November 26, 2002
GIVE US BACK OUR MONEY:Positive Ratings for the G.O.P., if Not Its Policy (ADAM NAGOURNEY and JANET ELDER, November 26, 2002, NY Times)
Three weeks after Republicans captured control of the government, Americans hold favorable views of the party and President Bush, but they are less enthusiastic about some of the policies Republicans are promoting, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. [...]
Mr. Bush's enthusiasm for his $1.25 trillion tax cut plan is...not entirely shared by the public. Two-thirds said they would have preferred the federal surplus be used to shore up Social Security and Medicare rather than finance a tax cut. With the surplus gone, 48 percent of those polled said they did not believe it was possible to both cut taxes and reduce the federal budget deficit; 42 percent said they believed it was possible. But the respondents were evenly divided about whether they preferred to focus on reducing the deficit or cutting taxes. [...]
Americans are also evenly divided about whether future retirees should be permitted to invest part of their Social Security taxes in private accounts, as is strongly supported by Mr. Bush and many Congressional Republicans. At the same time, more than half of the respondents said they did not expect the Social Security system to be able to pay them benefits owed by the time they retire.
If you take a look at the raw numbers, that even divide on the question of cutting the deficit or cutting taxes appears to be historic. In all the prior polling numbers they've included, cutting the deficit won by a significant margin. Combined with the data on where folks think the tax cuts went, it suggests that the GOP should push a big middle class tax cut, immediately.
Posted by Orrin Judd at November 26, 2002 4:20 PM