Poll: Voters Still Don't Think We Need to Cut Entitlements

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 3 2011 10:27 AM

Poll: Voters Still Don't Think We Need to Cut Entitlements

Add the new NBC News/WSJ poll to the annals of Voter Stupidity about the Budget. Question 19 asks voters how much the budget deficit concerns them: 80 percent say "a great deal" or "a little bit."

But they think we can do it all with spending. 

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Do you think it will be necessary to cut spending on Medicare, the federal government health care program for seniors, in order to significantly reduce the budget deficit?

Yes - 18%
No - 54%

Do you think it will be necessary to cut spending on Social Security in order to significantly reduce the federal budget deficit?

Yes - 22%
No - 49%

When Republicans talk about the country being ready, finally, for real talk on entitlement reform, stuff like this should concern them. But it must concern Democrats, too. There are several of them who want to keep entitlement reform in the discussion when the 2012 budget comes up, because it's not possible to get to a balanced budget in 10 years without that or without massive discretionary spending cuts.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.