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, 42 percent of independents and 46 percent of Republicans.

Another 32 percent of Americans favor balancing the budget over five years, which means 66 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of independents, and 83 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.