The weird thing is that the twelve percenters won the election resoundingly.
Voters last week sent Washington a strong message about fixing the federal budget, according to exclusive numbers from a new poll obtained by TPM: Raise taxes on the wealthy and cut the military budget before you touch the nation’s largest entitlement program, Social Security.
The survey of voters who cast ballots last Tuesday — conducted by Democratic pollster PPP and commissioned by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee — found that when respondents were given the choice between cutting the defense budget, raising taxes on the wealthy and cutting Social Security to reduce the deficit, just 12% said they’d like to see the entitlement program cut. Forty-three percent said they’d prefer to see taxes on the wealthy go up, and 22% said cutting the huge defense budget was the best way to go.
There are a handful of incoming Republicans, like Rand Paul, who have expressed a willingness to cut defense spending, but they also want to do away with or privatize Social Security. It’s really quite amazing how incredibly uninformed or misinformed the electorate was about who they were voting for and what they were likely to do once elected.
For one example, people said their number one priority was jobs, but the government has a limited ability to create jobs. And the only tools at their disposal are making direct hires (thereby, expanding the size of government), contracting out work (more stimulus and, therefore, debt), targeted tax cuts (already being done, with the GOP opposing the latest effort to expand them for small businesses), and some tinkering by the Fed.
The Tea Party candidates explicitly opposed all these efforts except the targeted tax cuts, and their number one issue is the deficit, which most tax cuts will only exacerbate. More mainstream Republicans also oppose all these solutions. So, basically, people said they want the government to create jobs but they voted in people who don’t support using any of the tools the government has to create them. That’s stupid.