With dramatic, across-the-board "sequestration" cuts slated to take effect Friday, most Americans believe the consequences of those reductions will have a "major effect" on the state of the U.S. economy, according to a new poll by Pew Research Center/Washington Post. But even as Americans overwhelming express negativity over how those cuts would impact the nation's economy, the same survey indicates a sense of public fatigue over this latest in a series of dramatic fiscal debates coming out of Washington: Only 1 in 4 Americans say they're following the story closely.
According to the poll, which surveyed 1,000 people between Feb. 21-24, 62 percent of the public believes the sequester's effect on the economy would be mostly negative, while 18 percent thought it would be mostly positive. Twenty-one percent said it would have no impact or that they didn't know. Six in 10 Americans, meanwhile, think the impact of the cuts on the economy would be "major"; 55 percent say the same of sequestration's impact on the military, and 45 percent say so of the budget deficit.
Fewer - 30 percent - say the impact on their personal finances would be "major," while 40 percent say the looming cuts would impact their finances in a minor way.