For all the talk about cutting spending, new poll shows vast majority (inclding Tea Partiers) don't want cuts to Medicare & Social Security

Brad Schaeffer wrote on conservative David Frum's blog yesterday,"Tea Partiers Still Hooked on Handouts," that he believes the Tea Partiers' attitude exposes the hypocrisy of their entire movement, writing:

Before Tea Partiers accuse me of trashing them, let it be known that although I am not one of them, I have defended the movement many times when I felt it was unfairly attacked by the left. You see, I agree whole-heartedly with their deficit concerns.  But, unlike them, I am willing to give up my benefits to set things right.  They clearly are not — Gadsden flags and tricorn hats notwithstanding. So I am clearly the minority… even among my own kind it seems.

Despite the fact that such entitlements are already in the red, when asked directly if they thought cuts to Medicare were necessary to “significantly reduce” the deficit, 18% of respondents said yes, while 54% said no; the rest were not sure or had no opinion. On Social Security, 22% said cuts would be needed, while 49% said they weren’t.

Well then…now what guys?  What’s your plan then?

Ah, the poll goes on to say that there are two solutions that more than half of those responding would support.  And they reveal that many Americans are, in fact, quite selfish.

Getting back to John Boehner, the House Speaker "made it clear the Republicans are not themselves offering a detailed plan anytime soon."

So yes, Barack Obama is the president and is our leader, and should make the hard choices.  But frankly, why should he make them as he goes into his re-election and pay the political price on his own?  The Democrats and Obama went all in (well, sort of, public option notwithstanding) on health care in the first two years of his administration.  And it cost them and the country plenty at the polls (Hello, Governor Scott).  They've already paid a huge price for doing something that they believe was worthwhile for the country.  Sucking it up to bring down the debt and deficit is likely not to be seriously addressed in the next year.  If it is, it has to be by all the major players — together.  We've yet to see any indication that's forthcoming.

House Speaker John Boehner tells today's Wall Street Journal that he promises that a budget that he'll announce later this year for fiscal year 2012 will include cuts to Social Security and Medicare, despite the fact that it could comes at great political risk to his party.

Boehner and other Republicans jumped all over Barack Obama in late January for his State of the Union Address, which barely at all mentioned the country's unprecedented financial debt, accusing him of "punting" on the issue of entitlement reform.

But the bare political realities were spelled out yesterday (in case people weren't sure) when the Wall Street Journal & NBC News released a poll that showed that less than a quarter of Americans support making significant cuts to those two social programs.  In that poll, even self-described tea party supporters by a nearly 2-1 margin declared significant cuts to Social Security "unacceptable." From the story:

But Republican Bill McInturff and Democrat Peter Hart, the pollsters who conducted the survey, said the poll raises warning signs for anyone proposing cuts to the three main entitlement programs, including Medicaid, that provide health and retirement benefits to seniors and the poor. The programs, which already make up 41% of federal spending, are expected to balloon in coming years.

Mr. McInturff called the poll "a huge flashing yellow sign for Republicans on how much preparation will be needed if they propose to change Social Security and Medicare."

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