Spending Cuts Still (Much) More Popular Than Tax Increases


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.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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