Focus on deficit reduction
and the economy are consistently the top issues that the American people want us to focus on. Dealing with the deficit is a much lower priority for the American people,” the senator said.
According to a CNN poll, 41 percent of the American people believe that the economy is the most important issue facing the country today. Only 13 percent say the deficit is the most important issue. A Gallup poll last spring found that 75 percent of Americans (including 56 percent of Republicans, 74 percent of independents and 93 percent of Democrats) support “a federal jobs creation law (that would spend government money for a program) designed to create more than 1 million new jobs.”
Americans also have been clear on what they do not want. Significant majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents oppose cutting Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits. A recent National Journal/United Technologies poll found that 81 percent do not want to cut Medicare benefits at all; 76 percent don’t want any cuts to Social Security benefits and 60 percent oppose any Medicaid benefit cuts.
Sanders said deficit reduction also should be a focus of the special budget committee. To reduce red ink, strong majorities of Americans want the wealthy and large corporations to pay their fair share of taxes, the senator added. According to a Hart Research Associates survey last January, two-thirds of the country believes the top 2 percent should pay more in taxes and 64 percent say large corporations should pay more in taxes than they do today.
“It is time to develop a federal budget that is moral and makes good economic sense. It is time to develop a budget that invests in our future by creating jobs, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and expanding educational opportunities. It is time for those who have so much to help with deficit reduction,” Sanders said. “It is time that we listen to what the American people want.”