Despite the acrimonious debate between conservatives about the depth of spending cuts, the latest Pew opinion data (poll conducted Feb 2-7) indicates that the public is skeptical about the need for cuts in social spending and strongly opposed to deep cuts, according to TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira’s latest ‘Public Opinion Snapshot’ at the Center for American Progress web pages.
…When asked about a number of possible areas where the federal budget could be cut the public shied away from decreasing spending in area after area. Under 30 percent called for spending cuts in 16 of 18 areas with the least enthusiasm for cuts in veterans’ benefits (6 percent), education (11 percent), Medicare (12 percent), Social Security (12 percent), public schools (13 percent), and college financial aid (16 percent).
Nor do conservatives win much support when it comes to cutting state budgets:
…Just 18 percent support decreasing funding for K-12 schools, 21 percent support decreasing health care services, and 31 percent support decreasing funding for roads and public transportation. And support is still only split (47-47) on cutting the pension plans of public employees despite the relentless barrage of conservative attacks on public-sector workers.
Apparently conservatives don’t pay much attention to the views of American voters on spending cuts. As for hoping they will come around and listen to their constituents, there’s not much precedent for that. As Teixeira says, “I suppose we shouldn’t hold our breath.”