Good News, Bad News For GOP

It’s never a good idea to pay too much attention to polls on fiscal issues unless you pay a lot of attention to how the questions are posed, but still: this pre-sequester survey from The Hill is interesting if only because of its timing. Here’s the good news for Republicans who are steadily transitioning from their “It’s all Obama’s idea!” message on the sequester to the “Hooray, let’s take credit!” rap:

A majority of voters believe cutting America’s debt is more important than maintaining domestic and military programs at their current levels, according to a new poll for The Hill.

And here’s the bad news:

But the public also feel strongly that the budget should be balanced on the back of reductions to defense spending rather than through cuts to programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

Now it’s true the sequester won’t touch Social Security or actual Medicare benefits. But since it’s “entitlement reform” Republicans continue to demand as the price for any fiscal agreement, that may be a distinction without a difference to the public.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.