Poll: GOP to get more blame than Obama if fiscal cliff talks fail
December 4th, 2012
10:16 AM ET
1 year ago

Poll: GOP to get more blame than Obama if fiscal cliff talks fail

Washington (CNN) - A second national poll indicates more Americans would blame Congressional Republicans than President Barack Obama if negotiations to keep the country from falling off the "fiscal cliff" fail.

A Washington Post/Pew Research Center survey released Tuesday morning also indicates 49% of Americans predict the president and Republicans in Congress will not reach an agreement to prevent the automatic spending cuts and tax increases that would kick in at the end of the year, with four in ten saying a deal will be reached.

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Last year Congress and President Barack Obama agreed to a program to reduce the federal deficit that some people refer to as the "fiscal cliff." Unless Congress and the President reach an agreement before January 1, tax rates will automatically rise next year for nearly all Americans and major spending cuts will automatically begin to kick in for most government spending programs, including military programs.

If there's no deal, according to the poll, by a 53%-27% margin people say Congressional Republicans will be more at blame than Obama, with 12% saying both sides should be equally blamed. Among independent voters, 52% would blame Republicans and 21% would point fingers at the president.

A CNN/ORC International survey released last week indicated more Americans would blame the GOP in Congress (45%) rather than Obama (34%) if the fiscal cliff provisions actually go into effect next year.

Fifty-seven percent of those questioned in the Washington Post/Pew Research Center poll say they understand “very well or fairly well” what would happen in January if the automatic spending cuts and tax increases go into effect. Nearly two-thirds say such spending cuts and tax increases would have a major effect on the country's economy, and 84% say those effects would be mostly negative.

Forty-three percent say if the country falls off the fiscal cliff, it would have a major impact on their personal financial situation, with 35% saying there would just be a minor effect.

The Washington Post/Pew Research Center poll was conducted November 29-December 2, with 1,003 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.


Filed under: Fiscal Cliff
soundoff (331 Responses)
  1. Voter

    Obama is the President. If we go over the cliff he is to blame. Don't take the job if you can't take the heat.

    December 4, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  2. Rob

    I will never understand whether you are Republican or Democrat, why would anyone want to raise taxes??? Who in America wants their paycheck to shrink by paying more? I think that is crazy! No matter what either party says the MIDDLE class always ends up paying!

    December 4, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. uncdig

    just the way Obama likes & plans everything. Create enough smoke screens that Americans can't see his failures as a leader & he gets to point his finger at others as the cause. No leadership & no accountability. What's new. He really is driving America to the brink of collapse both socially & financially.

    December 4, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F

    Most baggers and viewers of Fox foreign owned media need a reality check, because they are being played by the plutocrats. When the NRA needs money, they say Obama is going to take away their guns, and the uninformed send millions to Pepe LaPierre. They tell seniors on social security and medicare that Obama is a socialist, so the oldsters send money to elect republicans who want to give them vouchers. Republicans talk of smaller government but want more agents in women's bedrooms. Baggers think that unfunded wars, tax cuts for the wealthy, increased military spending, TARP, big oil tax breaks, do not add to the deficit. They also think that tax cuts for the wealthy creates jobs.

    December 4, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  5. thomase

    "I will never understand whether you are Republican or Democrat, why would anyone want to raise taxes???"

    Because some of us aren't just in it for ourselves and I enjoy most of the things taxes pay for. I'd rather pay more to have the standard services I enjoy maintained then pay less and lose those services.

    December 4, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F

    The reason we have to generate more revenue is because we were on the brink of another republican depression.

    December 4, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. TerryG

    I blame the american voter. Afterall, they are the ones who voted for this tea bagger crowd in the first place. If people would turn off FOX, MSNBC, RUSH, SEAN, and all the other troublemakers we'd be a whole lot better off.

    December 4, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. Lisa

    Don't want to raise taxes, some of you? How do you propose we pay for our unfunded wars? Why the outrage over paying our dues now?

    December 4, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  9. MagicPanties

    Keep it up, GOP.
    Dem majority in the house in 2014 :-)

    December 4, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. Roger

    The results of tax cuts for the wealthy are obvious. They took the money and ran off-shore as fast as they could to break the back of our middle class. This money has been used to diminish our value as workers and consumers developing new foreign markets. I think the tax cuts should be not only removed for the 2% but raise them even more on those companies continuing to sell our jobs out for cheap labor. Also reduce taxes on companies that bring work back to our country employing U.S. workers. Seems fair to me as we trusted the rich and they took us to the cleaners. Boehner keeps preaching the second biggest lie. Get these people out of office come mid-term elections.

    December 4, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. intelliga

    Taxes are a necessity so we can reinvest back into the infrastructure that allow people to succeed in the first place. Why can't people wrap their heads around this? I just don't get it. Taxes are not evil as long s they're used for the great good.

    December 4, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  12. bryanfred

    Do the responders to the poll realize that right after the election Boehner went to Obama and said I will get the votes to push through the deal we negotiated last year, and Obama said no thanks, I want twice as much tax increases and will now give you nothing in return? Or that increasing only the top rate covers about 7% of the deficit? There's no economic reason for it other than class envy, hardly a sound basis for fiscal policy.

