The ever-vigilant CG&G alum Bruce Bartlett sent this poll done for the National Treasury Employees Union that demonstrates yet again why cutting federal spending is always...and always will be..so politically difficult. The NTEU poll shows:
• 69 percent of respondents believe the federal government should commit more resources and manpower to food safety.
• 72 percent believe the federal government should commit more resources and manpower to border security.
• 86 percent believe the federal government should commit more resources and manpower to veterans’ assistance.
• 66 percent believe the federal government should commit more resources and manpower to ensuring the safety of medical devices.
• 58 percent believe the federal government should commit more resources and manpower to nuclear safety.
According to this Roll Call story by Kate Ackley, a substantial, bipartisan majority of voters want more taxpayer money spent on medical research. The money quote is from pollster John Zogby:
“In this poll, what I’m struck by are what I call border crossings,” he said. Democrats, Republicans and those in agreement with the Tea Party to Occupy Wall Street found broad areas of agreement on medical research funding by the government, he said.
It was just three weeks ago that I said in a post:
This has to be said as directly as possible...If you care about the federal deficit and national debt, Romney isn't your guy.
That's even more true now that Romney has selected House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) to be his vice president running mate.
Don't take my word for it.
Matt Miller is a straight down the middle analyst and columnist; a Democrat who left OMB during the Clinton administration because he didn't think it was serious enough about the budget.
So, as he did on Sunday, when Matt writes an online column in The Washington Post saying that, contrary to the GOP spin, Ryan isn't a real fiscal conservative, you have to take it seriously.
Here's the money quote from Matt's piece:
The question I've been getting most often since House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) sort of announced an agreement on a six-month continuing resolution for fiscal 2013 is whether that CR can be used to stop the sequester from occurring on January 2.
The answer is yes, and it's happened before.
First, some quick background for anyone who isn't a complete budget process geek and doesn't repeat this hourly.
1. The sequester is the across-the-board spending cut that was triggered when the anything-but-super committee failed to come up with a deficit reduction plan last November.
2. The sequester will occur on January 2, 2013, unless Congress and the president legislatively agree to a change in the Budget Control Act, the law that created the anything-but-super committee and the fall back automatic spending cut if it failed.
Whether you're inside or outside the beltway, you always have to be careful about saying that something is "only" $71 billion.
Nevertheless, the latest report from the Congressional Budget Office that the July federal deficit was $71 billion, $58 billion lower than the July 2011 deficit, is one time when the word "only" is appropriate.
Through the first 10 months of fiscal 2012, the overall deficit is $125 billion less than the $1.1 trillion in the same period last year.
The real question is whether this is good or bad news.
Politically, the latest CBO numbers indicate that the 2012 deficit will be substantially lower than 2011 but will still exceed $1 trillion. That means that the red ink will still be a campaign issue.