The Corner

Sequester and Public Opinion

Today, President Obama signed into law a continuing resolution that, Bloomberg explains“locks in $85 billion in spending cuts he opposes.” It is interesting not only because a few days ago he was happy to scare everyone about the terrible impact sequester cuts would have on people’s  but also because he doesn’t seem to have succeeded in scaring people. Scott Rasmussen has a few numbers on that topic:

  • 12% Say Sequester Cuts Have Hurt Them in a Major Way: Only 12% say the sequester cuts have had a major impact on them personally. Despite predictions that the sequester impact would grow over time, there’s no indication of that happening yet. The number experiencing a major impact is basically unchanged from the weekend the sequester first took effect. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

  • As the cuts are setting in voters feel a little bit stronger that the cuts weren’t deep enough. Rasmussen reports that “45% Say Sequester Didn’t Cut Government Spending Enough.” A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 22% of Likely U.S. Voters still think the sequester cut the projected growth in spending too much. But twice as many (45%) disagree and think it didn’t cut enough. Fourteen percent (14%) feel the amount cut was about right. Nineteen percent (19%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Katherine also noted below that, over the past few weeks, polls indicate that the number of Americans believing sequester will have no effect at all has risen. It will be interesting to see how public opinion evolves over the next few weeks — I suspect people will care less tomorrow than they do today.

Veronique de Rugy is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

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