Citizens Revolting… Over the Deficit?

The Washington Post has a story today (5/19/10)that leads with this:

With voters up in arms over the mounting federal debt, congressional Democrats are growing increasingly queasy about adding to the nation’s tab,with some arguing that additional spending to prop up the economy and help the unemployed should be paid for or abandoned.

The headline–“Democrats Queasy About Deficit Spending”–seems true enough, in the sense that reporter Lori Montgomery quotes some Democrats saying as much. But are voters really “up in arms” over the debt? That’s not borne out by polls of voters’ concerns. If you check the recent surveys at Polling Report, the debt/deficit ranks well behind jobs and the economy when people are asked to rank the top problem facing the country. The spread is 49-5 percent from CBS/NYTimes, 47-15 from Fox and 35-20 from NBC/WSJ.

Some of the spending that apparently makes some Democrats “queasy” is focused, as the Post acknowledges, on jobs.It wouldbe avery different article if it pointed out thatdealing with this problems is thevoters’ chief concern.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.