Spending Cuts Still (Much) More Popular Than Tax Increases

| Thu Feb. 21, 2013 2:36 PM EST

The good news for Democrats in today's new Pew/USA Today poll is that if Congress and the president fail to reach an agreement on the sequester, 49 percent of the public say they'll blame Republicans. Only 31 percent say they'll blame Obama. He's obviously winning the PR battle here.

But not all the news is so cheery. In a separate question, 70 percent said it was "essential" to pass major legislation this year to reduce the budget deficit. What's worse, there was very little support for doing this primarily through tax increases. A whopping 73 percent of the public want to address the deficit either entirely or mostly via spending cuts. Only 19 percent want to do it entirely or mostly via tax increases. It's true that most of the public prefers a deal that includes some new revenues, but that preference is small enough that it's not likely to produce any movement on taxes from Republicans.

In other news, the public is enormously in favor of raising the minimum wage; Obama's approval rating is up a bit and Republicans' approval ratings are at record lows; immigration is on a knife-edge; and nobody cares about climate change.

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