In a poll just released today, Time provides results that show Americans staunchly opposed to cuts in Social Security, Medicare or healthcare, but in favor of cutting spending on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. With Alan Simpson and the Catfood Commission so determined to cut Social Security and Medicare, we can now state that they are going directly against over 80% of citizens in this effort.
The question posed was “If Congress and the President had to reduce spending, which of these areas would you reduce spending?” The areas included were Social Security, Medicare, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, education, unemployment compensation for people out of work and looking for jobs, healthcare, Medicaid (which provides health care for low income families) and defense spending other than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Here are the results for these questions:
|Category||Would reduce, %||Would not reduce, %|
|Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq||55||41|
|Unemployment compensation for people out of work and looking for jobs||34||63|
|Medicaid, which provides health care for low income families||20||77|
|Defense spending other than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan||46||50|
The full poll can be read here.
Note that the only category where a majority of citizens would cut funding is the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, while opinion is nearly equally divided on cuts to defense spending other than the wars. Citizens are very strongly opposed to cuts in spending areas those on the Catfood Commission would deride as "entitlements". It appears that most citizens wish to continue spending in those areas.
As a follow–up to the desire to cut spending for the wars, it should also be noted that a new Bloomberg poll out today finds that a full 58% of those polled think the war in Afghanistan is a lost cause while only 36% believe that the US can still win the war.
The bottom line, then, is that citizens see spending related to the social safety net as worthwhile, and spending on a war that is a lost cause to be a poor investment. When the Catfood Commission returns its pre-ordained plan to cut Social Security and Medicare, it will be pushing for cuts that over 80% of citizens oppose.