President Obama claims that tax increases will help close the deficit, but a majority of Americans believe he intends to use the money for increased spending, according to a new survey.
“You can’t reduce the deficit unless you take a balanced approach that says, ‘We’ve gotta make government leaner and more efficient,’” Obama told CBS last month. “But we’ve also got to ask people – like me or Gov. Romney, who have done better than anybody else over the course of the last decade, and whose taxes are just about lower than they’ve been in the last 50 years – to do a little bit more.
Fifty-seven percent of likely voters believe that tax increases will fund further spending, according to a new Public Notice survey conducted by a Republican-leaning pollster, The Tarrance Group. That number is even higher among independents, as 60 percent of that voting bloc think Obama wants tax hikes for to increase spending. Obama has convinced a majority (58 percent) of Democrats, though, that he will use taxes to lower the deficit.
“These poll results show that Washington’s reckless spending isn’t just hurting the economy, it’s also hurting their credibility,” said Public Notice executive director Gretchen Hamel. “Politicians make all sorts of promises on the campaign trail, but when it comes to reducing the deficit, voters aren’t buying it—and neither are we.”
Voters don’t want the tax increases to finance new spending. The same survey showed that 70 percent of likely voters do not believe that government spending helps the economy, compared to just 23 percent who think it is effective.
The poll results may indicate an opportunity for Republican presidential candidate, but they may also suggest a messaging victory for Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee.
“To pay down the debt requires a surplus,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., in a recent response to the president. “Under the President’s 10-year budget, there is never a surplus. The single lowest annual deficit is $543 billion. The annual deficit in the 10th year grows to $652 billion. Despite $1.8 trillion in new taxes, his budget increases our spending and debt every year, adding $11 trillion to the debt overall. Just the interest alone on our debt would exceed defense spending in seven years. These are not my numbers; they come from the tables in the President’s own budget document that he printed and sent to Congress.”