This is one poll result that’s absolutely no surprise: Democracy Corps has found that voters are alarmed by the deficit, but they don’t want to raise taxes or cut spending to deal with it:
Despite these concerns, voters are reluctant to attack the deficit through tax increases or spending cuts on entitlements. In this economy, voters are wary of raising taxes, even if the revenue raised goes to something they deem important, like paying down the deficit. A majority (51 percent) say that even though the deficit is a big problem, we should not raise taxes to bring it down, while only 43 percent say that we might have to raise taxes to reduce the deficit. . .
And by an even wider 2:1 margin, voters reject cuts in Social Security, Medicare or defense spending to bring the deficit down (61 to 30 percent). With nearly three-quarters of the federal budget devoted to these items, exempting them from cuts leaves little room to make realistic progress on deficit reduction. This rejection of spending cuts runs across the political spectrum, with even the most conservative wing of the Republican Party — voters who generally fancy themselves as “deficit hawks” — roundly rejecting the idea of cutting spending to pay down the deficit.
Nearly half of voters think the deficit can be reduced without real cost to entitlements, with 48 percent believing there is enough waste and inefficiency in government spending for the deficit to be reduced through spending cuts while keeping health care, Social Security, unemployment benefits and other services from being hurt. But 43 percent believe the opposite, that any cuts will hurt these programs. There is a real difference on this among the more marginalized segments of the voting public – those who voted in 2008 but are likely to drop off in the 2010 midterms. For this group, 47 percent think spending cuts will hurt entitlements while 39 percent think there is enough waste to make cuts without any pain.
The budget busters are defense, Social Security and Medicare, as this chart shows: