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.
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.
Another guest post is by our pal and regular TPC contributor, David Garber:
THE HAPPY HEREAFTER
A Huffington Post entry caught my attention, “Pessimists Live Longer Lives.” I couldn’t help myself from reading on because below it was a picture of one of my heroes, Woody Allen. And if he was associated with this article, I figured it could be filled with some wonderful bon mots. Well, sadly, there wasn’t a word from Woody in it. He only represented the theme by his aged, unhappy face. Oh, the gist of the article is that grumpy old men seem to go on longer than those with more optimistic views on life. A perfect theme for Sequestration Day.
From a sampling of some 40,000 people — face to face interviews — the findings are pretty decisive… The mortality rate among other things caught my attention. Here’s their summation: Grumpy Old People:
“…were found to have a 9.5 percent rise in reported
disabilities and a 10 percent rise in risk of death.”
Wow, from that the decision is simple — think the worst and live longer. Then it got me wondering, could this be the old joke about the patient who goes in to see his doctor, wanting to know the secret of living longer? The doctor looks at his patient and says, “Chuck, what you have to do is give up sex, cigars, red meat, television, wine, pornography and chocolate.” Stunned, Chuck looks at the doctor and asks, “If I give all those things up, I’ll live longer?” The doctor shakes his head and replies, “No, not really. But it’ll seem like it.”
So maybe that’s what this article is really saying. If your’re grumpy and have a bad disposition and hate everything, you will only think you lived longer. But I’d rather be happy, optimistic and enjoy the time I have — even if that means life is too short.
Let them put me on a dirt furlough six feet under, with a smile on my face — that way, when I arrive someplace in the afterlife, I’ll be happy when I get there. Unless of course, it’s GOP headquarters.
For the past 25 years, David Garber has been serving as the show runner and or writer on some of television’s biggest hits… Saved By The Bell, Power Rangers, 227, Bill Cosby Show and many other network series. His writing and producing have also netted David two very prestigious awards:the PRISM AWARD and the TV CRITICS AWARD – TV SPECIAL OF THE YEAR. Currently he’s authoring a short story series called “A Few Minutes With…”
It’s reassuring to know that President Obama isn’t like MI Dictator, er, Gov. Snyder who declared a financial emergency in Detroit and will appoint emergency manager to take over.
Some excerpts. President Obama:
Washington sure isn’t making it easy. At a time when our businesses have finally begun to get some traction, hiring new workers, bringing jobs back to America, we shouldn’t be making a series of dumb, arbitrary cuts to things that businesses depend on and workers depend on like education and research and infrastructure and defense. It’s unnecessary, and at a time when too many Americans are still looking for work it’s inexcusable.
And let’s be clear: None of this is necessary. It’s happening because a choice that Republicans in Congress have made. They’ve allowed these cuts to happen because they refuse to budge on closing a single wasteful loophole to help reduce the deficit.
As recently as yesterday, they decided to protect special- interest tax breaks for the well-off and the well-connected, and they think that that’s apparently more important than protecting our military or middle-class families from the pain of these cuts.
I do know that there are Republicans in Congress who privately at least say that they would rather close tax loopholes than let these cuts go through. I know that there are Democrats who’d rather do smart entitlement reform than let these cuts go through.
And, I think, there are other areas where we can make progress, even with the sequester unresolved. I will continue to push for these initiatives. I’m going to keep pushing for high-quality preschool, for every family that wants it. I’m going to keep pushing to make sure that we raise the minimum wage so that it’s one that families can live on. I’m going to keep on pushing for immigration reform, and reform of our voting system, and improvements on our transportation sector. And I’m going to keep pushing for sensible government (ph) reforms, because I still think they deserve a vote.
And what I’ve said very specifically, very detailed, is that I’m prepared to take on the problem where it exists on entitlements, and do some things that my own party really doesn’t like if it’s part of a broader package of sensible deficit reduction.
