In this week’s edition of his ‘Public Opinion Snapshot’ at the Center for American Progress website, TDS Co-editor Ruy Teixeira shows how congressional conservatives are “doubling down on their extreme policies” with radical budget proposals concerning taxes and Medicare that have little prospect of winning anything resembling majority support. On taxes, Teixeira explains:
President Barack Obama has severely criticized this budget plan, saying it is completely out of step with the country’s needs and values. Polling data suggest the public is having the same reaction to the conservatives’ budget. In a just-released Gallup poll, a strong 59-37 majority say next year’s budget should include an increase, not a cut, in taxes for those making more than $250,000.
The public is also far from wanting to end Medicare as we know it. Sixty-one percent in the Gallup poll favor only minor changes (34 percent) or none at all (27 percent) in the program. Another 18 percent support major changes and only a miniscule 13 percent say they are in favor of completely overhauling Medicare. The latter figure is significant since a “complete overhaul” is exactly what conservatives are proposing to do.
It appears that the prudent conservatives of yesteryear have all been replaced by ideologues in blinders, who may now be courting political disaster, as Teixeira suggests. “With this budget…they may finally have gone so far that they will be unable to ignore the negative reaction to their proposals.”