New Study: The American Public Prefers LIBERAL Policies Which Would Cut Budget By $437 Billion

by on Sunday, March 6, 2011 at 12:16 pm in Politics, Tax Policies

A recent study entitled “Competing Budget Priorities: The Public, The House, The White House” by the University of Maryland’s Program For Public Consultation reveals that on nearly every single budgetary issue a majority of Americans were polled as preferring policies which would be classified as ‘liberal’.

The study compares the different budgetary priorities of: 1. the American public, 2. the Obama administration and 3. the Republican-led House of Representatives.

Here’s a few of their key findings, outlining their budgetary preferences:

Defense Spending:

American public would cut by 18% (or $109.4 billion)
President Obama would increase by 4% (or $23 billion)
Republican-led House would increase by 2% (or $9 billion)

Energy Conservation & Renewable Energy Spending:

American public would increase by 110%
President Obama would increase by 44%
Republican-led House would cut by 36%

Pollution Control Spending:

American public would increase by 17%
President Obama would cut by 13%
Republican-led House would cut by 39%

Job Training Spending:

American public would increase by 130%
President Obama would cut by 3%
Republican-led House would cut by 47%

Higher Education Spending:

American public would increase by 92%
President Obama would increase by 9%
Republican-led House would cut by 26%

Science Research Spending:

American public would increase by 5%
President Obama would increase by 11%
Republican-led House would cut by 12%

Economic Support Fund Spending (Foreign military aid to countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt & Israel for ‘strategic purposes’):

American public would cut by 23%
President Obama would cut by 9%
Republican-led House would cut by 6%

Humanitarian Assistance (to Foreign Countries):

American public would increase by 18%
President Obama would cut by 8%
Republican-led House would cut by 17%

Revenues (Taxes):

– American public would increase taxes to provide an additional $292 billion in revenues annually (w/ $155 billion of that amount coming from raising income taxes on those making above $100k per year).
– President Obama’s proposal to increase taxes in 2012 would generate an additional $62.5 billion in revenues annually.
– President Obama’s proposal to increase taxes in 2015 would generate an additional $97.2 billion in revenues annually. (NOTE: the increase in revenues between 2015 and 2012 is due to the fact he again promises to end Bush tax cuts on those making above $250k/year in 2015).
– Republican-led House proposes NO tax increases on anyone (including wealthiest 2%) thereby generating $0 in additional revenues.

So how would each of the three groups fare (in terms of the annual budget) if their preferred policies were implemented?

The overwhelmingly LIBERAL policy preferences of the American public cuts the budget by a whopping $437 billion for 2015.

If Obama hadn’t broken his campaign promise, and allowed Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% to elapse, he would have cut the budget by $28 billion. Since he pressured his party to extend Bush’s tax cuts, he for now at least will actually increase spending by $37 billion.

The Republican-led House called for an additional $61 billion in spending cuts, with no increases in revenue (tax increases) which would cut the budget by $61 billion.

What this study shows is that if our democracy actually worked, and our public representatives actually legislated the will of the AMERICAN PEOPLE rather than those of the moneyed special interest groups who line their pockets, our country wouldn’t be in the dire financial straits it now finds itself. It also shows that progressive policies are far more fiscally sound than those proposed by conservatives.

Here’s a fabulous debate between MSNBC’s Cenk Uygur and conservative UMD Economist Peter Morici on the study’s results (broken down above). Watch Morici get flustered as he continues to try to push the tired old MSM ‘mythical middle’ narrative, despite the proof staring him right in the face.

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  • Mar 6th, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    While the actual figures you give are those in the study, you have cast it differently than does the actual study. You try to make it out that the American public is liberal.

    In fact, one of the biggest findings is that the American people want substantial cuts in military spending (which you misname defense spending, which is an inaccurate characterization). This is not a liberal-conservative issue, since both mainstream liberal and mainstream conservatives (and notably Obama and the House GOP) favor increases here.

    You try to cast this as pro-liberal, when in fact it shows the bankruptcy of establishment politics, both “liberal” and “conservative.” What we really have is an Establishment Party with two wings, Democrat and Republican; not two parties representing the major tendencies among the general public.

    At least you do give a link to the actual study, which is much more objective and doesn’t give it the establishment ideological twist you do.

    • | 650#
      Mar 6th, 2011 at 4:45 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Bill.

