As Obama's deficit commission, packed with would-be Social Security/Medicare slashers, begins work there's new polling that they--and all policy makers--really need to consider.
This new Quinnipiac University poll shows the strongly populist--and traditionally Democratic--leanings of Americans when it comes to bread and butter issues.
The Quinnipiac University poll found that 60 percent of Americans among both major political parties think raising income taxes on households making more than $250,000 should be a main tenet of the government's efforts to tame the deficit. More than 70 percent, including a majority of Republicans, say those making more than $1 million should pay more.
But 80 percent say raising taxes on those making less than that should not be part of the government's approach. Moreover, most oppose touching Medicare and Social Security - two long-term drivers of the budget deficit over the coming decades....
Obama's 2011 budget proposal and most of his fellow Democrats favor eliminating tax breaks for individuals making more than $200,000 and for households making more than $250,000, which were enacted in 2001 and 2003.
Not surprisingly, many more Democrats than Republicans back hiking taxes on those making more, though 56 percent of Republicans did support raising taxes on those making more than $1 million, the poll found.
There was only a slim partisan divide, with only slightly fewer Republicans opposed to cutting the growth of the government health plan for the elderly, Medicare or Social Security, to help the deficit.
The American public, even Republicans, want basic economic fairness and recognize that taxing the people who make a lot of money is a helluva lot fairer than cutting Social Security and Medicare for the rest of us. It's the basic principle Democrats have operated on for decades.
If the deficit commission really wants to cut entitlements, perhaps they should consider the quasi-entitlement program defense contractors, which has been a pretty significant contributor to the bloated budget deficit in the past decade, as the Project on Defense Alternatives has shown. That, combined with some well placed tax increases, should go a long way to putting the country back on a sustainable fiscal track.