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. Rudy NYC

    Here's the really weird part about the "fiscal cliff" and the offers put forth from both sides. The fiscal cliff calls for essentially what Simpson-Bowles called for, which many point to as sensible path that should have been followed. Yet, the path to it is called a fiscal cliff?!?!?

    Democrats put forth a plan that raises more revenue than the dreaded "fiscal cliff", while Republicans put forth a plan that makes more spending cuts than the dreaded "fiscal cliff". Each side claims their plan is superior, and that the other side's plan is a disaster. Yet both proposals offer up solutions that are more severe than those that would be imposed by the dreaded "fiscal cliff'.

    So, why not go for the Simpson-Bowles style "fiscal cliff" that awaits us? It seems far less risky than what either side has proposed so far. But, if Simposn-Bowles is close to being the equivalent to the "fiscal cliff". why do people praise it so much?

    December 11, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  2. plain&simple

    Poll after poll announce the same result.....we know what needs to be done,we know how to do it, we know it will get done....we just have to gather the will to do it!!! Never have I seen such ineptitude ,especially from republicans who claim to be the smart business leaders serving in our government to help our country!!! Leadership moves ,it guides,it doesn't sit there and hope to stagnate!!! Any business person knows this. I'm left to believe these republicans know nothing about business!!!

    December 11, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  3. Sniffit

    "The real debt problem: What will eat the tax dollars"

    DISGUSTINGLY MISLEADING ARTICLE. Do that graph including the defense budget as a third set of bars and you'll see what's really "eating" our tax dollars. Un-freekin-believable've jumped the right-wing shark at this point.

    December 11, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  4. Sniffit

    Gotta love that photo above. Anyone want to guess how many Gs are in the word running through Boehner's mind when that photo was snapped?

    December 11, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  5. rla

    The effect of what we have proposed is to kick the can down the road... Note the political 10 year projections, neither side is willing to solve the problem DEBT The American people are lied to by the media day in and day out as they play king makers and become a shadow government... WE spend far more than we make, the nation is being divided by a sleazy democratic/liberal plan of minority politics and Obama care taxes have yet to take effect... Oh the joy to come! Wake up America and reject this foolishness

    December 11, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    A little over a month ago, Gallup polling flat-lined. Not much is relevant in this poll other than Gallup asked a few very innocuous questions with little meaning behind the questions. And proceeds to put it out as gospel to what "Americans" want. Reminds me of the ACA battle and the misinformation being spread by a lazy media and the ensuing polling data spread by biased pollsters.

    December 11, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  7. Jt_flyer

    “In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit.”
    -Ayn Rand

    December 11, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  8. James Bond

    I dont see why people cant understand every reason the republicans give for not taxing the wealthiest is a pack of lies, statistics show that, the superppac that funds republican campaigns is being threatened, and that is the only thing they fear, not your vote, or mine, how does that translate into representing the people

    December 11, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  9. James Bond

    Superpacs threats to cut off speending for anyone violating grovers tax pledge, to not raise taxes no the rich, they want you to pay more, so they can pay less, they are going through a rough patch, and are really feeling the financial pinch, yea right, screw them, pay more or leave

    December 11, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  10. Sam

    People say they want compromise because gridlock like this is a serious existential danger. But ANY deal that doesn't give the president everything he wants will result in millions of people losing very basic social welfare like food stamps, housing or even homeless shelters when housing can't be found. Millions will suddenly be forced to make very savage sacrifices between food and clothing, clothing and/or food and/or education, etc.

    And we're only doing this because Republicans forced this issue during the debt ceiling crisis in 2011 to force us to deal with the nation's debt, when the overwhelming problems of unemployment and poverty persist. But no one in the Beltway elite is unemployed or poor, so they can't fantasize about debt crises as if we're Greece, while pushing the savage austerity cuts that WILL make us like Greece.

    December 11, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  11. Sam's Uncle

    Plain and Simple,

    The ineptitude is on both sides. So is the unwillingness to compromise or show respect for individuals who support a different view. The partisan attitude you express is the very problem with America these days. 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.

