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


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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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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