While you might not think it from watching cable news the reality is that the American people overwhelmingly believe protecting Medicare and Social Security benefits is more important than deficit reduction. According to Pew Research, 55 percent think keeping Medicare and Social Security is more important than reducing the deficit. Only 34 percent of Americans think reducing the deficit should be a higher priority. From Pew:
The push by President Obama and some Congressional Democrats for a grand bargain that cuts Social Security benefits and raises taxes to reduce the deficit is not what the American people want. It is also radically out of sync with the wishes of your base. An incredible 73 percent of Democrats don’t think Social Security should be cut to reduce the deficit.
It is always worth remembering the grand bargain is something only a tiny group of radicals actually wants. Unfortunately, thanks to things like Pete Peterson’s billion dollar campaign, the idea is give dramatically more credence then its level of support would justify.