Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey

72 Percent of Americans Want Congress to Balance the Budget in Five Years or Less


Some of Congress' most ambitious plans to balance the budget take years or decades to actually balance the federal budget. Sen. Rand Paul's 2013 plan called for balancing the budget in five years. Rep. Paul Ryan's 2013 plan aimed to balance the budget in 10 years. The latest Reason-Rupe poll finds the American public wants the budget balanced sooner.

Four out of 10 Americans—40 percent—tell Reason-Rupe they want Congress to balance the budget immediately, including 30 percent of Democrats, 45 percent of independents and 48 percent of Republicans.

Another 32 percent of Americans favor balancing the budget over five years, which means 66 percent of Democrats and independents, and 81 percent of Republicans want Congress to balance the budget as fast or faster than Sen. Rand Paul has been calling for — over five years or less.

Sixteen percent of Americans say the budget should be balanced over 10 years, and 7 percent of Americans say Congress shouldn't balance the budget.


Nationwide telephone poll conducted September 4-8 2013 interviewed 1013 adults on both mobile (509) and landline (504) phones, with a margin of error +/- 3.7%. Columns may not add up to 100% due to rounding. Full poll results found here. Full methodology can be found here.

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  1. Yeah, but as soon as they find out what goes into that balanced budget sausage, they want no part of it. Granny’s going to be eating cat food? Little Timmy’s hitting the needle because school isn’t going to have a drug prevention program? Julia’s going to have to buy her own birth control? NO THANK YOU.

    1. high jacking sorry

      So who the hell are they polling? libertarians? No fucking way 72% of the US population wants to reduce it in 5 years or less. If that was so they wouldn’t vote for dems and republicans that constantly increase spending like no tomorrow.

      sorry but i can’t even believe this poll

      1. It depends as much on the phrasing of the questions as the people being polled.

        1. which is why i hate polling personally. It is such a useless and easily manipulated study.

          If we had it my way we would just use the government and force polling through phones just like we force the ability for the president to send us a text message.

          Obviously being sarcastic but the last part is true…wtf i can’t turn off presidential messages…fuck the president

      2. They want it in the sense that they think Obama should wave his magic wand and miracuously balance the budget without cutting spending or raising taxes.

        1. just cut….do us all a favor and slash away

  2. More cowbell, plz.

  3. Sure they want to balance the budget, but nobody seems to want to give up their favorite subsidies – be it military cuts, medicare cuts, crop insurance, food stamps, or what have you.

    In the immortal words of Ratt: “Nobody Rides for Free”.

    1. And have many of them vote for pols that want cuts?

    2. Sure they want to balance the budget, but nobody seems to want to give up their favorite subsidies – be it military cuts, medicare cuts, crop insurance, food stamps, or what have you.

      Yeah, just don’t cut my… my… No, go ahead. Cut half this year. Then next year, cut the other half.
      Hell, just the rounding error would keep their constitutional duties going.

  4. Another day with 7 post on polls? Really?

  5. And how many people will vote for Hitlary or Crazy Joe rather than Rand despite their budget plans?

    1. Rand would cut the wrong stuff, so they’ll vote for someone who won’t cut anything.

  6. But I can’t decide until I hear from Paul Krugshit.

  7. 7 percent of Americans say Congress shouldn’t balance the budget.

    Does Congress and the President consist of 7% of Americans? That seems a little high.

  8. A lot of these in favor of “balancing the budget” are only in favor of raising taxes.

    I’d rather see the federal budget implode under debt than see taxes go up.

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