Budget cuts favored for reducing deficit: poll

Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:06am EDT

Copies of U.S. President Barack Obama's Fiscal Year 2013 budget are seen stacked on the floor of the House Budget Committee room on Capitol Hill in Washington February 13, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Copies of U.S. President Barack Obama's Fiscal Year 2013 budget are seen stacked on the floor of the House Budget Committee room on Capitol Hill in Washington February 13, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

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(Reuters) - Cutting government programs is favored as the way to reduce the budget deficit by more than twice as many Americans as those who favor raising taxes, said a Reuters/Ipsos poll.

In a result that has held fairly steady over the past five months, the poll, released on Monday, found that 22 percent of those surveyed said that spending cuts alone were the solution, while 36 percent favored a mix of more cuts than tax increases.

In contrast, only 7 percent favored raising taxes alone, with 17 percent saying a mix with more tax increases than cuts would work best to lower the government's $1.2 trillion deficit.

Thirteen percent said they were unsure and 5 percent said they did not know or were unsure about what should be done.

These results were nearly unchanged from February, although since January, support for budget cuts as the main way to attack the deficit problem had declined slightly.

With the Congress deeply divided on fiscal issues, the November 6 presidential and congressional election campaigns are increasingly dominated by debate over taxes and spending.

Senate Republicans on Monday voted to block a Democratic bill, backed strongly by President Barack Obama, that would impose a 30 percent minimum tax rate on households earning more than $1 million a year, known as the "Buffett Rule."

Named after multibillionaire businessman Warren Buffett, who supports it, the rule was included in legislation that did not garner enough votes to overcome procedural hurdles in the Senate.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted April 12-15 by telephone and involved 1,044 adults. The results are considered accurate within three percentage points.

(Reporting By Kevin Drawbaugh; Editing by Eric Beech)

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