Fifty Seven Percent of Americans Believe Cutting Government Spending Will Help the Economy

Explaining why the emphasis is on spending


As explored in our previous post, public sentiment has turned toward cutting government spending. Recent Reason-Rupe poll results help explain why Americans have focused their attention on spending cuts.

First, 69 percent of Americans anticipate their future taxes increasing, and 32 percent say they anticipate their taxes to "increase a lot" over the next five years. Twenty two percent expect their taxes to stay the same and only 6 percent expect their taxes to decrease.

Second, Americans do not expect future tax revenues to be used toward addressing the budget deficit and national debt as promised. Instead, 62 percent believe the government would use higher taxes to spend on new programs, compared to 27 percent who believe new taxes would be spent to reduce the deficit.

Third, most Americans believe that reducing spending will help the U.S. economy. Cutting government spending will undoubtedly help some and hurt some in the short run, but the question was asked about the net impact of reduced spending. Fifty seven percent of Americans believe it would mostly help, and 15 percent believe it would have no impact. Only 21 percent believe it would mostly harm the economy.

In summary, most Americans expect their taxes to go up, and then those increased taxes to be spent in ways other than addressing the budget deficit and national debt. Moreover, a majority of Americans believe that cutting spending will help the U.S. economy. Altogether, these help explain the focus on cutting government spending.

Click here for full survey results.

Survey Methods

The Reason-Rupe Q3 2011 poll collected a nationally representative sample of 1200 respondents, aged 18 and older from all 50 states and the District of Columbia using live telephone interviews from August 9th-18th 2011. The margin of sampling error for this poll is ± 3 percent. The margin of error for the GOP presidential race numbers is ± 4.79%. Interviews were conducted with respondents using both landline (790) and mobile phones (410). Landline respondents were randomly selected within households based on the adult who had the most recent birthday. Sample was weighted by gender, age, ethnicity, and Census region, based on the most recent US Census data. The sampling frame included landline and mobile phone numbers generated using Random Digit Dialing (RDD) methods and randomly selected numbers from a directory-listed sample. Click here for full methodological details. NSON Opinion Strategy conducted the poll's fieldwork. View full methodology.

NEXT: Old Man's Pumpkin Patch Granted Zoning Reprieve, Great Pumpkin Is Pleased

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. On the first table, it’s 68% not 69%.

  2. And if anybody in D.C. gave a great big damn about what the people think, this would be significant. Given the pols we have – it’s a tempest in a teapot. They’ll do whatever they please, yell “Racist” or “Socialist” go on spending like 16 year old girls at the mall with mommy’s credit card. WE ARE SOOOOO SCREWED!

  3. Officer in transgender shooting had prior alcohol run-ins

    The D.C. police officer accused of drunkenly shooting at transgendered people has been punished at least twice before for alcohol-related incidents, records and sources said.
    Charging documents released Monday described how Kenneth Furr crashed his Cadillac into another vehicle early Friday morning, stood on the hood of the victims’ vehicle and shouted, “I’m gonna kill all of you.”

    There were five people in the other vehicle, police said. One person suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the arm and hand, and two others were hurt in the attack.

    Police said Furr, a 20-year-veteran, blew a 0.15 on an alcohol breath-test machine after the shooting — nearly twice the legal limit for drivers in D.C.

    He remains held on charges of DWI and assault with a deadly weapon. His first court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday, and he has been segregated from the other prisoners.

    Furr’s attorney said he could not comment about the case or Officer Furr, who police say is on paid leave.

    Nothing else happened.…..z1WY76NzxC

      1. Wake up, anonopussy!

    1. Why isn’t he being charged with attempted murder as well? Isn’t shouting “I’m going to kill you all” then trying to do so attempted murder?

    1. Oh yeah, nothing else happened.

    2. With that kind of judgment you don’t want him carrying a weapon,” said Loma. “I think it’s an embarrassment to the state patrol, they should be ashamed.

      Did they show him an unblurred photo of the woman? How else could he be able to tell whether the cop is using good judgment?

      1. Maybe that’s why the other cop was shooting transgenders – he was bitter about a previous “misjudgment”…

        1. I don’t see how you could get confused as close as that one cop is.

          1. Maybe she was post-op and it was dark, or else he might have “mistook it for a weapon.” The grand jury hearing should provide some light.

            1. On this occasion, my sympathies may be with law enforcement.

    3. Frankly, America would be a better place if cops spend more time so indisposed.

    4. Having sex on a car is a surprisingly good idea for a cop.

      1. “To use protection and to service.”

  4. It would seem the 6% would be composed of the unemployed or re-employed at a significant decrease in income.

  5. What’s that text that pops up when you hover over a picture?

  6. 62 percent believe the government would use higher taxes to spend on new programs, compared to 27 percent who believe new taxes would be spent to reduce the deficit.

    You left out the most obvious use of higher tax funds: spending on increased budgets for existing programs.

  7. When will these DC bureaucrats finally wake up and smell the coffee? We need to cut spending or this country will be bankrupt. I agree completely with the 57% of people who want to reduce the budget. Start by cutting out the programs which benefit the 43% who probably want to want raise my taxes. Great Caeser’s ghost! Cut everything in the budget! Except for Social Security, Medicaid, and the Defense budget.

    1. That’s right! We need to cut the budget, exempting of course the programs which comprise 80% of it!

  8. Another boring threadjack, another stupid fucking poll of illiterate Americans, another wasted Hit@Run thread. Fucking cunt fuckers.
    When will Reason magazine, and Reason online, declare this stupid fucking asshole ignorant shithead of a president a complete LOSER. A LOSER in life, a disgusting demagogue, a man who should go back to organizing bake sales for frivolous NAACP lawsuits?

    1. Fucking cunt fuckers.

      Whenever possible, yeah.

  9. Americans and their wacky beliefs!

    A survey by the Pew Forum found 68 percent of Americans say they believe in angels.…..ndings.pdf

    1. Certainty of Belief in God or Universal Spirit

      Believe in God
      Mormon: 100
      Protestant: 98
      Catholic: 97
      Muslim: 92
      Hindu: 92
      Jewish: 83
      Buddhist: 75
      Agnostic: 55
      Atheist: 21

      Absolutely certain
      Mormon: 90
      Protestant: 84
      Muslim: 82
      Catholic: 72
      Hindu: 57
      Jewish: 41
      Buddhist: 39
      Agnostic: 17
      Atheist: 8

  10. Believe in God
    Atheist: 21

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.