The above graphic is from a poll result via ABC/WashPost that appeared on Meet The Press -- and it's one that Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP, Gang of Six and President Obama should really take to heart.
The poll, conducted for ABC News by Langer Research Associates, finds that 65 percent of Americans oppose changing Medicare to a system in which the government would give seniors vouchers with which to buy private insurance. Opposition was essentially the same in a Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health survey when the idea came up 15 years ago.
The language may matter, in that even most Republicans, 56 percent, oppose Medicare vouchers, as do more than seven in 10 Democrats. And opposition soars to 84 percent of all Americans, including nearly three-quarters of Republicans, if government payments failed to meet the full cost of seniors' insurance coverage.
But 78 percent in this survey oppose cuts in Medicare in order to address the federal debt (indeed 65 percent "strongly" oppose it); 69 percent oppose cuts in Medicaid, the insurance program for the poor (52 percent strongly); and fewer, but still 56 percent, oppose cutting military spending. Far more popular is taxing people perceived as being most able to pay: Seventy-two percent support achieving debt-reduction by raising taxes on people with household incomes more than $250,000 a year. That again counters the GOP position, and works for Obama, who last week ruled out another extension of tax cuts for better-off Americans
The Beltway media keep hammering the public with cries of "shared sacrifice" and "adult conversations" and the need to cut our safety-net programs, but ordinary Americans do not agree.
And a fine thing is beginning to happen. Rep. Paul Ryan is turning into The Solitary Man:
And he is looking increasingly solitary. Last week, House Speaker John Boehner said he was “not wedded” to the Ryan budget that his caucus passed with near unanimity. On Sunday, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) described the Ryan budget that she voted for as an “aspirational document.”
"What I'm saying with that vote is that we have to make decision, we're not saying every single decision in that bill — that aspirational document — will be the final result. What we are saying is that we have a conviction," Bachmann said on "Fox News Sunday."
When Michele Bachmann thinks Ryan's plan is only "aspirational", well, as a wingnut, you got problems.