Tags: Pew | fiscal | cliff | deal

Pew Survey: Most Americans Believe Fiscal Cliff Deal Is Unlikely

Thursday, 15 Nov 2012 07:55 AM

By John Morgan

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The public is skeptical President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans can reach a deal by the end of 2012 to avert the fiscal cliff, according to a new survey from Pew Research Center and The Washington Post.

Most Americans believe the automatic spending cuts and tax increases triggered by lack of a deal would have a mostly negative effect for both the broad economy (62 percent) and their own personal finances (60 percent).

The survey, conducted Nov. 8 through Nov. 11 among 1,000 adults, showed about half of those polled (51 percent) believe the two sides will not reach an agreement, while only 38 percent said they will. If no deal is reached, more would blame congressional Republicans than President Obama (53 percent vs. 29 percent, respectively).

Editor's Note: Economist Unapologetically Calls Out Bernanke, Obama for Mishandling Economy. See What They Did

The fiscal cliff might be the primary issue in the nation’s capital, but many Americans confess they do not fully understand the consequences of it. Only about 26 percent of those surveyed said they fully grasp what would happen if a deal is not reached.

Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say there would be a major effect on the economy (78 percent vs. 64 percent) as well as on their own personal finances (54 percent vs. 39 percent) if U.S. political leaders fail to reach an accord.

Independent voters tended to agree with Democrats in the survey — 64 percent of independents said if no deal is reached it would have a major impact on the broad economy, and 40 percent of them likewise said no deal would have a major effect on their personal finances.

The telephone survey of 1,000 adults consisted of people 18 years of age or older living in the continental United States. It was conducted for the Pew Research Center and The Washington Post by interviewers at Princeton Data Source.

Fox News reported Obama has wasted no time in establishing a starting point for fiscal cliff negotiations — $1.6 trillion in tax hikes.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “The president has put forward a very specific plan that will be what he brings to the table when he sits down with congressional leaders.”

Republicans, however, are against raising tax rates, but will consider a deal on closing loopholes and deductions. While Carney said the president will consider cuts to entitlements and other domestic programs, it is unclear how deep those cuts could go without sparking a backlash from Democrats, Fox reported.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that not reaching a deal would send the U.S. economy back into recession and cause unemployment to jump above 9 percent. But the CBO also projected the combination of tax hikes and spending cuts would reduce the nation’s spiraling deficit by nearly $700 billion by the end of 2013.

Editor's Note: Economist Unapologetically Calls Out Bernanke, Obama for Mishandling Economy. See What They Did

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