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Will Americans choose to sink or swim?


When Rep. Paul Ryan unveiled his budget proposal, I figured many people would balk at the request to sacrifice some things we've grown accustomed to in order to ensure the future of this country. But when I read that more than 80 percent of Americans are opposed to Ryan's plan of privatizing Medicare, I was floored.

Cutting Medicare polls poorly even if you leave out the details. Almost 80 percent of Americans oppose Medicare cuts in the abstract, while 70 percent oppose Medicaid cuts. Slightly over half of the country wants the Defense Department left alone. The only deficit-reduction option that is popular? Raising taxes on the rich. That gets the go-ahead from 72 percent of us -- though, as any budget wonk will tell you, it can’t solve anything beyond a small fraction of our fiscal problem.

It will be an uphill battle to get this country back on the right track, but are Americans really willing to make the sacrifices necessary?  Will Americans choose to sink or swim?

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