There's a panic bubbling to the surface in Washington, DC. It's being brought about by the so-called sequester, scheduled to take effect next Friday, March 1. The sequester, a series of automatic across-the-board spending reductions, is a gimmick the politicians came up with in 2011 to force themselves to reach some kind of long-term deficit-reduction deal.
The expectation was that voters would rise up and protest the automatic spending cuts with such vehemence that it would force Republicans and Democrats to work together. But it hasn't happened. In fact, just 36 percent of voters want Congress and the president to stop the automatic cuts.
As a result, the White House and many media organizations have been trying to raise the alarm...
Still, the voters haven't come around. The president proposed replacing the across-the-board spending cuts with a combination of tax hikes and specific spending cuts. Only 39 percent favor that proposal. Forty-two percent oppose it and prefer the automatic spending cuts instead.
This is not to suggest that the automatic spending cuts are popular. They're not. When the sequester gimmick was first proposed, just 29 percent thought it would be a good idea to have such arbitrary cuts implemented. But after watching the nation's elected politicians perform for the past year and a half, while voters still see the automatic cuts as bad policy, they see them as less bad than the other options.