Paul Ryan to seniors: Drop Dead.

Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, to be embraced by the House Republican majority today, faces serious obstacles in winning public support, according to a new national survey by Democracy Corps and Campaign for America’s Future.[1]

The Republican plan provides Democrats with a strong argument that Republicans have the wrong priorities for America and will break the long-standing agreement the country has with its seniors.  The budget opens up a fundamental debate about values that could end up defining Republicans in the public mind and allowing Democrats to draw sharp differences and regain their standing on the economy and spending priorities and advocacy for the middle class.

The decision to end Medicare and shift costs to seniors in continuing tough times may be the Republicans’ undoing. Confidence in Washington is at a low.  This new survey shows an electorate increasingly doubtful about the economy and country’s direction, the performance of the president and particularly the ‘Republicans in Congress.’  They are also pretty negative about the Democrats in Congress, the Tea Party movement and above all, the ‘Tea Party Republicans.’ The Republican deficit reduction plan does not even win majority support, but when voters learn almost anything about it, they turn sharply and intensely against it.  They have particularly grave concerns about the plan to end Medicare and slash Medicaid spending, pushing seniors into the private insurance market and costing them thousands of dollars more in out-of-pocket expenses.

[1] This memo is based on a poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Democracy Corps and Campaign for America’s Future. The survey was of 1000 likely 2012 voters conducted April 10-12, 2011. Margin of error: +/-3.1 percentage points unless otherwise noted.

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