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Public to Conservatives: Hands off Entitlements, Tax the Rich

The reviews keep coming in for the conservatives’ budget plans, and they continue to be negative—very negative. From town meetings with constituents to surveys of public opinion, the public is speaking up loudly to oppose cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security and to support taxing the rich.

The latest evidence comes from an early May Quinnipiac University poll. In that poll, 72 percent of the public opposed cutting Social Security to reduce the budget deficit, 70 percent opposed cutting Medicare, and 57 percent opposed cutting Medicaid, even after being told that 60 percent of the federal budget comes from defense, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

On the other hand, the public does support—by an overwhelming 69-28 margin—taxing the rich to reduce the budget deficit.

If the public’s views seem diametrically opposed to those of conservatives, that’s only because they are.

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.