Pew Survey Finds Limited Public Support For Cutting U.S. Spending To Specific Programs, Except Foreign Aid

“Most Americans are worried about the federal deficit and say the government should cut spending, but few are willing to embrace specific cuts, according to a Pew Research Center survey released Friday,” the Huffington Post’s “Politics” blog reports (Edwards-Levy, 2/22). “According to Pew, 70 percent of Americans say it is essential for Washington to pass major legislation to reduce the federal budget deficit this year,” but “they can’t identify anything worth axing,” the New York Times’ “Economix” blog writes (Rampell, 2/22). But “[o]f 19 options for cutting government spending, only one — reducing foreign aid — was supported by more than 40 percent of Americans, according to [the] poll,” Politico writes.

However, “[e]ven on foreign aid, only 48 percent want to cut, compared with 49 percent who want to increase funding or keep it at the same level,” the news service continues. “The widespread rejection of most ideas to slash spending in the poll from the Pew Research Center shows the difficulty of translating a popular GOP message — the federal budget needs to be shrunk down to size — into political reality,” Politico writes (Robillard, 2/22). “Foreign aid takes up about one percent of the federal budget,” while “Social Security, which only one in 10 Americans support cutting, makes up about 20 percent,” notes (Auerbach, 2/23). “The survey was released one week before automatic across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration are due to start coming into force,” Yahoo! News’ “The Ticket” blog adds (Knox, 2/22).

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