      I have not misnamed military spending as “defense spending”, as you suggest. If you look on page 5 of the study (whose link I provide), it says the American public wants to cut DEFENSE SPENDING by 18% (or by $109.4 billion). See the graphs. It does not say Military spending as you suggest. So the info I provided is accurate.

      And President Obama does NOT, nor has he — since sworn into office — advocate for ‘liberal’ policies.

      Obama pushed his party to extend Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% (broken campaign promise).

      He ran on a public option, but once elected he quickly cut a back room deal w/ the Hospital Industry that he’d make sure the public option never got written into law (despite a clear majority of Americans wanting a public option).

      He’s calling for increases in defense spending (along w/ Republicans) while a majority of Americans want deep cuts.

      So yes, I agree that establishment politics (& that includes both parties) are bankrupt.

      But having said that:

      If you take the Republican policy platform (deep spending cuts at home on social programs/infrastructure/etc, increased defense spending, and cutting taxes entirely), and compare it with the polling of this study, you will find a majority of Americans staunchly oppose those policies. The American majority is far to the LEFT of the Republican Party.

      If you take the progressive wing — as opposed to the Blue Dog wing — of the Democratic Party’s policy platform (the platform they run on, and then turn their backs on once elected) you’ll find the majority of Americans agree with those policies.

      But I’m in agreement that President Barack Obama has turned his back entirely on Candidate Obama’s “liberal” platform. Obama is governing to the right of Ronald Reagan, and far to the right of the American people as this study proves. And yet, the Republican Party is MUCH further to the right than even Obama.

  • | 655#
    Mar 9th, 2011 at 10:59 am

    This difference isn’t liberal, but leftist. More freedom and civili liberties for the individual, but less economic freedom for the ones who are already well off. Raise taxes, make them more progressive, cut “stupid” spending and raise productive spending. I find it surprising, however, how the American public actually wants to cut in infrastructure-programs like railways, as these are just as important as implementing renewable energy programs.

    Also! America has the dumbest, most uncivilised response to crime in the whole western world. Crime is best fought by aggressively reducing 1. Poverty and 2. Income Inequality. Recent studies show clearly, that poverty and income inequality are the two biggest factors in determining the total amount of crime in a society.

    They also show that one of the worst places to place criminals, if you want to reintegrate them to society and be productive and non-criminal one day, is in American jails. More police, incarceration and more big brother does nothing compared to those two.

    • | 657#
      Mar 9th, 2011 at 11:21 am

      I find it surprising, however, how the American public actually wants to cut in infrastructure-programs like railways, as these are just as important as implementing renewable energy programs.

      I agree. I was surprised by that myself. The Dems always allow the far right to write the narrative on any proposal they’re kicking around.

      High speed rail would help in so many ways: short term (puts people back to work – and jobs that can’t be outsourced), long term (helps environment, helps reduce dependency on foreign oil, and creates competition in travel industry (w/ airlines) to create better prices/more options, thereby keeping everyone off the roads.

      I agree with you on crime. The wealthy never thrive for long when they help create poverty all around them, and adapt the “Let them eat cake” mentality.

  • | 656#
    Mar 9th, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Oh, by the way! The average American should be shocked and horrified by these results, as they clearly show a disconnect between popular opinion and politics. The average American is clearly not represented by the elected officials. That means democracy is relatively defunct – More of a charade than actual democracy. Like in Italy, for an example.

    The two old parties need competition from an actual leftist party and a green party, so that America can regain some of it’s status as the champion of democracy.

    • | 658#
      Mar 9th, 2011 at 11:24 am

      Nothing would benefit this country more than a strong green party (or its equivalent). At the worst it would pull Democrats back to the Left (in much the way the Tea Party has pulled Republicans to the Right).

      And hopefully, a disenchanted, largely disenfranchised public will eventually decide enough is enough, and stop mechanically supporting the lessor of two evils.

  • | 674#
    Apr 10th, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    “He who speaks loudest wins” thanks Cenk, proving the old adage here.

    What our economist meant to say, and what they should have evaluated here, is that the majority of our nation are not economists. We have a Representative Democracy. It means we pick people to make important decisions on our behalf. If Americans knew what we are facing here and understood the implications and the precarious nature of our position, they would whole-heartedly support cutting everything they could! We simply cannot afford to keep spending this way, and it is about time we stop it in its tracks.

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