Forget about blaming Congress or Obama - the reason Washington can't settle on a spending reduction plan is that Americans pretty much like things the way they are, at least according to a recent Pew Research Center poll. With the exception of aid to the world's needy, more than half of the respondents want to maintain current spending levels or increase them. From the NYT:
This is part of the problem with heeding any public concerns about getting the budget under control. According to Pew, 70 percent of Americans say it is essential for Washington to pass major legislation to reduce the federal budget deficit this year. But they can't identify anything worth axing, and it's not as if tax increases are so terribly popular, either. By the way, Pew asked similar questions about what categories of government spending to cut in 2011. There has been little change since then, with the exception of attitudes toward military spending. In the most recent poll, 24 percent said the government should cut spending for the military, compared to 30 percent two years ago.