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. Ray E. (Georgia)

    For at least 75 years the politicians have sold you a bill of goods and you bought it. Today you see the results. The Liberal's think there is an endless money supply out there, Other Pepole's Money they just have the right to Tap into anytime they wish. Welcome to the Old (New) Soviet Union. Compromise to the Liberal's is helping themselves to other people's money.

    December 11, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  2. Angel

    OK you all don't like our president. So why did he get re-elected? You all have answers but none of you actually are NOT a politician, for that matter. So why nag?

    December 11, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  3. Sniffit

    "NO, we will not even acknowledge any compromise the Republicans offer."

    The GOP has not offered a compromise. They offered the exact same policies that Mittens ran on and lost. This isn't debateable. That is what their offer was. They are also looking for Obama and the Dems to save them from their silly Norquist pledges by agreeing to reduce deductions and loopholes instead of raising rates. Obama and the Dems have absolutely no good reason to help the GOP remake their beds.

    December 11, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  4. 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"

    LOL...I meant 2009-2012 obviously. Typing too fast....

    December 11, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  5. Lipstick on That Pig

    Its super to watch the republicans destroy themselves in the altar of the 2%.

    December 11, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. Sniffit

    "Its super to watch the republicans destroy themselves in the altar of the 2%."

    Would you like some Schadenfreude Flakes? I have plenty and they stay crunchy in conservative tears...

    December 11, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  7. werescrewed2012

    "Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding is all you'll see"

    John Lennon

    December 11, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  8. rudolph

    Two Points:
    1) Overall taxation is exceeding 50% for many. If the government is taking more than half of a citizen's property, we are no longer free.
    2) The threshold for "Millionaires and Billionaires" is 250k PER HOUSEHOLD. A two income family in the Northeast at this income level is not able to pay for the entitlement society and maintain it's liberty
    Therfor the only compromise to be made is on how much spending to cut.

    December 11, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  9. Hillcrester

    RocketJL–

    If the ~62% who do not favotpr Obamacare in its present form, ~13% want it STRENGTHENED, with most of those wanting a single-payer system with 100% enrollment. That is a quite different picture from your assertion.

    As to the UN, I don't comment on truly outrageous conspiracy claims.

    December 11, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  10. rs

    Rick D-
    "Sometimes, the only way to make people wake up, is to make them suffer."
    ___________________
    A primitive thought typical of Republicans- Great. So the GOP and their rich patrons go on a 12 year spending spree, and you want the poor and middle classes to pay the tab by losing the social safety net, and paying more taxes- while letting the rich get EVEN more in tax cuts.

    Sorry- I don't think that brand of delusion will fly. This whole nation will only prosper when we get a healthy middle class again.

    All the GOP knows is redistribution that benefits the rich.

    December 11, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  11. Jeff Cox

    "For at least 75 years the politicians have sold you a bill of goods and you bought it. Today you see the results. The Liberal's think there is an endless money supply out there, Other Pepole's Money they just have the right to Tap into anytime they wish. Welcome to the Old (New) Soviet Union. Compromise to the Liberal's is helping themselves to other people's money." Ray E. (Georgia)

    I take it you're not part of the 70% then ...

    It's a shame you can't accept the concept of "compromise" ... what's an even bigger shame is your bias keeps you from seeing Obama as the centrist he really is. I think (if you let yourself), you're going to be happy with where compromise takes us. It think there's a lot more that's going to be cut than you're able to see right now. My opinion.

    December 11, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  12. 2012liberal

    @jpmich cantor walked out on the meeting. Boehner and obama had a grand deal and rethugs didnt accept it 4 the 2% taxes on rich. So now u all whine b cuz obama has come back and doubled revenue and now includes $1 for $1 instead of the $3 n spending 4 $1 n revenue that they had b4. Let it go over the cliff u get equal revenue for equal spending. The sequesor has equal cuts 4 non discestionery spending and defense cuts, that gop wrote up!

    December 11, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  13. seanster5977

    One thing I know for sure now. All democratic liberals are worthless.

    December 11, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  14. Dave

    Yeap, we are pretty much done here in the USA. There is nothing else to do. Even if the politicians reach a deal it is nothing compared to the $16 trillion dollars of debt we have. So, a deal really solves nothing. We will feel better but the origin of the disease is still there. Until the Federal Government has a surplus we will keep having these problems.

    December 11, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  15. rs

    Ray E. (Georgia)-
    And yet it is the GOP that is the knife at the throat of democracy in America by promoting only the 2%. Do you think our great nation can survive when only a tiny minority count?

    December 11, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  16. ironman59

    This happens everytime the gop has control of anything. They act like a bunch of spoiled kids & scream "my way only or I am going home". They want gridlock because it makes them look good. Progress in this country has come with Democratic control and goals, not the gop. Just look through history and you will see that progress comes through going forward, not standing on "this is the way it has been". The tax breaks were bad & having the highest gainers pay 0% tax is not good.

    December 11, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  17. Charles

    bring 47 million on food stamps to 20 million is my compromise.

    December 11, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  18. craig

    sniffit,
    No the Obama plan is 1.6 Trillion in revenue and only 400 billion in cuts. thus for every dollar earned only 25 cents cut.

    December 11, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  19. Gerry

    I want the national budget decimated and the debt ceiling lowered and the debt paid down. No more entitlements.

    December 11, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  20. Wynter

    Gallup... the pollster that had Romney winning the election for the latter part of the year. Do we want to trust them now?

    December 11, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  21. Jane

    Tired of hearing about the GOP being the bad guys. All the politicians should get a swift dose of reality and stop playing political games. We have a President who wants it done his way or no way and that should not be. He could take a few pointers from Clinton–working with both houses to get the people's business done. NOT pushing his agenda!!! If they do not work together we are done. What is wrong with letting extending the Bush tax cuts for all for one year–then cut them for 2014. If the small business area does not pick up we are in trouble. SIX small business owners in my town have thrown in the towel–saying they cannot operate in the unknown, cannot plan for the future, and cannot interpret the present. The GOP is not the only culprit here–it is the President with his "unknown" agenda. We cannot tax people to death and not stop the crazy gov spending.

    December 11, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  22. CrimsoninOK

    I think the idea that the republicans came back with $800 Billion in revenue and then Obama said he wanted $1.6 Trillion plus the ability to extend the debt ceiling at his discretion destroys your Liberal credibility. He has NO intention to cut spending by any degree. That means DEMOCRATS are not compromising at this point. Until you do, dont come to me about how bad the Republicans are.. At this point, if you Democrats wont get your Whitehouse DOG back on his chain, then you deserve the higher taxes and the spending cuts that are coming to get our fiscal house in order.. Medicine usually tastes bad, but eventually it is what cures you..

    December 11, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  23. rs

    rudolph-
    2 points:
    Tax rates have never been lower than they are today

    We have never had a greater number of millionaires and billionaires in America as we have today

    Forr extra credit- ask the average WalMart worker whether an annual income of $250,000 is rich.

    December 11, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  24. Name

    Democrats and republicans both need to give something

    December 11, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  25. rs

    Gerry-

    And how would you deal with the millions of Americans (mostly the elderly) you'd throw into poverty? Maybe you should examine your "final solution" a little closer.

    December 11, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
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