Americans more eager for compromise on fiscal cliff
December 11th, 2012
09:32 AM ET
10 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. kakaman

    Ya and 30% didnt. This isnt a majority rules you mo rons. How many people here really know whats being argued about and the numbers involved, consequences etc etc. 90% of that 70% are just flapping their jaws without a clue..

    December 11, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. John Cage

    Shame,Shame on the Republian party you have lose your way.Your only focus is on the Rich what about the rest of America people who is not Rich. You are destroying your onwn party America people is watching you we are mad as hell at you. In 2014 is coming up I hope your bag are pack we are going to seen you home. You have lost your way to govern the people who have put you in office

    December 11, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. Name

    Entitlements that encourage fraud need to be cut. Taxes need to be raised. Leave the elderly alone they did their part

    December 11, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  4. Floyd from Illinois

    As long as Republican-dominated state legislatures gerrymander their states to guarantee a GOP dominance in their delegation, we will keep getting *selected* Republicans at the natinoal level, and continue in gridlock.

    For example, in Ohio, almost exactly as many voters voted for Dem Congressional candidates as for Republicans. In any sane districting scheme, Ohiio delegation to the new Congress would be 8-8, or at most 9-7. Instead, it will be 12-4. That is an election rigged by gerrymandering pro facia.

    (I will be the first to admit that Illinois does the same thing the other way.)

    NATIONWIDE, more people voted for Dem Congressmen than for Republicans, yet the new House will still be in the hands of the likes of Beohner, a guy from such a created-safe district that he ran unopposed.

    Until America has a national, consistent, and FAIR means of apportioning districts, we will continue to have this mockery of a democracy.

    December 11, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  5. GI Joe

    Cut the salaries proportionately to how many days they actually work. The House is scheduled to work 60 DAYS next year (thanks Eric Cantor). If they work a total of 2 months, pay them for 2 months.

    December 11, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  6. Debits-n-Credits

    Both sides need to make compromises.

    December 11, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  7. American Made

    Maybe the next revolution in this country should begin with VOTING OUT ALL REPUBLICANS who hold office in America. The next thing we do is DON'T BUY IT IF IT ISN'T MADE HERE,BY AMERICANS. Americans are losing jobs to Mexico and China. If taxes are raised on the filthy rich, the dirty B--s will move to other countries and pay Chinese girls 47 cents an hour to make your $50 jeans. We need to remember that WE, the laboring people of America made these businesses great. Don't let them rob us of OUR American dream. A home, a car, a vacation once a year should be available to all working folks. Not just the OVER wealthy. I work 50 hours a week and still qualify for food stamps!! That is pitiful. Something's gotta give and I don't want it to be me ANYMORE!!!!!!!

    December 11, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. Janet

    Americans more eager for compromise on fiscal cliff
    MORE REPUBLICANS AND RICH HOUSE LEADERS ARE EAGER FOR COMPROMISE YOU MEAN. So lets do a poll of the poor and lower middle class!! Which makes up more than middle class and rich!!! NO COMPROMISE!!!!!!!!!

    December 11, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  9. Jim

    They will "come up" with an agreement the last minute (haste makes waste) to appease the tax payers temporarily, but the debt will continue to grow until the country becomes bankrupt. The fiscal cliff has been around for many many years and all of a sudden it is an issue? The Chinese have us exactly where they want us – under their control!

    December 11, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. rla

    Compromise is not a solution it is a failure! A compromise would be good politics but not the kind of solutions we need and as long as the media has no clue about the outcome of a "DC" compromise and its devistating effect in terms of a long term solution we are doomed.

    December 11, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  11. jhysterio

    70% want it or not!!

    December 11, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  12. Name

    Increased taxes on the rich will bring in a trillion dollars over ten years. We run a YEARLY defecit of a trillion plus, whats the plan aftet taxing the rich?

    December 11, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. klur

    Compromise means both sides need to bring something to the table. Both spending cuts and tax increases are both necessary. For those equating tax increases with communism- you should read a little- we are not even close to wealth redistribution OR communism. But you really should learn what the word means before spouting your idiocy. For those calling the GOP names, come off your high horse. We need spending cuts also and Obama is not offering much right now. Compromise on both sides are necessary. Reforms to the entitlement programs are necessary. They are unsustainable as they are now- this is obvious to anyone who can do a little math. Tax increases are also necessary- and they are not even tax increases- they are readjusting back to reasonable levels. There is absolutely no reason why the wealthy should be paying a lower tax rate than the middle class. Our federal government needs to do their jobs and people need to write to their representatives and let them know that we expect them to stop with the rhetoric and posturing and do their jobs.

    December 11, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  14. Larry

    Instead of taxing the rich more, cut the handouts that are giving to 47 million Americans in the form of food stamps and welfare. They're not paying into the system, therefore they deserve nothing. Day after day you read about the abuse and fraud in the system, end welfare completely and let these people fend for themselves like the rest of us had to do in life.

    December 11, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. learntoread

    To Polar must not be very well aware of the actual numbers....there was a 10 trillion deficit when Obama got elcted and sworn in in 2009-add to that 2 trillion for Iraq and another trillion for the prescription bill....Taxes under Obama over the last three years are the LOWEST in 50 years– we have also had cuts in spending and cuts in Fed jobs..i make over 250k a year and i am okay with taxes going up in conjunction with entitlement cuts– it's a compromise..socialism? c'mon , get just spew Fox have no clue what's going on ...

    December 11, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  16. Patrick in Wisconsin

    Why don't we just physically throw Grover Norquist off the fiscal cliff and solve all our problems right there?

    December 11, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  17. guest

    Tax hike = a trillion over 10 YEARS
    Yearly defecit = 1 trillion plus for 1 YEAR

    Whats the plan after taxing the rich?

    December 11, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  18. calamity jane

    We the people, in order to form a more perfect union . . . .

    GOP translation: We the wealthy, in order to form a more perfect corporation . . . .

    December 11, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
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