Tea Partiers may say the government is too damn big, but when it comes to at least two federal entitlement programs, they sing a wholly different tune.
In a McClatchy-Marist poll released this week, 70% of registered voters who identify with the Tea Party opposed making cuts to either Medicare or Medicaid — the government-run health programs for the elderly and the poor — to help reduce the nation’s deficit. Meanwhile, only 28% of tea partiers said they’d be willing to cut spending on those two programs.
Tea partiers were not alone in opposing Medicare and Medicaid cuts. An overwhelming 80% of all respondents said they opposed such cuts, with a majority of every demographic measured in the survey lining up against them.
Ninety-two percent of Democrats opposed cutting Medicare and Medicaid, as did 73% of Republicans, and 75% of independents.
The survey only broke down the age of respondents into two categories — above or below 45 years-old — and found that both groups opposed the proposed cuts by a similar margin. Respondents under 45 years-old opposed the cuts by an 82%-17% split, while older respondents opposed them by an 80%-18% split.
But it’s the Tea Party finding which sticks out as the most glaring. The Tea Party has led the charge to slash government spending, but the Marist poll suggests they’re loathe to touch what amounts to about 20% of the entire federal budget.
The Marist poll was conducted April 10-14 among 1,084 registered voters nationwide. It has a margin of error of 3.0%.