“Deficit Hawks” on the Rise

“Deficit Hawks” on the Rise

By Neil Newhouse and Jeremy Ruch

Recent surveys by The New York Times/CBS News and NBC News/Wall Street Journal highlight two emerging trends in American public opinion – Americans are increasingly worried about the federal budget deficit, and they’re skeptical about the efficacy of Obama’s economic plans.

The data is pretty clear:

  • When asked about the nation’s most important economic issue, nearly one-in-four respondents (24%) in the NBC/WSJ poll name the federal budget deficit – that’s the highest since 1994.
  • By a 58%-38% margin, those surveyed in the NBC/WSJ poll say that the President and Congress should worry more about “keeping the budget deficit down” rather than about “boosting the economy.”  (That’s a pretty telling sentiment give the state of the economy these days!)
  • Similarly, the NYT/CBS poll shows that by a 52%-41% margin, voters believe “the federal government should NOT spend money to stimulate the economy and should focus instead on reducing the budget deficit and the national debt.”

These two national surveys paint a pretty clear picture of an electorate that is increasingly concerned about the deficit, skeptical of President Obama’s economic solutions and hesitant to embrace his government interventionist policies.