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NO DEAL: Americans Believe Cuts to Federal Education Funding Should Not Be Part of Plan to Reduce Debt or Deficit, Poll Finds

Three out of four Americans oppose reducing federal education funding to lessen the debt and deficit, according to a recent poll from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. The poll also finds that more than 60 percent of Americans oppose cutting federal funding for college loans.

No deal photo

As shown in the image to the right, only two of the twelve specific options tested—raising taxes on annual incomes over $250,000 and limiting corporate tax deductions—won approval from a majority of the public. Meanwhile, cutting funding for the two education options received the least amount of support in the poll.

Although support for federal education funding held—regardless of preferred presidential candidate—registered voters who support former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney were less likely to oppose cuts to federal education funding than supporters of President Barack Obama. Specifically, 64 percent of Romney voters oppose federal education funding cuts compared to 83 percent who favor Obama.

Opposition to reducing federal funding for college student loans was not as clear among Romney voters, with 50 percent opposing cuts and 45 percent in favor. Among Obama voters, 75 percent opposed cuts to college loans, compared to 24 percent in favor.

The poll finds wide differences among Romney and Obama voters regarding raising taxes on individuals making $250,000 or more, with 84 percent of Obama voters in favor of raising taxes, compared to only 41 percent of Romney voters. Similar differences are present on reducing military spending and raising the tax rate on investment income, with a majority of Obama voters in favor of both and a majority of Romney voters against both.

The poll was conducted October 4–7 among a national sample of 1,511 adults, eighteen years of age or older, living in all fifty states and the District of Columbia.

The complete poll results are available at


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