Poll: Majority of Americans want to delay forced spending cuts
February 21st, 2013
10:03 PM ET
1 year ago

Poll: Majority of Americans want to delay forced spending cuts

(CNN) – A new survey shows that a majority of Americans want Congress to stop the looming forced spending cuts from going into effect next week.

Fifty-four percent want Congress to delay the cuts, while 40% say the government should go ahead and allow the cuts to kick in, according to a Bloomberg News poll released Thursday.

The across-the-board cuts would slash the amount federal agencies can spend by $85 billion over the next seven months and $1.2 trillion over the next decade. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the cuts could reduce economic growth by at least 0.6 percentage points and reduce job growth by 750,000 jobs.

Other ways Americans could feel the impact include weakened unemployment benefits, longer security lines at the airport, furloughs at federal agencies, delays or closures at national parks and higher prices for chicken and other products because of cuts to food safety programs.

President Barack Obama and lawmakers on Capitol Hill now face a March 1 deadline to reach a deal if they want to avert the cuts. They were supposed to take place at the beginning of the year, but a scaled-back fiscal cliff bill postponed them for two months.

Should Washington find a deficit-reduction agreement to replace the automatic cuts, known in Washington as the sequester, 59% of Americans support White House proposals that call for a mix of spending cuts and tax increases, according to the new poll.

But a majority of those polled also said Social Security and Medicare should be overhauled to reduce the deficit. Congressional Republicans agree.

The poll largely falls in line with a Pew Research and USA Today poll released earlier Thursday, in which 49% said the cuts should be delayed and 40% wanted the cuts to go into effect, although a majority of Americans also want something done on the federal deficit this year.

For the Bloomberg News survey, Iowa-based Selzer & Co. conducted the poll February 15-18 with 1,003 U.S. adults by telephone. The poll's sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

– CNN's Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.


Filed under: Congress • Debt • Deficit • Polls
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Bite the Bullet

    Oh course people want to delay cuts, I've got a feeling most of them are getting handouts.

    February 21, 2013 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  2. Ali A. Olomi

    Seems like some in congress continue forward with their own agendas and policies regardless of what the polls show, or what pesky little facts may contradict them.

    February 21, 2013 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  3. MaryM

    Do you hear that Congress. Do you job or lose your job. Understand

    February 21, 2013 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  4. Larry L

    Tea Party Republicans actually want our federal government to fail. Average Americans believe in our country and want success for America. It's that simple.

    February 21, 2013 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  5. Quattrone

    "The across-the-board cuts would slash the amount federal agencies can spend by $85 billion over the next seven months and $1.2 trillion over the next decade. "

    Proof we'll never get our financial house in order and a financial crisis of Greecian proportions is inevitable over the long haul.

    The sequester which is pictured as a draconian cut having drastic consequences for the economy and the standard of living in the country amounts to about a 15% cut in our DEFECIT - the amount we spend more than we take in every year.

    In other words, even this gigantic amount of money is a small fraction of how much we go into debt on an annual basis. That's not a cut in our DEBT, but a small fraction of how much we ADD to that debt, every year.

    And this is high end threat unless congress gets down to business and compromises on less painful cuts. LESS painful cuts. Than the small fraction the sequester purports to cut.

    When you add close a trillion dollars a year in new debt, and rely on it to keep the economy running, you know you're in it pretty deep.

    Its like living in a mansion working at McDonalds and having to threaten cutting the fries out of your daily lunch in order to balance your budget. We're in way over our heads. WAY over.

    February 21, 2013 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  6. Tyler

    Thank God we are not ruled by polls.

    February 21, 2013 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  7. philip

    Polls showed the majority of Americans wanted single payer health care. Poll showed Americans did not want a Bank Bailout, and no to the Iraq war. Polls determine as much policyn as crossword puzzles.

    February 21, 2013 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  8. Taxpayer

    After all the brainwashing by the politicians and the mass media on how bad the cuts will be, 40% of Americans still want the cuts to take place. There may be hope for us yet.

    February 21, 2013 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  9. Susan

    I just refer back to "private sector" businesses,and we're often told to cut our budgets by 10% by April, for example. Done. Otherwise, you're shown the door. I just don't get this. In private industry, if we went back to our board and said, sorry, we can't reach an agreement, again, we'd be shown the door. They all need to go!

    February 21, 2013 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  10. J.V.Hodgson

    I cannot understand why we generally quite impatient Americans , or I should at least 40 % of us are happy for this matter to have the can kicked down the road yet again... c'mom its been pushed around for 2 years already had a gang of six look at options - failed. Had commission Bowles Simpson with lots of GOOD ideas.
    This latter is what will have to be referred to for a solution/ compromise that works and in particular will stand any chance of positive job growth while reducing debt growth
    Again 59 % think th e Obam idea is best... is anyone on the Republican side listening to the we slightly ( at least one here) impatient American(s)
    For gods sake do something and I agree a long hard look needs to taken at Social Security and Medicare, with a plan that a) Targets meaningful cost reduction and brings the systems overall part of the Budget spend down.
    American hospitals are quite good but do noy justify a 27% premium for what they do c/f eropeam and advanced nations hospital costs and fees.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    February 22, 2013 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  11. AK_steve

    The minority are recklessly holding the country hostage and are prepared to ruin the nation to serve their ideologies.

    February 22, 2013 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  12. Thinks2010

    This Congress is proving to be every bit as bad as the last. They are doing everything but trying to address the impending sequestration and develop a sensible budget and debt reduction plan. They just keep holding hearings on and debating secondary matter (on those increasingly rare occasions when they are in session). This Congress (and the preceding one) are worse than useless; they are outright damaging this country. Both parties share a lot of blame, but the angry little putsch called the Tea Party are the worst, and the dog (GOP) that the Tea Party is wagging isn't much better.

    February 22, 2013 03:14 am at 3:14 am |
  13. Name lynn

    The americans are listening to the media saying wheres the cuts going to take place, the people hasnt heard from obama we the people is waiting on obama an whats he during an saying about the budget cuts.

    February 22, 2013 06:12 am at 6:12 am |