It is no big surprise that Americans don’t want cuts in Social Security, Medicare, or K-12 education. But the new WSJ/NBC poll does have some surprises:
The survey found that the most popular potential spending cuts were subsidies to build new nuclear plants, with 57 percent support….
Of course, nuclear is absurdly over-subsidized (see “Nuclear Pork—Enough is Enough“). In fact, a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, Nuclear Power: Still Not Viable without Subsidies (the source of the chart below), finds:
Government subsidies to the nuclear power industry over the past fifty years have been so large in proportion to the value of the energy produced that in some cases it would have cost taxpayers less to simply buy kilowatts on the open market and give them away ….
New nuclear power plants look to be even more uneconomical:
- Nuclear Bombshell: $26 billion cost—$10,800 per kilowatt!—killed Ontario nuclear bid
- Exelon’s Rowe: Low gas prices and no carbon price push back nuclear renaissance a “decade, maybe two”
- The staggering cost of new nuclear power
- GOP wants 100 new nukes by 2030 while ‘Areva has acknowledged that the cost of a new reactor today would be as much as $8 billion’
Back to the WSJ/NBC poll. The public would much rather raise taxes on the wealthy than make deep, job-killing cuts in spending:
By a 56-40 percent margin, more respondents said Washington’s top priority should be job creation and economic growth over slashing outlays, and 52 percent worried Republicans would go too far in their quest to fight the deficit.
NBC said just 23 percent of independents listed spending cuts as their top issue, while two-thirds of independents expressed concern that spending cuts would hurt them and their families, against about half of Republicans.
“It may be hard to understand why someone would try to jump off a cliff” to cut spending, [GOP pollster Bill] McInturff told The Wall Street Journal of his fellow Republicans, “unless you understand that they are being chased by a tiger, and that tiger is the Tea Party.”
… Asked whether they favored imposing a surtax on millionaires, 81 percent said that would be totally or mostly acceptable.