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CONGRESS

Public Split on Parties’ Super Committee Ideas

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Super committee: Getting mixed signals from poll results.(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

With the super committee scheduled to report its findings to Congress in just two weeks, a new survey finds that slightly more Americans favor a Democratic proposal to pare the deficit with cuts and revenue increases on the wealthy rather than a cuts-only approach.

By a margin of 49 percent to 44 percent, the public favored the Democratic plan suggested earlier this month that would include “$4 trillion in deficit reduction through a combination of federal spending cuts and tax increases on wealthier Americans” over “a Republican plan that calls for $3 trillion in deficit reduction through spending cuts alone, with no tax increases.” A small number of voters—7 percent—said neither one, said they didn’t know, or refused to answer.

 

With the super committee appearing deadlocked over how to get to $1.2 trillion in cuts—lest automatic sequestration go into effect in 2013—the American people seem no more unified than the politicians who represent them. However, when individual ideas are tested with the public, and not identified as being the progeny of any political party, the Democratic-proposed solutions score very well. That suggests that the party’s congressional strategy of holding a slew of Senate votes on pieces of the president’s jobs package—which went down to defeat earlier this fall—may be a wise idea even though it has yet to produce lasting gains in President Obama’s job approval, let alone Congress’s.

Respondents to the United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll showed a decided lack of confidence in Congress to get anything done that might aid the still-troubled American economy. When asked about federal legislation to create jobs through funding repair of infrastructure and keeping police from being laid off, more than 80 percent said that those measures were very important or somewhat important for Congress to pass this year, but only 8 percent thought it would happen—a stunning discrepancy that reveals faith in Congress at historic lows.

The Congressional "super committee" is examining two different plans to try to reduce the federal deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years.

 

The Democratic plan calls for over $4 trillion in deficit reduction through a combination of federal spending cuts and tax increases on wealthier Americans.

The Republican plan calls for $3 trillion in deficit reduction through spending cuts alone, with no tax increases.

Which do you prefer?

 

 
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The Democratic plan
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The Republican plan
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Neither/Other
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Don't know/Refused

As you may know, there is concern about Greece's ability to pay its debts and fears that, if Greece defaults, it will hurt the global economy -- including the United States.

Do you think the U.S. should or should not provide any financial assistance to European nations and financial institutions which have already offered Greece aid if it undertakes reforms to repair its fiscal problems?

 

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Should
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Should not
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Don't know/Refused
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Source: United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll (November 3-6); The margin of sampling error ± 3.7 percentage points.

This article appears in the November 9, 2011 edition of NJ Daily.

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