A plurality of Americans say lawmakers and should address the federal budget deficit with an equal mix of spending cuts and tax increases, according to a new poll from Gallup released Wednesday. Forty-five percent of Americans say the purely balanced approach is best, while 40 percent say there should be more spending cuts than tax increases. Eleven percent say the debt should be lessened with higher taxes only. From Gallup:
At this point, Americans appear more willing than last year to consider tax increases as a substantial part of a deficit reduction approach. However, that increase is seen mainly among Democrats and independents. Thus, Republican leaders must decide whether to follow the wishes of the party's rank-and-file supporters and put a lesser emphasis on tax increases, or to compromise and move in a direction of a balanced approach now favored by the greatest number of Americans overall.
The Gallup poll used 1,009 live telephone interviews with American adults via landline and cell conducted Nov. 9-12. It has a sampling error of 4 percent.