Earlier this week President Obama said that the “American people are sold” on tax increases. “I hope [Republicans are] not just listening to lobbyists and special interests…I hope they’re listening to the American people as well.”
Mr. President are you listening to the American people? Because if you were I’d like to think you saw the CNN poll released yesterday showing that a strong majority of Americans favor an approach espoused by the Cut, Cap and Balance Act.
According to the poll, two-thirds of Americans said they support a plan in which “Congress would raise the debt ceiling only if a balanced budget amendment were passed by both houses of Congress and substantial spending cuts and caps on future spending were approved.” Perhaps most tellingly, 63 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of independents said they approve of such a plan.
The highlight, and keystone, of the Cut, Cap and Balance Act, a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, received even greater support. A whopping 74 percent of Americans favor the idea – including strong majorities of both Democrats (66 percent) and independents (76 percent). Moreover, 60 percent believe that a balanced budget amendment an absolute necessity to get the federal budget deficit under control.
Given these numbers, it is clear where the people stand – one the side of Cut, Cap and Balance. And yet, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called it “some of the worst legislation in the history of this country.” (Perhaps he was just upset that the same poll showed that only 34 percent of Americans favored his own plan to give President Obama unilateral authority to raise the debt.) To his own discredit, President Obama said he is willing to risk default by threatening to veto the plan if it passed the House and Senate.
Who knew a balanced budget was such an anathema to so many Democrats?
As the debate over the debt ceiling moves forward we urge President Obama and Senate Democrats to truly put their ear to the ground and listen to the American people. If they did, they would find that majorities, across all political parties, are “sold” support Cut, Cap, and Balance.