Americans more eager for compromise on fiscal cliff
December 11th, 2012
09:32 AM ET
2 years ago

Americans more eager for compromise on fiscal cliff

(CNN) – With the clock ticking to the year-end fiscal cliff deadline, a new poll shows an uptick in Americans who say that want to see lawmakers reach a compromise, rather than dig in and refuse to sway from their principles.

The Gallup survey released Tuesday showed 70% of all adult Americans want to see Congress and the White House reach a compromise agreement that would avoid the tax hikes and spending cuts included in the fiscal cliff. That's up from the 62% who said they wanted compromise in a Gallup survey conduced last week.

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Similarly, the number of Americans who say they want lawmakers to stick to their principles on tax rates and spending is down – 18% expressed that view in Tuesday's poll, compared to 25% who felt that way last week.

Lawmakers and President Barack Obama must reach a deal on reducing the federal deficit before the end of the year in order to avoid a package of tax hikes and sweeping spending cuts that was agreed upon last year. The two parties have been at odds on raising tax rates on the wealthy, which Democrats support but that most Republicans oppose. Cuts to entitlement spending are also being negotiated, though specifics have yet to be detailed.

Most economists agree a mixture of both tax increases and spending cuts is the only effective way to trim down the ballooning federal deficit.

In Tuesday's poll, Democrats were more likely than Republicans to say they wanted lawmakers to compromise on a fiscal cliff agreement, 73%-67%. Conversely, more Republicans (24%) than Democrats (15%) said they wanted lawmakers to stick to their principles.

Optimism levels on reaching a deal remained largely unchanged since last week, unsurprising given the lack of details coming from Capitol Hill or the White House on any potential deals. Fifty-nine percent said a deal was "very" or "somewhat" likely, compared to 38% who said an agreement wasn't likely to take shape before the January 1 deadline.

And President Barack Obama retained higher approval ratings than Congressional Republicans on handling the fiscal cliff negotiations – 48% of Americans approved of the president's job, compared to 26% who said Republicans in Congress met their approval.

The Gallup poll was conducted by telephone December 8-9 from 1,069 adults. The sampling error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: Fiscal Cliff
soundoff (118 Responses)
  1. RocketJL

    Not sure where this will go. Over 70% of Americans did not want obamacare, but look where we are today. In order for Obama to stay consistent with the promises he has made to support the UN's goal, he has got to send America down the tubes.

    December 11, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  2. Stevie

    100% want the other side to compromise...

    December 11, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  3. jpmichigan

    DEMOCRATS ARE THE PARTY OF NO! NO, we will not even acknowledge any compromise the Republicans offer. NO, we had a committee to solve the debit crisis (Simpson/Bowles) but we have no intention to follow their advise, we just like to have people think we will. NO, during campaigning (which never stops) we stated we will work with the Republican, well surely you really didn't think we would. The joke is on the American people, now that Obama is in office and can't run again(thank God) he will do what he wants, when he wants and where he wants at the American people expense.

    December 11, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  4. Sniffit

    Correction hehe...I had my numbers confused. From the WH website:

    "•For every $1 in new revenue from those making more than $250,000 per year and from closing corporate loopholes, the Budget has $2.50 in spending cuts including the deficit reduction enacted over the last year."

    The total goal is $4T in deficit reduction. The "backwards-ness" was that the previous poster reduced the spending cuts Obama proposed to $0.25 per $1 in aditional revenue, which is 1/10 of what Obama is really proposing in cuts. I must've latched onto the 4 in the $4T deficit reduction goal to come up with $4 in cuts per $1 in revenue.

    December 11, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    " I don't know when we started being Republicans and Democrats instead of Americans. There was a time when the two political parties could at least how one another respect. I guess those days are simply gone."
    ----------------
    The strategy for lower taxes for the wealthy creates jobs took off under Reagan in the 1980s. The rallying cry that raising taxes kills jobs began in earnest with Gingrich in the 1990s.

    America demonstrated that it has FINALLY begun to see through the fact misleading statements in 2008. More and more people are recognizing the lies hidden by truthful statements. Tax cuts do create economic prosperity....prosperity for the wealthy, but no jobs for the middle class. Mitt Romney claimed that he "created 100,000 jobs while at Bain" while neglecting to point out that they were not US jobs.

    December 11, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  6. lmc3

    I'd prefer common sense with compromise but, what the heck, which ever way those concrete heads in DC go, the working people of this country are going to pay thru the nose. But people voted for the party that likes to spend money on the credit card and you get what you vote for.

    December 11, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  7. John right

    What a show the politicians put on for the people.Maybe they think that we believe that this is a tough decision for them
    I think at the last minute it will all be resolved and they will pat themselves on the back and sit back and enjoy the kickbacks.If the American people would open their eyes and get off the cell phones they might see what the goverment is doing with all the money.This is a spending problem.

    December 11, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  8. Name

    Any reasonable person wants compromise... Please just get something done... Do an old western shootout for all I care... Just do something!!!

    December 11, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  9. ralph Petrillo

    If the Republicans do not make a deal, the House will belong to the Democrats in two years.

    Better to make a deal to have checks and balances.

