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Spending Cuts, Not Tax Hikes, Best for Deficit: NABE
The Associated Press | August 22, 2011 | 08:09 AM EDT

The majority of economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics believe that the federal deficit should be reduced only or primarily through spending cuts.

The survey out Monday found that 56 percent of the NABE members surveyed felt that way, while 37 percent said they favor equal parts spending cuts and tax increases. The remaining 7 percent believe it should be done only or mostly through tax increases.

As for how to reduce the deficit, nearly 40 percent said the best way would be to contain Medicare and Medicaid costs. Nearly a quarter recommended overhauling the tax system and simplifying tax rates and exemptions. About 15 percent said the government should enact tough spending caps and cut discretionary spending.

The latest survey by the NABE was conducted in the two weeks ending Aug. 2, the day that the Senate passed and President Obama signed legislation to cut spending by more than $2 trillion and raise the nation's debt ceiling.

The agreement managed to avert a potential default, but Standard & Poor's downgraded U.S. credit from AAA to AA+, citing the political wrangling over the deal as a reason.

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