Poll reveals broad support for mixing tax increases with spending cuts to alleviate federal deficit

(Image: Flickr Creative Commons/David Beyer)

The Washington Post reports that its most recent joint poll with ABC News found that nearly two-thirds of respondents support a combination of raising taxes and cutting federal spending in order to tackle the deficit. Less than a third of those polled said that the government should cut spending alone to cut the federal deficit.

This is a shift from just four months ago, when the same question, asked in December, found 36 percent of respondents advocating spending cuts alone and 60 percent advocated tax increases and spending cuts together (the precise numbers are now 31 to 64 percent). Increasing taxes alone remained by far the least popular option, with just 3 percent of those polled supporting such a tactic, up 1 percentage point from December.

The overwhelming popularity of combining the traditionally liberal notion of tax increases with the traditionally conservative notion of spending reductions cut across party lines, though it was more popular with Democrats than Republicans. Nearly half — 47 percent — of Republicans chose that option, compared to 77 percent of Democrats. Independents were right in line with the overall picture, with 64 percent of them choosing the twofold approach to fixing the deficit.

That wasn’t the only indication in the poll that the majority of Americans are more moderate than vocal extremists on either side of the political divide would have it. A full 71 percent of those polled said that Republicans have not been willing enough to compromise with President Obama over the budget, while only 16 percent said Republicans were too willing to compromise.

The Colorado Independent previously reported on the poll’s findings that more than half of all Americans are now in support of legalizing same-sex marriage.

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