Megan McArdle writes:
People in polls are lunatics on the budget; they consistently oppose tax increases, oppose spending cuts, and strongly support balancing the budget. Depressingly, pollster Doug Rivers says that this is true even when you inform them of the sums involved--i.e., make sure that they know you can't close the budget gap just by slashing foreign aid. Despite being informed about the relevant tradeoffs, when they are again asked the question, they continue to insist that they very much want to close the budget deficit--without raising taxes or cutting any major programs.
For more: Listen to our podcast, "Our Listeners Vs. The Budget Deficit"