[T]he Republicans have made a choice that maintaining an iron-clad rule that we will not accept an extra dime’s worth of revenue makes it very difficult for us to get any larger, comprehensive deal.
And that’s a choice they’re making. They’re saying that it’s more important to preserve these tax loopholes than it is to prevent these arbitrary cuts. And, you know, what’s interesting is Speaker Boehner just a couple months ago identified these tax loopholes and tax breaks and said, we should close ‘em and raise revenue.
Jessica Yellin: Mr. President, to your question, what could you do. First of all, couldn’t you just have them down here and refuse to let them leave the room until you have a deal?
Pres. Obama: You know, the — I mean, Jessica (ph), I — I am not a dictator. I’m the president. So, ultimately if Mitch McConnell or John Boehner say, “We need to go to catch a plane,” I can’t have Secret Service block the doorway. Right?
As everybody here knows, last year upon a long period of reflection, I concluded that we cannot discriminate against same-sex couples when it comes to marriage, that the basic principle that America is founded on, the idea that we’re all created equal, applies to everybody regardless of sexual orientation, as well as race or gender or religion or ethnicity.
And, you know, I think that the same evolution that I’ve gone through is an evolution that the country as a whole has gone through. And I think it is a profoundly positive thing. So that when the Supreme Court essentially called the question by taking this case about California’s law, I didn’t feel like that was something that this administration could avoid. I felt it was important for us to articulate what I believe and what this administration stands for.
The rest of the transcript can be found at the link.
Rachel Maddow sets 90% of America straight about the deficit. Now if only they’d listen:
See how it’s spiraling out of control? See how much it’s growing? Higher and higher all the time. Yeah, no.
Actually, down is not up. Night is not day, and the deficit is getting smaller. It’s dropped by hundreds of billions of dollars during Barack Obama’s presidency.
We are currently experiencing the fastest deficit reduction in several generations, and nobody knows it.
We’re in the midst of a major national crisis, self-imposed, brought on by fear and loathing and worry and outrage over the supposed state of the deficit, and 90% of the country is wrong about what the state of the deficit is. I’m not saying 90% as a made-up rounded hyperbolic number. That’s the actual number.
Here’s the entire segment which includes a wonderful recap of the day’s news in the first few minutes of the video. “And.. and.. andandandandand… It’s that kind of news cycle.” Watch:
Today’s L.A. Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:
From day one of President Obama‘s first term, the Republicans put into effect a political strategy of cheerleading for the failure of his governing, regardless of the harm their self-serving politics caused the country and the silent majority of its citizens.
The evidence of this is overwhelming.
It started with the “just say no” obstructionism in the Senate, and it evolved into a mantra of “no compromise” preached by extremist House Republicans who endorsed the blackmailing of the White House into the budget cuts compromise.
If the sequester happens and thousands of jobs are lost, the economic recovery reverses and millions of Americans suffer, then the Republicans will have finally won — and the country will have lost, not the president.
With Republicans in Congress unwilling to meet the president halfway on a deficit reduction compromise, I can offer an approach that might move the GOP.
How about if the president were to direct a disproportionate fraction of spending cuts toward Republican congressional districts?
That way, the proponents of massive federal cutbacks could hear firsthand from their constituents about the wisdom of such cuts.
The suggestion by congressional Republicans that school lunches should be cut is sadly predictable. Our government is being held hostage by a small group of thugs utterly disconnected from real consequences.
As American voices grow ever louder and evidence-based concern grows for such key issues as climate change, gun violence and social inequality, congressional Republicans simply double down on their stonewalling in deference to their corporate donors.
It’s high time for a revolution at the polls to return actual representation, ethics and sound judgment to our government.
Why are Republicans upset about the prospect of deep budget cuts?
That’s their entire plan for our economy, and it’s been their only plan for the last 30 years. They should be overjoyed.
And unless there’s a last-minute rescue, now’s our chance to see how well that idea works.
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