Not surprisingly, a minority of wealthy Republicans is controlling the agenda on Capitol Hill, forcing President Barack Obama and Democrats to accept demands the vast majority of the American people oppose, a new poll revealed.
While House and Senate Republicans unconscionably hold the normally pro forma raising of the nation's debt ceiling hostage to their incessant demands for tax giveaways to their wealthy patrons, and covet plundering Social Security and Medicare in the name of deficit reduction, Americans by a two-to-one margin want Social Security and Medicare benefits to be left alone, a new Pew Research Center poll released Thursday discovered.
When asked which was more important, 60% of Americans said keeping Social Security and Medicare benefits as they are, while 32% said taking steps to reduce the deficit.
If anyone had any question who made up that 32% , the poll found that across all ages, income groups, and political affiliations, only Republicans making more than $75,000 a year said deficit reduction was more important than keeping Social Security and Medicare benefits as they are.
And, Republicans making $75,000 or much, much more a year are the very intransigent Republican hostage-takers who are driving the agenda on Capitol Hill. Once again, the lunatic Republican minority of selfish rich was driving the national agenda in a direction no one but themselves wanted to go.
Among those Republicans making $75,000 or much, much more, 63% said reducing the deficit was more important, and 29% said keeping Social Security and Medicare benefits the same was more important.
Not that wealth was the only driver for slashing entitlements while obsessing about debt. Among Democrats making $75,000 or more, 68% said keeping Social Security and Medicare benefits unchanged was more important, versus 28% who said reducing the deficit was more important.
Apparently, there was a difference between Democrats who were well off and Republicans who were well off. Apparently, Democrats had a sense of social responsibility and nationhood, while Republicans were callous, greedy, self-centered narcissists who could expect trouble with the Christmas Ghosts.
Among lower income groups, Democrats making $30,000 or less a year favored keeping benefits the same over reducing the deficit 72% to 22%. Surprisingly, among Republicans making $30,000 a year or less, keeping entitlement benefits the same trumped deficit reduction 62% to 33%.
Clearly, Republicans making $30,000 or less had voted against their own financial interests.
Even Republicans making $30,000-$75,000 favored preserving benefits over deficit reduction by 53% to 38%.
When divided into age groups, younger Americans tended to favor deficit reduction a bit more, but party affiliation was still more important. Democrats 18-34 said they favored preserving benefits over deficit reduction 63% to 34%, a gap that widened as the group aged, until those aged 65 and over favored preserving benefits over deficit reduction 81% to 7%.
Young Republicans 18-34, favored preserving benefits over deficit reduction 48% to 46%. By the time they got to age 35-49, they'd given up any pretense of social responsibility, entered full ogrehood, and favored deficit reduction 51% to 43%, probably figuring they were well on their way up the corporate ladder with a nice big house, a Mercedes, and a place in Aspen. Those numbers slipped by age 50-64 to favoring benefits 48% to 42%, as their prospects for a big killing dimmed, their big house was underwater, and they'd blown their retirement portfolio on that Aspen fiasco. By the time they were 65 and over, 52% favored preserving benefits, versus 35%, who apparently had accumulated fat trust funds and lacked any moral compass when considering the masses whose backs they'd run roughshod over to secure their cushy lifestyle.
Despite months of Republican deficit reduction harangues continuously highlighted on Fox News and the corporate media, the poll found support for preserving entitlement benefits had only eroded to 60% today from 70% in 1995, and support for deficit reduction had only risen to 32% today from 24% in 1995.
With that much media hysteria for so long on a subject, Madison Avenue should have been able to convince everyone in America to buy multiples of any unspeakably ugly thing you could imagine at exorbitant prices. Nehru jackets. Anything with Hanna Montana on it.
Moreover, 61% of Americans said those on Medicare already paid enough for their benefits, while 31% said they should pay more. Undoubtedly, that 31% included Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), who schemed to dismantle Medicare, hand all its money to insurance company cronies, and force seniors to pay retail for private insurance using vouchers the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office calculated wouldn't cover even a third of the cost of premiums, deductibles. co-pays and other expenses.
58% of Americans said low-income persons shouldn't have their Medicaid benefits taken away, and yup, 37% said low-income persons should be left to rot and die horribly and miserably without any health care benefits at all. Anyone unsure who, exactly, comprised that 37% just hasn't been paying attention.
Thus, the vast majority of Americans have to hope that President Barack Obama isn't one of those 27% of Democrats aged 35-49 who favored deficit reduction over maintaining entitlement benefits. According to his birth certificate, long form or short, the President turns 50 on August 4, and the likelihood he'd favor deficit reduction over maintaining benefits drops to 16% versus 77%. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said America hits its debt ceiling and won't be able to fund operations Aug. 2.
Hopefully, the President won't make a decision he'll come to regret four weeks from now.