Chart of the Day: The Public Doesn't Know Squat About the Federal Deficit

| Tue Aug. 13, 2013 10:23 AM EDT

Paul Krugman wants to know what the general public thinks of the deficit, and Google's Hal Varian puts up a quick poll to find out. Here's the current state of public opinion:

And here's the reality:

The Google results come from an online survey, so they probably aren't completely reliable. But I'll bet they're close. It takes a long time for public opinion to change on stuff like this, and that's especially true when one side is loudly trumpeting false narratives and the other side is barely even fighting back. Hell, violent crime has been declining for over 20 years, and lots of people still think it's rising. I don't expect deficit paranoia to change an awful lot faster.

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