Top American Spending Priorities: Education, Social Security and Medicare

While many Americans agree that they want to reduce the national budget, finding consensus on where to cut has proven far more difficult. According to a Gallup poll released Wednesday, education, social security and Medicare are the areas where Americans are least likely to want spending reductions. The priorities suggest that the sluggish economic recovery has caused people to value personal welfare over foreign aid and the arts.

In a January poll of about 1,000 adults, about two out of three Americans said they oppose cutting government spending for education and social security. That compares to about half of Americans who oppose reduced arts spending and the 37% who take issue with cutting foreign aid, according to the survey. Democrats and Republicans were most unified on prioritizing social security, education and Medicare, and most divided on their views about spending on defense and on the arts.

Government spending is especially topical: U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has pushed for increasing the national debt ceiling, while the Republican-led House of Representatives aims to cut the deficit.

The poll indicates that years of high unemployment rates have caused Americans to value personal welfare, such as social security and Medicare, when it comes to prioritizing budget cuts. A separate Gallup poll released Tuesday indicated that Americans who are unemployed or underemployed are three times as likely to fall behind on their bills and risk bankruptcy as those who are working.

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The easiest way to provoke a heart attack in republicans is to show that a government program is working.

January 29 2011 at 11:12 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Social security is still the bedrodk of our retirement systems. Over a thiredof all retirees depend exclusively on SS for all their retirement income.The rest except forthe wealthy depend on SS for a large part of their income.It is folly to think of old retirees from podunk alabama to adapt to living with middle age sons or daughters in New York city.

January 29 2011 at 11:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There is no single government activity that harms citizens pesonal elfare like Socialist Insecurity.

January 27 2011 at 4:25 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

ok so now lets deal with education. 1st all money state and fed that given in grants and gov guarenteed loans should be placed in one student loan fund. this will be loaned to any citizen for any post secondary schooling. and will carry an honest 25% interest which means if you barrow 20,000 you pay back 25.000. this will be collected through payroll deduction just like soc.sec. at 5% of your pay until your debt is paid. this will eliminate defaults. also this program would break even in 7 to 9 years and actually turn a net profit in 12 to 14 years and any that want to go to higher ed can if they qualify for a school.

January 27 2011 at 3:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

ok folks the sad thing here is that there are fairly simple and straight forward ways to deal with all of these issues. first make medicade/medicare by meds in bulk, they know they will need X number of blood pressure pills, pain meds, antibiotics, etc. etc. buying all meds in bulk will reduce the costs of meds by 75%-90% alone. second since one never knows whats going to happen (i was at one time worth more than 2 million and am now one piece of bad luck from being homeless) everyone should pay soc.sac. tax of 6.5%-7% on every penny and benifits should be need based. if if i am worth 2 million by the time i retire you can keep my soc. sec. (and i will bounce back). 1st things 1st fix this 1st

January 27 2011 at 3:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to thomas's comment

thomas, your lobotomist should consider using you in his advertising.

January 27 2011 at 4:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I paid in to SS for 30 years! How can this even be brought into question? If the politicians lost it, they better find it! Military spending! I feel comfortable enough to keep the Axis of Evil out of my mailbox! Send the check when I'm due the cash, in about 12 years. We put up with alot of crap. Don't mess with "our" money!

January 27 2011 at 12:32 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bobgedeon's comment

The goons didn't lose your Socialist Insecurity contributions. They gave them to a Socialist Insecurity beneficiary that you were supporting. That's how the system was designed. Aint ponzi schemes grand?

January 27 2011 at 4:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I fell that Oboma needs to deduct salary from are own goverment . Senitors , Governers and even his salary. I also feel that he needs to lay off in the goverment. And they need to pay S.S on there income what ever they make. And theres no sealing for no body. And quiet flying Airforce one all over at are expense. Just like he made G.M stop there flying. And also show what the G.m stocks are selling for like every thing else. And also close down the U.S postal servees. They are in billions in the red. Let theses other mail delivery do there job and make the money and hire there extra help. And also move mother in law out of the white house. That collects S.S and get a free ride from all the americans .And the first lady didn't have to remodel the inside of the white house and hire more sevevisen. I am very sorry that my spelling is bad. But I think that all of you understand what I have said. Thank You.

January 27 2011 at 12:32 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Ridemyrod53's comment

I'm pretty sure you don't understand what you said.

January 27 2011 at 4:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No surprises in this report. Of course, people are going to think personally when they have to cut back because the source of income has stopped or been cut back. When my income was cut three times (I was lucky to be able to hold on to a job) I did not think about using tax money to provide condoms for Nigerians to help stop the spread of HIV, no matter how important that may be in a global sense. My attention immediately went to my wife, my children, their spouses, and my grandchildren, making sure food, clothing and shelter was in order.

January 26 2011 at 11:16 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Federal Education Dept. has not improved education, abolish it, Medicare is a
large welfare program for the Middle Class, abolish it, Social Security is actually meeting most of it's goals if the economy is growing..............assuming that Congress repays the $ 1.7 Trillion it has taken from the Social Security Trust Funds ! ! !

Medicare was never intended to pay for expensive surgery, transplants, hip/joint
replacements, etc. Middle Class believes that exotic medicine is a necessity
of isn't !

January 26 2011 at 11:08 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to xpriori's comment

Socialist Insecuity is meeting its goals if one assumes the goal was to impoverish citizens. Otherwise, not so much.

January 27 2011 at 4:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am waiting for Congress to set an example and cut $25,000 or more from their taxpayer pay and to cut back on taxpayer provided pension and healthcare benefits.

January 26 2011 at 10:59 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply