A Harris Poll released this week has found that 56 percent of Americans do not trust President Obama and his economic advisors to fix the federal budget deficit. But congressional Republicans should not crow over the news. Only 35 percent expressed confidence in their ability to get the job done. The same percentage of people said that they trusted House Speaker John Boehner, while 34 percent said they trust Democrats in Congress.
The survey found that income played a role in determining confidence level. A little more than half of those with an annual household income of less than $35,000 (51 percent) and more than $100,000 (52 percent) said that they trust Obama on the deficit. Individuals in the highest income brackets are more inclined to trust the president’s economic advisors (49 percent), congressional Republicans (41 percent) and Boehner (40 percent). Individuals in the lowest income bracket were more likely to trust Democrats at a rate of 41 percent.
Reducing the deficit is at the top of congressional lawmakers’ to-do list and has become the primary bargaining chip in the bitterly partisan debate currently underway on raising the nation’s debt limit. And as more Republicans jump into their party’s presidential nominating race and each attempts to distinguish him- or herself from the president and each other, they’ll try to make the case that they have a solid plan to reduce spending and increase revenues.