The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


February 22, 2013

Americans back spending-cut delay while pushing for budget deal


Sixty-four percent of Americans oppose a government shutdown of non-critical services should Obama and Congress fail to reach a budget agreement in the coming months. Twenty-eight percent say doing so would not be all that harmful.

Independents by 2 to 1 oppose shuttering the government in the absence of a spending compromise, yet they were more split about what to do about the automatic budget cuts. Forty-five percent support making cuts now to reduce the deficit before it gets out of control, while 49 percent say the reductions should be delayed in the interest of allowing the economy to rebound.

Russell Richter, a 52-year-old independent living in Jefferson City, Mo., says he’s so frustrated with Obama and congressional Republicans that the only way to force deficit reduction is to shake up the system.

“Like with human nature, whether it be an alcoholic or a spendaholic like we have up there in Washington, I think that they’re going to have to hit rock-bottom before they really realize what’s going on and what needs to be done,” Richter, an operations director at a car dealership, said in a follow-up interview. Of a potential government shutdown, he adds: “Not only do I not think it would be that harmful, I think it’s almost necessary to wake people up in Washington and make some hard choices.”

Fifty-one percent of respondents say overhauling Social Security is necessary to substantially reduce the deficit, and 58 percent say so of Medicare. Large majorities say they favor changes to curtail those programs, including 59 percent who back creating a sliding income scale for Social Security in which poorer people get more benefits and wealthy people fewer; 63 percent support such a system for Medicare; and 64 percent back curbing the cost-of-living increase for Social Security benefits.

Text Only
  • With 1 week to go, Sanford subject of attacks

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford can’t seem to escape attacks on the extramarital affair that derailed his political career, which he hopes to revive in a special congressional election that is now a week away.

    May 1, 2013

  • Bombing shifts Mass. Senate race before primaries

    BOSTON — Even before the explosions, polling suggested that Massachusetts voters weren’t excited about the looming special election to replace former U.S. Sen. John Kerry.

    April 28, 2013

  • In a first, black voter turnout rate passes whites

    WASHINGTON — America’s blacks voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time, reflecting a deeply polarized presidential election in which blacks strongly supported Barack Obama while many whites stayed home.

    April 28, 2013

  • Senate Democrats put off vote on Labor nominee

    WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats have delayed a confirmation vote on Labor Secretary-nominee Thomas Perez after Republicans threatened to use a separate hearing to criticize his handling of a whistleblower case.

    April 24, 2013

  • Sen. Baucus' decision to retire sets stage for majorlegislative changes

     Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., one of the most influential congressional figures of his era, announced his intention Tuesday to retire, a move that could produce sweeping changes in the political and legislative landscape over the next two years.

    April 24, 2013

  • Senate friendship born of tragedy beat partisanship

    These days, most dispatches from Washington focus on petty partisanship, posturing, impasses and a political culture that rewards confrontation.

    April 22, 2013

  • Rubio rising

    If Marco Rubio helps pass comprehensive immigration reform, he will have accomplished more as a senator than Barack Obama did.

    April 22, 2013

  • Gun Bill's Failure May Help Immigration Legislation

    WASHINGTON — Here's an odd political reality: The collapse of the gun bill in the Senate last week may well make the passage of immigration reform legislation slightly easier.

    April 21, 2013

  • Senate Planning Vote on Internet Sales Tax

    WASHINGTON — The days of tax-free online shopping could finally be numbered.

    April 21, 2013

  • Advocates of Immigration Reform Fight Back Against Push for Delay

    WASHINGTON — The Senate's leading supporters of overhauling the nation's immigration system sought Sunday to blunt a conservative effort to slow the pace of debate over their bill, saying the Boston Marathon bombings are a reason to move quickly to make changes.

    April 21, 2013

Featured Ads
Politics Video