Out of Sync

February 14, 2011 7:46 a.m.

Here’s the key thing to keep in mind in this current round of budget politicking. President Obama has proposed some pretty substantial cuts to government spending. Sen. Sessions and other Republicans are saying it’s not nearly enough. And ABC reports not only Republicans but some Democrats are saying it too.

But while Washington and much of the national political press (Norah O’Donnell, I’m lookin’ at you) gets into a frenzy let’s not forget that all the available public opinion data suggests the public either opposes this or considers it a low priority relative to job creation and other priorities. There’s really not more to say than that. Douglas Holtz-Eakin just said on TV that the public spoke on this in the last election. Washington is acting as though it’s chasing public opinion, public demands. But it’s not. It’s just not. That doesn’t mean it’s bad policy or good policy. But the public isn’t on board with it. And there’s virtually no demand for cuts to Social Security.

Ask anybody who actually looks at the long-term fiscal outlook. The problem isn’t Social Security. It’s in federal spending on health care.

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