Tags: crisis | poll | fiscal | cliff

Survey: Most See Fiscal Cliff as a Major Problem

By Michael Kling   |   Monday, 26 Nov 2012 01:03 PM

A majority of Americans believe going over the fiscal cliff would cause a crisis or major problems for the United States, according to a new CNN/ORC International survey.

Specifically, two-thirds of those surveyed said they see the cliff is a major problem or worse.

Although 70 percent want politicians to compromise, two-thirds are pessimistic about that happening.

Editor's Note: The ‘Unthinkable’ Could Happen — Wall Street Journal. Prepare for Meltdown

"Americans aren't sanguine about the prospects of a deal. Only 28 percent say that Washington officials will act like responsible adults in this matter, with 67 percent saying they believe they will behave like spoiled children," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland, according to CNN.

Unless Congress and the president reach an agreement by Jan. 1, taxes will increase across the board and both military and non-military spending will be cut in what's called the fiscal cliff. Most economists predict the sudden tax increases and spending cuts would prompt a recession.

A quarter of those surveyed say the spending cuts and tax increases will prompt a crisis, and 44 percent predict major problems. About a quarter see only minor problems, and 7 percent predict no problems.

"Americans definitely feel that they have something at stake in the upcoming negotiations — 77 percent believe that their personal financial situation will be affected if the government goes off the fiscal cliff," Holland said, according to CNN.

President Barack Obama and most Democrats want to increase tax rates on those with higher incomes, while most Republicans oppose increasing tax rates but might be willing to reduce tax deductions.

While 67 percent of those surveyed prefer a mix of spending cuts and tax increases, 29 percent favor only spending cuts.

The survey indicates that 45 percent would blame Republicans if the nation goes over the fiscal cliff, and 34 percent would blame Obama.

Many Republicans agreed not to raise taxes whey they signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge initiated by Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform.

However, More Republicans in Congress say they are willing to break that pledge not to raise taxes in order to reach a budget deal.

“I agree with Grover — we shouldn’t raise rates — but I think Grover is wrong when it comes to we can’t cap deductions and buy down debt,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Editor's Note: The ‘Unthinkable’ Could Happen — Wall Street Journal. Prepare for Meltdown

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