Public to Conservatives: We Don’t Like Your Plan

Conservatives have a plan. They will institute deep cuts in federal spending, which they claim will create jobs. They will refuse to compromise with President Barack Obama as they make these cuts. And they will shut down the government if necessary to get their way. The public disagrees with each and every part of this plan.

First, they don’t believe cutting federal spending will create jobs. A just-released Washington Post/ABC News poll asked the public whether large cuts in federal spending would do more to create jobs or reduce jobs in the country. More thought big cuts in federal spending would decrease jobs (45 percent) than increase jobs (41 percent).

Second, the public does not approve of conservatives’ unwillingness to compromise with the president on spending and the deficit. In the same poll an overwhelming 71 percent thought conservative leaders were not willing enough to compromise with President Obama, compared to only 16 percent who thought they were doing enough.

Finally, the public is very hostile to the idea of shutting down the government. By 63-31 they think a government shutdown would be a bad thing, including 37 percent who think a shutdown would be a crisis.

It’s clear conservatives love their plan and are reluctant to negotiate. But it should give them pause that the American people—whose wisdom they are always extolling and whose wishes they claim to represent—detests it.

Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. To learn more about his public opinion analysis go to the Media and Progressive Values page and the Progressive Studies program page of our website.