Judging by the heated political rhetoric, you would think there is a great divide in America over the proper role of government. The drama is played out in battles over budgetary policy where one side wants low taxes and small government, and the other favors taxing the rich to pay for government programs.
Interestingly Americans, when faced with making the tough fiscal choices themselves, are remarkably pragmatic.
The Committee for a Responsible Budget since 2010 has invited people to go to its website and figure out how they would cut the U.S. budget debt load, which is fast approaching 100 percent of GDP. They must make specific choices, such as whether to cut farm subsidies or Social Security payments and what tax rates to impose.
Over the past two years, one quarter of a million people have logged onto the budget calculator, and the results show an America willing to compromise:
- 94 percent would reduce the budget deficit through some combination of tax reform and spending cuts