Poll: Majority of Americans Not Concerned About Sequestration

By Michael W. Chapman | May 1, 2013 | 3:39pm EDT

President Barack Obama. (AP).

(CNSNews.com) – Although President Barack Obama says the across-the-board sequester budget cuts are “damaging our country” and “hurting our people,” a new Gallup poll shows that a majority of Americans (52%) are not concerned about the sequester cuts and at least 17% think they are a “good thing.”

The cuts – actually reductions in the rate of increased federal spending – commenced on Mar. 1 and will reduce spending in 2013 by $44 billion, or about 1.2 % of the federal budget.

In the Apr. 29-30 telephone poll of 1,025 adults, surveyors asked, “As you may know, automatic cuts in the federal budget – known as sequestration – went into effect on March 1. All in all, do you think the sequestration is a good thing or a bad thing for the country, or don’t you know enough to day?”

For the respondents, 52% said they “don’t know enough to say” about the sequester cuts; 30% said the cuts were a “bad thing”; and 17% said the sequester was a “good thing.”

“The majority of Americans still don't know enough to say whether the federal budget sequestration cuts are a good thing or a bad thing for the country -- as has generally been the case since they went into effect,” reported Gallup.

Dome of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. (AP)

On whether the sequester is good or bad for them personally, 62% said they didn’t know enough to say; 24% said a “bad thing”; and 11% said a “good thing.”

As for political affiliation, 29% of Republicans said the sequester cuts were a good thing while only 6% of Democrats agreed with that view.  For those who “don’t know enough to say,” 42% were Republicans; 56% were Independents; and 56% were Democrats.

“President Obama at a press conference Tuesday said sequestration is ‘damaging our economy’ and ‘hurting our people,’” said the pollsters.  “Americans, by and large, are less convinced, with majorities unable to judge sequestration as good or bad, from a personal or a national perspective.”

“Overall, the public remains just as unsure now as it was in early March about the effect of sequestration,” reported Gallup.  “These perceptions could change if sequestration dramatically affects Americans' daily lives in the months ahead. But even the high-profile air traffic controller dilemma did little to shift opinions. Americans' lack of outrage or discomfort may reveal that the threat of sequestration in the future will not prove to be an effective tool to motivate legislators to reach a budget compromise.”

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