    December 11, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  10. fomega64

    Unfortunately, the US does not have a Leader in the Oval Office and compromise cannot occur. The US has a salutatorian criminal dictator from Chicago executing the Chicago Way. Look for an Egypt like revolt in the US next Spring!

    December 11, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  11. Freedom Storm

    "Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and given him triumphal processions. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the new wonderful good society which shall now be Rome's, interpreted to mean more money, more ease, more security, and more living fatly at the expense of the industrious." –Roman philosopher and statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC)

    December 11, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  12. Sniffit

    "But people voted for the party that likes to spend money on the credit card and you get what you vote for."

    No they didn't. The country overwhelmingly voted for the Dems, even in terms of the popular vote for the House...the GOP only kept it because of their gerrymandering. THE NUMBERS DON'T LIE: historically, it has been the GOP that has done the most deficit spending and enacted the policies that caused the largest increases in the debtThis is a mathematical fact. Even during Obama's first term, it was the continued existence of Bush era economic and fiscal policies, such as the atx cuts and wars that were not accompanied by tax increases to pay for them (for the first time in our country's history), that contributed the most to increases in the debt and the continued existence of a major deficit problem. Obama actually got the deficit problem fairly under control by only allowing it to increase by only 1.4% per year, the lowest increases since Eisenhower. CNN, the MSM and the GOP/Teatrolls are just still busy trying to spin the narrative to save their rich sponsors and destroy the federal gov't.

    December 11, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  13. plain&simple

    @ uncle Sam notice I said especially republicans.....I did not limit ineptitude to only one side. Compromise requires movement on both sides....something the self professed party of pro business should know better than most! Respect is the problem and the last few years has shown a lack of respect to the American people and therefor our country. Let the actions speak for itself and the chips fall where they may!!!

    December 11, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  14. Wallaceboy

    Folks keep talking about taxing the rich like it will fix the problem of the deficit and like the rich are "holding out". First, taxing the rich more is a done deal because they are 2% and all of the voters are 98%. Second, the rich already carry the load: top 1% pay 37% of taxes and top 10% pay 70% of taxes – not exactly getting off the hook. Lastly, the "rich tax will take the deficit from $1.1 trillion to $1.02 trillion, a rounding error. Broad tax increases and cuts to entitlements are the only way to cut the deficit. We have already had several commissions, the GAO, the CBC and every economist tell us this. We even had candidate Obama tell us this in '08. Let's get to it and stop thinking we can put it to the rich guy and fix the problem. Last comment: Many of those "rich" are small business owners like me that put the business through their 1040. More tax = fewer jobs. One of the great advantages of being a Democrat is that you get to offer up so much thoughtful advise about spending someone elses money.

    December 11, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  15. Rudy NYC

    jpmichigan

    DEMOCRATS ARE THE PARTY OF NO! NO, we will not even acknowledge any compromise the Republicans offer. NO, we had a committee to solve the debit crisis (Simpson/Bowles) but we have no intention to follow their advise, we just like to have people think we will.
    ------------------
    The "fiscal cliff" sequestrations are modeled after Simpson-Bowles. The Tea Party House rejected the "grand compromise" between Pres. Obama and Spkr. Boehner in favor of their sequestration bill on spending cuts.

    Unfortunately for the Republicans, their master plan fell apart when they were trounced in the 2012 elections. Everyone saw through it. The GOP wanted to selectively restore spending in Defense, while allowing the pre-legislated entitlement and discretionary spending cuts to go through. They were allowing the middle class tax cuts to expire, while extending and expanding cuts for the wealthy. Republicans are dumber than what they take the American People to be.

    December 11, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  16. Sniffit

    "Look for an Egypt like revolt in the US next Spring!"

    I think you'll be very suprised whose heads will be rolling if it ever comes to that. The GOP/Teatrolls and corporate America apparently skipped history class when the French Revolution was being discussed.

    December 11, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  17. bobdull

    You can see the hatred in Boehner's eyes. Yeah. That's right... You're party lost the election, LOSER! LOL!!!

    December 11, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  18. Joe Mama

    The President campaigned as a man of reason. Obviously it was just to get elected.
    This mess would never happened with President Clinton at the helm!
    Oh...the good old days.

    December 11, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  19. Rick McDaniel

    Let's say it the way you mean it, CNN.

    Democrats want the Republicans to give in to Obama's DEMANDS!

    Time to be honest, with what you print.

    December 11, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  20. Jeff Cox

    I have to say I'm honestly surprised that the percentage is that low.

    December 11, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  21. bobdull

    You can see the hatred in Boehner's eyes. Yeah. That's right... Your party lost the election, LOSER! LOL!!!

    December 11, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  22. Sniffit

    "Better to make a deal to have checks and balances."

    Learn this: "checks and balances" refers to the underlying structure of our governmental systems, not making sure that one party controls one part of the government and the other party controls another part of it.

    December 11, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  23. bobdull

    You can see the hatred in Boehner's eyes. That's right... Your party lost the election, LOSER! LOL!!!

    December 11, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  24. Jim Hankins

    Cant compromise with extremists

    December 11, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  25. Sniffit

    "This mess would never happened with President Clinton at the helm!"

    Indeed. I'm pretty sure the GOP/Teatroll hissy fit from 2004-2008 would have been far less drastic if it had been a white person in the WH.

    December 11, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
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