The conservative view is that we should solve our fiscal problems by cutting spending on everything but the military and that under no circumstances should we increase taxes, especially on the rich. The public begs to differ. In a recent CBS/New York Times poll, the public overwhelmingly favored cutting military spending (52 percent) over cutting Social Security (13 percent) or Medicare (15 percent).
And when it comes to taxing the rich, the public says bring it on! By a lopsided 67-29 margin, the public thought taxes on households earning $1 million or more a year should be increased to help deal with the budget deficit.
The fact of the matter is that the conservative approach to fiscal issues takes too many reasonable policy approaches off the table just because they don’t fit with conservative ideology. The public evidently agrees.
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.