    December 11, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  12. Anonymous

    70% of us what compromise, but it requires everyone actually willing to give up something. Instead everyone incuding the Dems and Republicans are caught in the grip up take something from another special interest group, but not is all about greed and class warfare. Everyone has to give something to include increased revenue collections and loss of services through cuts...EVERYONE.... Otherwise, all of our kids will never have the opportunity for the American dream .

    December 11, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  13. sergio

    It is clear that Boehner, and the majority of republican members of congress and the senate, are the party of the plutocracy, the minions of the rich, as they are going 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!!! I tell the President to call their bluff, do not cave-in to their demands, do not kick the battered can again…

    December 11, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  14. BBould

    The Democrats want to raise taxes so they can spend a little more money reducing the deficit to 900 billion. The republicans want to reduce spending in turn reducing the deficit to 900 billion. The fiscal cliff would reduce the deficit to approx 600 billion by implementing 500 billion in cuts.

    NONE OF THE ABOVE will reduced the national debt. The national debt will still increase 600b to 1.2 trillion every year increasing how much we pay in interest thereby decreasing what we actually have to spend.

    Both plans are equally absurd and don't go far enough because everyone is worried that it may cause another recession. We are running out of money and neither side is taking this seriously, also none of the media outlets are reporting any of this in a context that shows how much our debt is and will become. Choosing any of the above plans will still increase our debt to 19 or 20 trillion by the end of this Presidents term.

    December 11, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  15. Rick McDaniel

    Not at all.

    Sometimes, the only way to make people wake up, is to make them suffer. I say, let sequestration take place. That is the deal Obama demanded in the debt ceiling fight, and that is what should happen. Let the people suffer those consequences, and find out the truth.........someone has to PAY for all of those excesses..........and that someone, is the American taxpayer.........all of them! (Which is only 53% of the population, in the first place!)

    December 11, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  16. glades2

    Last evening Erin Burnett was speaking about something greater than the short-term "cliff" – the $16 Trillion debt which continues to grow...

    December 11, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  17. hazen

    What could be wrong with saying for every dollar of new revenue produce one dollar of permanent, immediate spending cuts? I don't find many people who even try to argue what is wrong with that but the proposal Obama has on the table is maybe we will do 25 cents of spending cuts somewhere down the road for evey one dollar in new taxes right now.

    December 11, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  18. al196112

    You get what you vote for. We have a very stupid electorate. When you compromise your own ideals just to vote for the D or the R candidate, you become the problem.

    December 11, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  19. Bastion White

    The cliff should happen. It's the best medicine we can get. We are seriously not going to turn out well if we keep piece mealing everything and kicking the can down the road. Tough medicine. Higher taxes might wake up some Americans that hoot and holler for wars and handouts.

    December 11, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  20. remlik

    I think they should raise taxes on those making $1 million and up, and agree to spending cuts across the board. A compromise on both sides. These politicians are acting like spoiled brats.

    December 11, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  21. Dino

    Why would the 30% not want to see a compromise? Are they all like Thelma and Louise or so rich and out of touch that it won't affect them and they can watch the drama unfold from the comfort of their sky high penthouses and gated mansions.

    December 11, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  22. wally

    And the other 30% are quoting Ayn Rand – see above. (seriously people, that should say it all)

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

    "What could be wrong with saying for every dollar of new revenue produce one dollar of permanent, immediate spending cuts? I don't find many people who even try to argue what is wrong with that but the proposal Obama has on the table is maybe we will do 25 cents of spending cuts somewhere down the road for evey one dollar in new taxes right now."

    You have it 100% backwards. Obama proposed $1.00 of additional revenue for every $4.00 of cuts. That's 4x as much cutting, not 1/4.

    December 11, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  24. Marc Florida

    Compromise means nobody's happy. Collaboration is the way to go!

    December 11, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  25. Sniffit

    "We are running out of money "

    No we are not. That's a fact, jack. We have plenty of it and we know exactly where it is and who is holding it....and who is spending it in their neverending war to help them keep a stranglehold on it and to prevent us from using it to help the country fix the problems caused by the stupid economic and fiscal policies that redistributed it all to them in the first place.

    December 11, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
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