WASHINGTON— Less than a quarter of Americans support making significant cuts to Social Security or Medicare to tackle the country’s mounting deficit, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, illustrating the challenge facing lawmakers who want voter buy-in to alter entitlement programs.
In the poll, Americans across all age groups and ideologies said by large margins that it was “unacceptable” to make significant cuts in entitlement programs in order to reduce the federal deficit. Even tea party supporters, by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, declared significant cuts to Social Security “unacceptable.”
A couple of other interesting data points in the guts of the poll:
Which comes closer to your point of view?
Statement A: Government should do more to solve problems and meet the needs of people.
Statement B. Government is doing too many things better left to business and individuals.
Statement A: 51 percent.
Statement B: 46 percent.
Would the following steps be acceptable or unacceptable as a means of reducing the federal deficit?
A surtax on millionaires:
Acceptable: 81 percent
Unacceptable: 17 percent
Phasing out Bush tax cuts for families making $250,000 or more:
Acceptable: 68 percent
Unacceptable: 19 percent
Significantly cutting Medicaid:
Acceptable: 34 percent
Unacceptable: 65 percent
Significantly cutting Medicare:
Acceptable: 23 percent
Unacceptable: 76 percent
Significantly cutting K-12 education:
Acceptable: 22 percent
Unacceptable: 77 percent
– Jay Bookman