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updated: 1/15/2013 7:50 AM

Cost-cut talk is long on emotion, short on details

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  • Republicans say President Barack Obama should propose more detailed spending reductions.

      Republicans say President Barack Obama should propose more detailed spending reductions.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- For political reasons, details are likely to be lacking in the heated debate over deep spending cuts that will dominate Congress in the coming weeks.

Americans embrace the abstract idea of reducing federal spending. But politicians know that public support fades when specific programs are targeted. That's why Republicans wrap their calls for deep spending cuts in broad generalities. And they say President Barack Obama should propose more detailed spending reductions.

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Meanwhile the clock is ticking toward the March 1 start of major across-the-board spending cuts that both parties call unwise. These are the postponed cuts from the partial resolution of the so-called fiscal cliff on Jan. 1.

Some advocates say Americans will grudgingly accept cuts to popular programs if lawmakers craft them in a bipartisan way.

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