You’ve heard all about the “balanced approach” to the government debt problem. It goes something like this: We can’t balance the federal budget with spending cuts alone, so we’re going to need to increase taxes (on the wealthiest Americans).

Never mind taxing the wealthy by a rate of 100 percent would barely dent this year’s deficit, let alone the cumulative debt.

Today a new poll suggests most voters believe President Obama wishes to raise taxes so he can also increase government spending–not to pay down the debt. As we know, increasing government spending is the last thing we need if we are to kick the habit of deficit spending that created the debt in the first place.

According to the poll conducted by The Tarrance Group, 57 percent of likely voters and 60 percent of independents believe the president wants more money to fund increased government spending.

President Obama’s first-term record of increasing the federal debt by $5 trillion probably guides survey respondents’ opinions. Also recall the president promised to halve the debt by the end of his first term.

There is a bright spot in the survey. 70 percent of likely voters believe additional spending does not help the economy. This is a positive sign and will aid the effort to reduce government spending.

Now all we need are the leaders to cast the right votes.