Here's a not-news flash: Congress doesn't listen.
That appears to be the case right now for many most all of the hardcore anti-tax Representatives and Senators. They swear that they will not support any tax increases and have a broad definition of what falls into that category.
But poll after poll indicate that the general electorate -- you remember those folks, Congress; they're the ones who vote for or against you -- wants the deficit math problem solved using both spending subtractions and tax additions.
Bruce Bartlett, a former member of the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, has complied a list of 23 recent polls in which Americans overwhelmingly support tax increases as a way to reduce the deficit.
Bartlett has posted the polls and their results on his website Capital Gains and Games. And his collection is this week's By the Numbers figure.
Although it's impossible to know for sure, some of the survey respondents might have been part of the growing number of economists, financial analysts and corporate leaders from both sides of the political aisle who say that spending cuts alone cannot fix the United States' fiscal woes.
"Some studies by both liberal and conservative economists suggest that emphasizing spending cuts is better for long-term growth. But there are few if any precedents for paying down such a large debt solely through spending cuts," reports the New York Times.
Among those calling for a mix of spending cuts and revenue collection, according to the newspaper, are onetime standard-bearers of Republican economic philosophy like Martin Feldstein, an adviser to President Ronald Reagan, and Henry M. Paulson Jr., Treasury secretary to President George W. Bush; Ian C. Shepherdson, chief United States economist for the research firm High Frequency Economics; Ethan Harris, co-head of global economics research at Bank of America; Jerry Webman, chief economist of Oppenheimer Funds; Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, a forecasting firm; Laurence H. Meyer, Macroeconomic Advisers co-founder and a former Federal Reserve governor; William Gross, founder, managing director and co-CIO of the bond-trading giant Pimco; and Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics.
Get ready for automatic slashing: But the poll results cited by Bartlett and the opinions of financial folks outside the Beltway have yet to convince the no-tax lawmakers to reconsider their positions.
That single-minded tax intransigence is likely to mean that the special bipartisan Congressional deficit committee -- you probably know it as the super committee or Super Congress -- is going to look mainly at spending cuts as it tries to raise at least $1.2 trillion to reduce America's deficit.
And that, along with the six-to-six political split on the panel, will mean that the automatic, and deep, spending cuts on a variety of programs near and dear to Republicans, Democrats and the apolitical average Americans nationwide just trying to get by will probably go into effect.
It will be very interesting to see what the polls will say when that happens.