From Rasmussen Reports…
Voters See Tax Hikes, More Spending and A Higher Deficit Over Next Two Years
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
The Tea Party may be lighting a fire under congressional Republicans to cut the size of government, but voters still expect government spending, taxes and the deficit to go up over the next two years.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 46% of Likely U.S. Voters predict that government spending will increase during the upcoming session of Congress. Only 17% think spending will go down over that two-year period, while 29% say it will stay about the same.
As for taxes, 49% of voters believe they will go up over the next two years, while just nine percent (9%) think they will go down. Thirty-seven percent (37%) expect them to stay about the same.
But voters express the greatest pessimism about the federal budget deficit. Sixty-four percent (64%) say the federal deficit will go up over the next two years. Twelve percent (12%) say the deficit will go down during that period, and 21% believe it will stay about the same.
A majority of voters have consistently said for years that increased government spending and higher taxes hurt the economy, and right now voter concern about the economy is at its highest level in over two years.
Perhaps it’s no surprise then that 67% of voters think it is at least somewhat likely that most voters will be disappointed with Republicans in Congress - scheduled to take charge of the House this week - before the 2012 elections. Even more (82%) expect most voters to be disappointed in congressional Democrats, still in control of the Senate, by the time the next national elections come around.
Republicans and, to a slightly lesser extent, voters not affiliated with either of the major parties express more skepticism about the new Congress than Democrats do. This is most evident on the issues of taxes.
Sixty-two percent (62%) of Republicans and 51% of unaffiliated voters predict that taxes will go up over the next two years. Among Democrats, a plurality (45%) says taxes will remain about the same.
Eighty percent (80%) of GOP voters and 64% of unaffiliateds think the federal deficit will go up during the next session of Congress, a view shared by just 47% of Democrats.
Democrats tend to think government spending will either go up or stay about the same over the next two years, and unaffiliated voters are inclined to agree. Most Republicans (59%), however, expect spending to rise.
Voters who earn $40,000 to $100,000 per year are more pessimistic about how the new Congress will perform in these areas than those in other income groups.
Most Mainstream voters believe spending, taxes and the deficit will rise over the next two years, but those in the Political Class tend to think taxes and spending are more likely to stay the same. Most Political Class voters expect the deficit to go up or stay the same.
The latest findings echo the doubts voters have expressed about the new Congress in previous surveys. Early last month, just 33% of voters said it is at least somewhat likely that Congress will significantly reduce government spending over the next year.
Voters in mid-November expressed deep pessimism about what the new Congress is likely to accomplish in the areas of government spending and taxes over the next two years.
Following the previous Congress’ deal on the Bush tax cuts in December, the number of voters who expect their own personal taxes to increase under the Obama administration fell to 33%, the lowest level since April 2009. But only 10% expect their taxes to go down.
Just 24% of voters say the current policies of the federal government have put the U.S. economy on the right course.
Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.
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