Oops! John Boehner touts poll showing Americans don't like spending cuts and want to raise taxes


blame game

Greg Sargent is reporting on yet another reason why John Boehner should feel embarrassed about himself: this tweet:

tweet boehner taxes


Which is funny, because the poll actually shows that majorities of voters would rather increase taxes than cut spending on education, Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, and infrastructure. In other words, it demonstrates a central fact about public opinion that may help determine how the sequester “blame game” will play...

While Republicans live to play the Blame Obama game, voters see things a little differently. Just as they did when the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare") was broken down into separate components, poll respondents react differently when presented with more detailed information.

Many of those who tend to favor cuts overall change their tune when they are asked about slashing specific programs that will directly affect their lives.

Here's what the Marist-McClatchy poll actually reveals:

Among voters choices on other parts of the budget:

-by 57-35 they prefer to cut energy spending rather than raise taxes;

-by 55-38 they prefer to cut spending on jobless benefits rather than raise taxes;

-by 65-31 they prefer to raise taxes than cut spending on education;

-by 60-33 they prefer to raise taxes than cut Social Security;

-by 57-36 they prefer to raise taxes than cut Medicare;

-by 53-40 they prefer to raise taxes than cut spending for transportation including roads and bridges;

-by 50-42 they prefer to raise taxes than cut Medicaid.


Greg notes that Americans prefer spending cuts to tax hikes in only three areas: "energy, jobless benefits, and…defense!"

The impact of the sequester on the everyday lives of Americans is dawning on people, and the Blame Game is still a work in progress. As Sargent points out:

[T]his could very well end up damaging Republican officials (who represent the party of only-austerity-forever and crisis-to-crisis governing) just as much or more. Any GOP triumphalism about the politics of the sequester is premature. This is a long game.

What a Boehner smaller