A reader pointed out these remarkable numbers from a Washington Post/Pew Research Center poll conducted April 21-25. Respondents were asked whether they think the federal budget deficit is a major problem that must be addressed now; a major problem that should be addressed when the economy improves; or not much of a problem:
Major problem that must be addressed now: 81%
Major problem that should be addressed when economy improves: 14%
Not much of a problem: 1%
Eighty-one percent represents an extraordinary consensus. Our reader writes, “The only other issue on which there was an 81% consensus that I can remember was that Timothy McVeigh should be executed.”
The belief that the deficit must be addressed now is only a little stronger among Republicans than Democrats (89% vs. 81%), and the percentage saying that the deficit must be addressed now is up 11 points since December.
Of course, there is strong disagreement about how the deficit should be narrowed. But the existence of this remarkable consensus behind action now should give Republicans courage to hold out for real, not just cosmetic, measures.
Just about all Americans share Michael Ramirez’s view of the nation’s debt crisis:
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