POLL: How Would You Reduce the Federal Deficit?
Survey results from the recent Marquette University Law School show that a good number of Wisconsinites think the federal deficit is a big deal, but there are differences in how to get it under control.
What to do about the federal deficit is a major bone of contention this election season.
Ads from the campaigns of GOP candidates for senate have been airing for weeks, and after the partisan primary Tuesday, voters can expect the heat to get turned up considerably from both sides of the aisle. We've also not seen a lot of air time from President Barack Obama or Republican Mitt Romney, but that, too, will change in the next few weeks.
As usual, all candidates say they have the answer, but what do residents think about the deficit? According to the results released yesterday from Marquette University Law School, 50 percent of respondents see the federal deficit as extremely important; 32 percent thing the deficit is very important and 17 percent say it's somewhat or not really all that important.
But when it comes to reducing the deficit, folks shy away from cutting health care or ending most tax deductions including mortgage and child care, two of the most popular.
"No one has to convince the public the deficit is important, it’s what to do about it," said Professor Charles Franklin about the polling.
The results were released Wednesday during an edition of "On the Issues" with broadcaster Mike Gousha and Franklin, director of the polling project. The data was gathered from Aug. 2-5, 2012 from calls with 1,400 registered Wisconsin voters. There is a 2.7 percent margin of error with the full sample.
Here's how the numbers shake out in percentages:
- Cut defense: 53 yes; 42 no
- Tax increase across all income levels: 40 yes; 55 no
- Cut federal spending on health care: 39 yes; 55 no
- End most tax deductions (child care, mortgage): 32 yes; 62 no
"We included these questions at this point because we're headed for the end of the year when a number of things could happen, a fiscal cliff, if you will," Franklin said. "So we wanted to ask voters about possible policy solutions to undertake or what not to undertake."
While the solutions may not be clear, what is certain is that whomever wins the White House in November won't have an easy time after they take the Oath of Office.
"The capsule here is the dilemma that no matter who is elected, they will have a hard time navigating those waters," Franklin said.