Poll: Republicans Prefer Having A Deficit With Tax Cuts, Over A Balanced Budget And Higher Taxes

February 4, 2010 5:12 am

A new Rasmussen poll supplies a very interesting data point in the ongoing debate about the budget deficit: As it turns out, Republican voters would prefer having a deficit if it meant they can get more tax cuts, instead of raising taxes in order to balance the budget.

The national poll of likely voters asked: “Would you rather see a balanced budget with higher taxes or a budget deficit with tax cuts?” A 41% plurality would rather have budget deficit with tax cuts, with 36% calling for higher taxes and a balanced budget. The internals of the poll show Republicans favoring deficits and tax cuts.

“The partisan differences on the questions are notable,” says the pollster’s analysis. “While 50% of Republicans would rather see a budget deficit with tax cuts, a plurality (46%) of Democrats favor the opposite approach – a balanced budget with higher taxes. Voters not affiliated with either party are evenly divided on the question.”A separate question asked: “Is it possible to balance the federal budget without raising taxes?” Here the answer was Yes 37%, with a No plurality of 42% saying that it is not possible to balance the budget without raising taxes. In the internals, 47% of Republicans think it’s possible to balance the budget without raising taxes, to 53% of Democrats who do not think so.

Another Rasmussen number finds that only a very small minority knew the correct answer to this one: “Is the following statement true or false? Most federal spending is spent on only three programs–Social Security, Medicare and national defense.” The correct answer is “True,” but only 35% answered that way, with a 44% plurality saying false.

“These figures highlight a massive failure of leadership from both Republicans and Democrats among the nation’s political elite,” Scott Rasmussen wrote in the analysis. “Given the amount of political chatter about the budget in recent years, it is almost beyond comprehension that neither party has seen fit to highlight the basics so that the American people can make reasoned choices on the fundamental issues before them.”

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