Economists were opposed to automatic spending cuts

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Associated Press

Posted on March 4, 2013 at 6:01 AM

Updated Monday, Mar 4 at 8:02 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Most business economists opposed the automatic spending cuts that took effect Friday night amid the gridlock between President Obama and Congress.

But they overwhelmingly support efforts to reduce the deficit over the next 10 years.

That's according to a survey released Monday of 196 members of the National Association for Business Economics.

The survey, done from Jan. 21 to Feb. 13, gave some support to both sides in the U.S. government budget debate.

About 56 percent said deficit reduction should be achieved "only" or "mostly" with spending cuts. More than half said the cuts should focus on entitlement programs, such as Social Security and Medicare.

But 95 percent said Congress should reform the individual tax code, with nearly three quarters believing the reforms should "slightly" or "significantly" increase revenue.

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