Public Opinion Snapshot: Americans Disagree with the Ryan Budget’s Priorities
Conservative politicians have eagerly embraced Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) radical fiscal year 2013 budget proposal, which would slash social spending to the bone while preserving or extending all tax breaks for the wealthy. President Barack Obama, in contrast, is trying to make the case that the Ryan budget has its priorities completely wrong and that it should be rejected.
Judging from recent public opinion data, the president is likely to find a receptive audience for his arguments. In a March Bloomberg poll, the public was asked about the most effective approach for economic growth and job creation. By a 51-41 margin, respondents endorsed the Obama-style approach of government investments in infrastructure, education, and alternative energy over the Ryan-style approach of spending cuts and tax cuts.
In the same poll, the public expressed great skepticism about the current tax break for hedge-fund and private-equity managers, which allows them to pay only 15 percent on their share of profits—a tax break the Ryan budget protects. By an overwhelming 68-17 margin, the public deemed this tax break “unreasonable.”
Conservatives believe that the more the public hears about Rep. Ryan’s “marvelous” budget, the more they’ll like it. These data suggest the reverse is likely to be true.
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.
To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:
Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or email@example.com
Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or email@example.com
Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues, TalkPoverty.org, faith)
202.478.5328 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Print: Benton Strong (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.481.8142 or email@example.com
Spanish-language and ethnic media: Jennifer Molina
202.796.9706 or firstname.lastname@example.org
TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or email@example.com
Radio: Sally Tucker
202.481.8103 or firstname.lastname@example.org