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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira: Deficit Reduction Done Right

There seems to be a disconnect between the deficit reduction views of conservative leaders and the more level-headed views of the public. In his latest ‘Public Opinion Snapshot’ at the Center for American Progress web pages, TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira explains:

It really is quite remarkable, even by the standards of today’s conservatives, how far their plans for reducing the deficit are from the public’s. Conservatives don’t want to raise taxes in any way, especially on the rich and corporations. They don’t want to touch the military. And they think it’s a dandy idea to take a meat axe to domestic spending programs and Social Security. The public is exactly the opposite, as a recent Pew Center poll shows.
So what does the public approve of for reducing the deficit? They approve of reducing U.S. assistance to foreign countries (72 percent), raising the cap for Social Security contributions (67 percent), raising income taxes on the rich (66 percent), reducing military commitments overseas (65 percent), and limiting tax deductions for large corporations (62 percent)…

Conservative priorities for deficit-reduction seem tethered to some alternate reality, in stark contrast to the views of the public — “exactly backwards,” as Teixeira says. Democrats, on the other hand, are in the enviable position of being in synch with the views of the public regarding deficit-reduction and need only to stay grounded to benefit from the conservatives’ discrepancy.

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