WASHINGTON: In a poll sure to be read with some trepidation on Capitol Hill, a Harris poll has found that almost 80 percent of “likely voters in critical battleground states” want lawmakers to do something to avoid the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration.
The poll, commissioned by the Aerospace Industries Association as part of its Second to None lobby campaign, contacted 4,042 voters in Florida, Missouri, Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
“We’ve always known that sequestration is bad policy. Now we know it’s bad politics as well,” AIA President Marion Blakey said in a release. “This survey shows that opposition to these reckless cuts runs from north to south, from old to young, and from left to right – 80 percent opposition means the call to put an end to sequestration is bipartisan without doubt. And swing state voters now stand alongside a swelling chorus of Americans, from military planners to small business owners to Congress’ own budget analysts, all saying the same thing: we need action on sequestration, and we need it now.”
AIA, being smart, included supportive comments from a leading union leader. “Now is the time for politicians to put aside the Beltway politics that have failed America and come up with a balanced solution that protects our ability to respond to a national security threat. This crisis demands immediate action. We must not wait until after the November elections,” International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers International President Thomas Buffenbarger said in the statement.
Of course, we’ve seen absolutely no signs that House Republicans take the threat to the country seriously enough to change their position that the Democrats must recognize the GOP solutions are better and accept them. Ditto for House Democrats. Of course, since the GOP controls the House their actions matter quite a bit more than do those of the Democrats…
Meanwhile, the ratings agencies — Moody’s, Standard & Poors and Fitch — lurk in the background, their warnings of a year ago that they might downgrade the U.S. again if sequestration was not avoided apparently is forgotten or just lost in the mindless partisan fog that blankets the minds of our political leaders.
For those who’ve forgotten, here is a reminder:
When it issued the previously unthinkable downgrade of US debt last August, S&P said:
“We lowered our long-term rating on the U.S. because we believe that the prolonged controversy over raising the statutory debt ceiling and the related fiscal policy debate indicate that further near-term progress containing the growth in public spending, especially on entitlements, or on reaching an agreement on raising revenues is less likely than we previously assumed and will remain a contentious and fitful process.”
Try and finance even a shrunken deficit if we suffer another downgrade.