Should the federal government concentrate on paying off its debt, even if it comes at the expense of a more robust economic recovery? Or should it focus on stimulating the economy, even if that means running up more costs?According to a poll published Wednesday, 59 percent of Americans want the government to make national debt reduction its top priority, even if it comes at the expense of kick-starting the economy. Only a third think the focus should be on stimulation....Among independents, 61 percent favored debt reduction and 32 percent economic stimulus.
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Huffington Post: Entitlement Cuts Opposed By Americans, Poll Finds
The survey of 1,502 adults, conducted nationwide June 15 to 19, finds mixed opinions on the three best known entitlement programs: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. When asked separately about each of the three programs, huge majorities (between 77 and 87 percent) say each of the programs has been "good for the country," but less than half (36 to 41 percent) rate the job they do "serving recipients" as excellent or good. Fewer still (15 to 18 percent) give a positive rating to the "current financial condition" of each program. Thus, it should come as little surprise that large majorities say the three programs need "major" rather than minor changes or should be "completely rebuilt."As the Pew Research report emphasizes, however, "the public’s desire for fundamental change does not mean it supports reductions in the benefits provided by Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid." When asked which is more important, large majorities tell the pollsters that they would rather leave the benefits of these programs as they are now rather than making cuts or expecting beneficiaries to take on more responsibility for their costs.And when asked simply, "what is more important, taking steps to reduce the budget deficit or keeping Social Security and Medicare benefits as they are," nearly twice as many Americans prefer the status quo (60 percent) to cuts in benefits (32 percent).