The headline is sarcastic. The poll, from Pew, was actually about the deficit. Here’s the summary:
“In many respects, there is a broad public consensus when it comes to the federal budget deficit: seven-in-ten say it is a major problem that must be addressed right away, and roughly two-thirds say that the best way to reduce the deficit is through a combination of cutting major government programs and increasing taxes. These views cross partisan lines, with majorities of Republicans, Democrats and independents saying we must deal with it now, and that the best approach involves both program cuts and tax increases.
“Yet this general consensus evaporates when concrete deficit reduction proposals are tested. And the Bowles-Simpson commission’s effort to package spending cuts and tax increases into a comprehensive package has met with far more public opposition than support. Among those who have heard of the deficit commission’s proposal, 48% disapprove and just 30% approve.
“The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Dec. 1-5 among 1,500 adults, finds that most of the major deficit reduction proposals under discussion meet with public disapproval. Particularly unpopular are provisions that would tax the health insurance people receive from their employers (72% disapprove), raise the national gasoline tax (74% disapprove), and reduce federal funding to states for things like education and roads (71% disapprove).
“Of 12 ideas tested, just two meet with majority approval: increasing the amount of earned income that is subject to Social Security withholding (64% approve) and freezing the salaries of government workers (59% approve).”
[Me: I wonder how that one fared among government workers.]
“The survey finds that the deficit is seen as an especially pressing issue to those who agree with the Tea Party movement — fully 84% of Tea Party supporters say it is a major problem that must be addressed now. But as with the public at large, the vast majority of Tea Partiers (65%) oppose reducing federal funding to states for things like education and roads. And those who agree with the Tea Party are among the most resistant to reductions in military spending.
“Overall, neither party’s Congressional leaders have much credibility on the deficit issue: 42% express confidence in Democratic leaders, 40% in Republican leaders. Obama is viewed more positively, by comparison, with 53% expressing confidence in him when it comes to dealing with the deficit.”
I should have said that the public favors being well but doesn’t want to take any medicine and sure doesn’t want to pay for the medicine.