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Poll: 64% Say Solve Debt With Cuts, Increases

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LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Two-thirds of Michigan voters want a bipartisan panel that includes Michigan Reps. Dave Camp and Fred Upton set up to address the federal debt with a combination of spending cuts and tax increases, according to a poll released Wednesday.

Twenty-seven percent of the 600 likely voters polled by telephone statewide said only spending cuts should be used to trim $1.5 trillion from the government’s debt over the next decade, while 3 percent favored using only tax increases, EPIC-MRA of Lansing reported.

WWJ Newsradio 950’s Tim Kiska talked with EPIC-MRA President Bernie Porn.

“The idea that the Republicans have subscribed to, and that is it should be only spending cuts … while 52 percent of Republicans subscribe to that position, only 12 percent of Democrats and 13 percent of independents believe that that should be the case,” said Porn.

Among the 64 percent that wanted a combined solution, 21 percent favored mostly spending cuts and some tax increases, while a larger number – 33 percent – backed an equal amount of spending cuts and tax increases and one in 10 wanted more tax increases than spending cuts. Six percent were undecided.

Camp, of Midland, and Upton, of St. Joseph, are among six Republicans appointed to the panel, which also includes six Democrats.

The group is charged with producing a bipartisan debt reduction plan by Thanksgiving, and Congress would have until Christmas to vote on it. Seven of the 12 members would have to approve a plan before it could be sent to Congress. Failure to reach an agreement would trigger automatic spending cuts in hundreds of defense and domestic programs, including many that would affect Michigan.

Formation of the panel was part of a down-to-the wire deal reached just before the federal debt ceiling expired earlier this month.

The survey also asked voters who they thought was at fault for holding up the debt ceiling agreement. Thirty-nine percent blamed the Republican-controlled U.S. House, while 18 percent blamed Democratic President Barack Obama. Fourteen percent blamed the Democratic-led U.S. Senate and 29 percent were undecided.

The Aug. 13-16 survey had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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