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Grassroots conservatives are exercised about the nation’s finances and the bleak employment outlook. And rightly so. To think $14 trillion isn’t a high enough ceiling for our debt, and to live with a stubborn 9 percent unemployment floor – people are just plain upset.
So what do conservatives think are the best solutions for each?
This week’s ConservativeHome poll asked 644 conservative Republicans what they would support as part of the deal to raise the debt ceiling, and what they think lawmakers in Washington need to do to help the economy.
So what would conservatives support as part of a debt deal?
Well, for starters, let’s be clear about one thing: a majority don’t support raising the debt ceiling at all. This should help everyone understand why the Republican leadership is under the pressure it is during the debt discussions with Obama.
And what about jump-starting the economy?
This part's interesting. Conservatives want to see regulations done away with, and they'd rather see a simplified tax code and lower corporate rates than lower rates for themselves as individuals.
Here is what grassroots conservatives support – or not – as part of the debt deal (respondents were allowed multiple responses):
- 57% said they do not support raising the debt ceiling
- 51% support spending cuts to federal programs
- 36% support eliminating loopholes in the tax code
- 26% support cutting some benefits from Medicare and Social Security
- 7% support raising taxes on wealthy Americans
- 2.5% support raising taxes on all Americans
When asked to name their top three choices about what lawmakers can do to create jobs, here is how respondents replied:
- 77% - get rid of burdensome regulations
- 60% - simplify the tax code
- 57% - lower the tax rate on businesses
- 55% - reduce the deficit
- 41% - lower rates on individual taxpayers
- 31% - improve incentives for investors to invest in business
- 30% - make it easier to start a business
- 17% - promote free trade
- 4% - improve education
- 4% - restrict trade
- 3% - provide relief to defaulting homeowners
We allowed respondents to enter their own thoughts beyond the list we provided, and a common response was to institute a fair tax.