Don Surber and others were quick to hit on the 80% claim:
From teh president’s press conference: “The American people are sold. The American people are sold, I just want to repeat that. You have 80% of the American people who support a balanced approach. 80% of the American people support an approach that includes revenues and includes cuts. So the notion that somehow the American people aren’t sold is not the problem. The problem is members of Congress are dug in ideologically.”That's an outtake from the Gallup poll with the question and breakdown (click to expand). Only 20% of those polled said that they want the budget closed solely through spending cuts. That leaves 80% seeking deficit reduction through a combination of taxes and spending cuts, or purely through tax hikes. That's how Obama got to 80%, but is that truly reflective of the poll results?
80% want their taxes raised?
That is not what the
From the above chart only 4% of Americans want to close the deficit with taxes only.
Only 11% want to close the deficit mostly with taxes.
And as far as I can tell, that Gallup did not find 80% want their taxes raised.
Obama would have been on more solid ground had he said that 80% of Americans are looking for a combination of hikes and spending cuts to close the deficit. However, as the Gallup question was written, Obama's interpretation is technically accurate.
Here's what a poll taken by MSNBC shows as people are willing to cut or tax (or increase taxes upon) to close the deficit. It shows that people are more willing to tax items than they are willing to cut spending - particularly when it comes to defense spending, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or national defense. That further lends credence to the President's statement that 80% support tax hikes.
Ace of Spades notes that the figures also show that 89% of Americans would want spending cuts, and that is also an acceptable way of reading the poll results. Fact is that most Americans want a combination of cuts and tax hikes to close the deficit, which puts the GOP position of refusing to accept any tax hikes against what most Americans want.