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Poll shows support for cutting budget

WASHINGTON -- Most people like President Barack Obama's proposal to make millionaires pay a significant share of their incomes in taxes. Yet they'd still rather cut spending than boost taxes to balance the federal budget, an Associated Press-GfK poll shows

The results give Republicans an edge over Democrats in their core ideological dispute over the nation's fiscal ills.

The survey suggests that though Obama's election-year tax plan targeting people making at least $1 million a year has won broad support, it has done little to shift people's basic views in the long-running dispute over how best to tame budget deficits that lately have exceeded $1 trillion annually.

"Everybody should be called to sacrifice. They should be in the pot with the rest of us," said Mike Whittles, 62, a Republican and retired policeman from Point Pleasant, N.J. But Whittles said he still prefers cutting government spending over raising taxes.

Sixty-five percent of the people in the poll favor Obama's plan to require people making $1 million or more pay taxes equal to at least 30 percent of their income.

Yet by 56 percent to 31 percent, more embraced cuts in government services rather than higher taxes as the best medicine for the budget, according to the survey, which was conducted Feb. 16 through Monday. That response has changed only modestly since it was first asked in the AP-GfK poll in March. The question on Obama's tax on the rich was not asked previously.

The poll was conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications and involved cellphone and land-line interviews with 1,000 randomly chosen adults. It has a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points.