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Poll Shows Public Opposes Sequestration Poll Shows Public Opposes Sequestration

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NJ Daily

CONGRESS

Poll Shows Public Opposes Sequestration

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Sequester skeptics: Are Medicare cuts ahead?(AP Photo/Joey Ivansco)

With the congressional deficit-reduction super committee collapsing into stalemate, a solid majority of Americans say that Congress should block the automatic spending cuts established as a fallback if the panel deadlocked, according to the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll.

Although a majority of adults said they preferred their member of Congress to compromise on reaching a deficit-reduction agreement, and a plurality said they believed that a deal would benefit the economy, a commanding 61 percent said that Congress should stop the $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts now scheduled to be imposed after the committee announced its failure on Monday afternoon.

 

Last summer’s legislation to raise the debt ceiling, which created the 12-member super committee, established those reductions as the fail-safe mechanism if the group did not recommend at least $1.2 trillion in further deficit reduction. Those cuts, which are divided equally between defense and domestic programs, are slated to start in 2013, but some congressional Republicans have already talked about trying to alter the formula to reduce the impact on defense.  

Opposition to proceeding with the automatic cuts was widespread in the poll. They were opposed by three-fifths of whites, and nearly two-thirds of minorities; at least 57 percent of every age group; and 58 percent of independents, 66 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of Republicans. The only exception to the pattern: Whites with at least a four-year college degree split almost evenly on whether the cuts should go through.

The United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, which surveyed 1,003 adults by landline and cell phone from Nov. 17-20, 2011. The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

 

That broad resistance to the automatic reductions reflects a general absence of urgency in the survey about dealing with the huge deficit challenge and a resistance to big cuts in key domestic programs.

 

As you may know, if the super committee does not meet its deficit reduction target by the deadline, Congress has set rules requiring large automatic cuts on defense and domestic programs. If the committee fails to meet its target, do you think these automatic cuts should go into effect or that Congress should take action to stop them?

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Automatic cuts should go into effect
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Congress should take action to stop them
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Don't know/Refused

Which one of the following possible outcomes of an agreement to reduce the deficit concerns you most?

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It will cut too much from government programs like Medicare and Social Security
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It will raise taxes on people like you
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It will not meet its target for reducing the federal deficit and debt
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It will allow for too much federal spending in the next few years
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Don't know/Refused

As you may know, the congressional "super committee" is reaching its deadline to produce a plan to reduce the federal deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over the next decade. If the committee fails to reach an agreement, who do you think should be most to blame?

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Republicans in Congress
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President Obama
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Democrats in Congress
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All parties equally
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Don't know/Refused
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Source: United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll (Nov. 17-20).

This article appears in the November 22, 2011 edition of NJ Daily.

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