    December 4, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  13. Doug Lynn

    I hope the talks fail and taxes go up on everyone. I do not care who gets blamed more. The truth is that Washington is destroying our future with debt, so why shouldn't we all start paying more today for all this wonderful government. Raising taxes on the rich will eliminate less than 1/10th of the annual deficit. Since the last Clinton budget in 2000, federal spending has gone up 100% while the economy had grown about 40%. Defense, entitlements, all of it needs to be cut.

    We really cannot afford for the economy to start growing at 5% because interest rates would rise and the cost of our debt payments would go up. 16.5 trillion times 4% is 660 billion a year, and 5% is 825 billion a year in interest payments. Europe in in recession and Spain is paying 5.26%, Portugal 7.76% and Greece 15.01%. At rate we are adding debt, it will be just a few years before we are a bigger risk than these countries.

    December 4, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. sergio

    It is clear that Boehner, and the majority of republican members of congress and the senate, have become the party of the plutocracy, the party of the rich, as they are prepared to sacrifice the middle class tax cuts, and the standard of living of 98% Americans, in order to safeguard the billionaires from higher taxes. The Republican Party will be content to burn the nation in order to protect the rich…If we go over the cliff is because the Republicans will be doing the PUSHING!!!

    December 4, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  15. Brian Wickremasinghe-Woodland Hills

    The President in USA does not have unlimited dictatorial powers like in third world countries. On the balance of power, The Congress can twist the thumbs of the country. They are doing it right now to discredit the President. So, here in USA it would be wrong to blame The President solely. The Congressmen that play politics with the people’s future must not be allowed to stay on doing more damage.

    December 4, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  16. Frank

    The Dems and the GOP put us in this mess why would one party get the blame? I would say that the President needs to step up to the plate and lead, but you won't see it from this guy.

    December 4, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  17. Franky

    The bottom line is the country approves of the president's position by 66%, go to the Clinton rates for the wealthiest Americans and be done with it. The GOP is making this way too complicated.

    December 4, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  18. Carol

    Are the Dems so far out of it that they do not realize the Obama's tactics will also hurt them. They will not be exempt from this mess. I think it is time they woke. As for Obama changing his requests, not a chance. Look, he is taking a 4.5 mil Christmas vacation on our dime. Does that sound like a man who is going to change in the next 4 years? Watch and see how lavish his re-inauguration ceremonies are next year. He will be pulling out all of the stops. And then there will be his Library. We will be paying for this man's spending for years to come.

    December 4, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. shawnkilpatrick

    The GOP mantra – protect the wealthy at all costs.

    December 4, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  20. dirty harry

    yes, it's the GOP's fault Obama has spent more now than all previous presidents combined and he now wants an additional trillion over and above last years binge. let's just keep printing and spending. the sooner we go broke the better. that will certainly stop all entitlement spending in its tracks and then we will be rid of all the takers in a month when they starve to death or get killed trying to steal from those that actually work.

    December 4, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  21. Erik N

    Do something, anything!

    December 4, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  22. king ugbert

    Blame is an interesting thing. More people may blame the Republicans now if we go over the cliff. History will assign the blame to Obama. Which party controlled the congress during the crash of 1929 and led us into the Great Depression? (who knows) Hoover was President – he gets the blame.

    December 4, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  23. msg9

    Our politicians can't balance the check book of our country because we are a country divided. If we are ever going to be a great country again, we have got to get past this childish notion that Democrats are Evil and Republicans are Good or that Democrats are good and Republicans are evil. Instead of looking at the political parties, we need to elect a person who will do their job and do it right. We need to vote with our brains instead of our feelings. I wasn't a Mitt Romney fan this time around, but, the main reason that Barrack Obama got elected and then re-elected is because people voted with their feelings and emotions instead of doing their research and voting based on facts. Also, people need to stop blaming the government for their lack of employment/money. Maybe, these people are out of work and broke is because they don't have much education, training, or an adequate resume. Also, these people aren't willing to take a job that they view as being beneath them. Money is money and any job you can find in this economy is a good job. You have to do what you have to do to make ends meet even if it is something that is not your dream job. You gotta start somewhere! In closing, Here's a quote from Ahmet Ertegun in the movie Ray “You think pennies Mr. Charles and you'll get pennies. You think dollars and you'll get dollars.” By blaming the government for your lack of work you are thinking pennies.

    December 4, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  24. veggiedude

    How can anyone blame the President? He agrees to keep 98% of the Bush tax cuts. It is the GOP that is demanding all 100%. That is hilariously outrageous. No one in business would ever bargain like that. But then, these GOPers know nothing about business or growing the economy. They think less taxes for the rich will grow jobs, and yet the tax rate on the rich is a 50 year historic low. What further proof is required to tell you their IDEOLOGY does not work?

    December 4, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. Me IN HOUSTON

    This fiscal cliff didn't come outta thin air.
    The fiscal cliff was created by the Republicans after they won the 2010 midterm elections.
    If we go over this fiscal cliff, it only stands to reason that this is completely the fault of the Republicans
    The Republicans should give in to the President.
    After that they should roll over and die

    December 4, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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