A large majority of Americans—nearly three in four—say they have not noticed effects of this year’s across-the-board spending cuts.
According to the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, only 23 percent of respondents have “seen any impact of these cuts” in their communities or on them personally, while 74 percent said they had seen no impact from sequestration.
The results highlight a difficult issue for Democrats and the Obama administration in the broad fight over government spending: The budget cuts they decry not only haven’t exasperated the public, they’ve gone largely unnoticed. That means both parties’ political attacks over the sequester have less salience.
The poll results also are notable as Washington navigates the federal government shutdown and possible breach of the debt ceiling—two parallel crises carrying the potential of economic harm. While President Obama has stressed Senate Democrats’ acquiescence to what he called “Republican spending levels,” congressional Republicans are advocating another round of reductions in exchange for a debt-limit increase. Yet, absent reductions in Social Security or Medicare spending, it appears most Americans do not experience—or do not think they are experiencing—the effect of lower government spending.
Of the people who said they had noticed some sequester impact, the most common effect cited was “furloughs for federal workers you know.” Fifty-eight percent of that subset said they had noticed furloughs, while 54 percent said they had seen “cuts in government services you use,” and 45 percent said they themselves had seen “cuts in your paycheck or paychecks received by your family.”
College graduates were most likely to know a furloughed federal worker, with three-quarters of those who said they had noticed the sequester citing that particular effect. Respondents making less than $50,000 a year, meanwhile, were most likely among that subset to have noticed cuts to government services they use or to their families’ paychecks. Nonwhites were also more likely than other respondents to say that they had personally felt cuts in paychecks or services.
But again, relatively few respondents in each of those subgroups have even noticed sequestration to begin with. Just 21 percent of nonwhites, 23 percent of people earning less than $50,000 a year, and 25 percent of college graduates said they had noticed the cuts.
The United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll was conducted Oct. 3-6 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. The poll surveyed 1,000 adults, half via cell phone, and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.
What We're Following See More »
Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.
“My view is, first you get them to laugh, then you get them to listen," says Michelle Obama in a new profile in Variety. "So I’m always game for a good joke, and I’m not so formal in this role. There’s very little that we can’t do that people wouldn’t appreciate.” According to writer Ted Johnson, Mrs. Obama has leveraged the power of pop culture far beyond her predecessors. "Where are the people?" she asks. "Well, they’re not reading the op-ed pieces in the major newspapers. They’re not watching Sunday morning news talk shows. They’re doing what most people are doing: They are watching TV.”
The FBI and other US security agencies are currently investigating a series of computer breaches found within The New York Times and other news organizations. It is expected that the hacks were carried out by individuals working for Russian intelligence. It is believed that these cyber attacks are part of a "broader series of hacks that also have focused on Democratic Party organizations, the officials said."
In a 3-1 decision, the National Labor Relations Board ruled in favor of Columbia University graduate students, granting them the legal right to unionize. The petition was brought by a number of teaching assistants enrolled in graduate school. This decision could pave the way for thousands of new union members, depending on if students at other schools nationwide wish to join unions. A number of universities spoke out in opposition to this possibility, saying injecting collective bargaining into graduate school could create a host of difficulties.
Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.