Sequester

Pew poll: Public fears coming budget cuts

money on fire

In a recent national survey, most Americans said sequestration would have a major effect on the economy and the U.S. military, according to the Pew Research Center and the Washington Post.

The survey of 1,000 adults, conducted Feb. 21-24, found that more than three times as many members of the public — 62 percent versus 18 percent — see the impact on the economy as mostly negative rather than mostly positive. However, signs of public fatigue after a series of fiscal crises remain apparent because only a quarter of those surveyed are following the issue very closely, according to Pew’s Center for the People and the Press.

FCW reported on a survey of 2,250 federal employees that found widespread support for the notion that sequestration will hamper agency performance, but the main concern is the devastating personal consequences it could bring. According to Pew’s poll, however, far fewer participants say the looming spending cuts would have a major impact on their personal finances. But members of households that earn less than $30,000 a year are especially likely to say automatic federal spending cuts would have a major effect on their personal finances.

In deciding who is to blame, President Barack Obama seems to be falling in favor. In December 2012, a similar survey found that 53 percent of Americans blamed the Republicans in Congress and 27 percent said Obama bears the brunt of the culpability. In the latest poll, 45 percent blame congressional Republicans while 32 percent lay it at Obama's feet.

About the Author

Emily Cole is an editorial intern for FCW.

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