“By Steven Thomma | McClatchy Newspapers
“WASHINGTON — Alarmed by rising national debt and increasingly downbeat about their country’s course, Americans are clear about how they want to attack the government’s runway budget deficits: raise taxes on the wealthy and keep hands off of Medicare and Medicaid.
“At the same time, they say that the government should not raise the legal debt ceiling, which the government must do soon to borrow more money, despite warnings that failing to do so would force the government into default, credit markets into turmoil and the economy into a tailspin.
“Those are among the findings of a national McClatchy-Marist poll taking the country’s pulse just as President Barack Obama and Congress launch what could be a multi-year debate on the role of government and how to finance it.
“Independents supported higher taxes on the wealthy by 63-34 percent; Democrats by 83-15 percent; and Republicans opposed by 43-54 percent.
“Americans clearly don’t want the government to cut Medicare, the government health program for the elderly, or Medicaid, the program for the poor.
“Voters oppose cuts to those programs by 80-18 percent. Even among conservatives, only 29 percent supported cuts, and 68 percent opposed them.”
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