for raising the Medicare retirement age from 65 to 67, which was supported by 39 percent of those polled. A third of Democrats and 44 percent of Republicans back raising that retirement age.

The wide disparities between Democrats and Republicans highlight the difficulties President Barack Obama and Congress face when seeking an alternative to the sequester.

Editor's Note: Economist Warns: ‘Money From Heaven a Path to Hell.’ See Evidence.

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