Poll: Public would blame GOP for budget impasse, wants tax increases

A strong CNN/OCR poll for the President and Democrats in Congress on the “fiscal cliff,” in terms of what the public wants out of the talks, and who they’d blame if the talks go south.

In a nutshell, the public wants tax increases as part of the bargain, by an overwhelming majority, and they would blame the Republicans more than the President should a deal not be struck.

The Public Wants Tax Increases as Part of the Bargain

Congress via Shutterstock

67% of the public wants tax increases as part of the fiscal cliff bargain, including strong support among men, women, whites, non-whites, Democrats, Independents, and even Republicans.

Independents support including tax increases as part of the bargain by 60-34 , and even Republicans support tax increases by 52-44.  Even conservative Republicans support some tax increases by 51-45.  Those are devastating numbers – the Republicans in Congress are more extreme than conservatives in their own party

The Public Will Blame the Republicans if Talks Fail

45% blame would blame the Republicans if talks fail, while 34% would blame President Obama.  What’s interesting here is that Independents would blame the Republicans over Obama, 43-32, that’s a sizable 11 point difference.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • ezpz

    It’s a good thing some get paid well to present these useless numbers while others are shopping around for the best cat food prices in town.

  • ezpz

    Why does it matter who gets blamed? Is EVERYTHING politics? Doesn’t it matter that most of us are getting majorly scroood? Why isn’t that the focus?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Poll Analysis: What the public wants doesn’t matter, because both parties are in agreement on several key points.

    - That in a little over four weeks, the country is facing an economic/fiscal disaster of unprecedented proportions. This is why they’ve agreed on the language ‘fiscal cliff’ because it conveys a sense of urgency and imminent extreme danger. It doesn’t matter it’s actually just a slope, reversible at any time after the new Congress goes into session, and most people would only see a few dollars difference in their paychecks.

    - That despite the fact the deficit is due almost entirely to (1) the current Depression, which would be made worse by austerity measures, (2) two wars and a bloated military budget, none of which has been subject to the PayGo rules, (3) the tail end of the anemic stimulus measures which did probably stave off a complete Great Depression collapse (these measures are the smallest component…and sadly were the only truly necessary expenditure), (4) the unfunded Medicare-D giveaway to for-profit corps, costing the taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars because there’s no negotiation and Medicare Advantage private insurance co-rider has been a money pit in terms of subsidies, and (5) the Bush tax cuts, which also were never paid for, both Democrats and Republicans are trying to throw the still-solvent Social Security and Medicare programs onto the table for cutting — or as they call them, ‘reforms’. This, even though there would be almost ZERO impact in the short term on deficits, which they claim is the reason they have to deal with this right effin’ now.

    - That lifting or removing the federal payroll income tax cap is a non-starter, but progressive Dems in the House are allowed to talk about it as if it’s a serious proposal. Just like public-option health insurance was for PPACA. Same thing with respect to taxing capital gains at normal income rates and removing the carried interest exemption, both of which would raise billions in revenues. As for the oft mentioned ‘financial transactions tax’ cited by the wonk savants, which would put a fraction of a penny’s tax on stock market and investment trades? Not a chance.

    - Genuine defense budget cuts are treated as if they’re inconceivable, and that even a 5-10% cut in a budget that has doubled in inflation-adjusted dollars over the last decade will somehow make the U.S. less safe. Even though our military budget is larger than the rest of the 1st world nations’ budgets combined.

    I’m actually hoping for continued gridlock right through the end of the year. No bargains. Let everything expire. But again, I keep saying this: Polls don’t matter. If they did, PPACA would have a public option and there’d even be full Medicare eligibility for people 55 and older. Both of these polled extremely high. And very few wanted a health insurance mandate coupled with a requirement to buy insurance from a private for-profit company — but that’s what we got because money talks and BigMed has piles of it.

    Anyway, I’m part of the public which would indeed blame the GOP for the budget impasse, with their loyalty oaths to Grover Norquist and not to the United States of America. I blame them also for essentially refusing to govern, blocking the passage of routine bills needed to keep the country running and abusing the filibuster and House rules. But for once, I’d rather gridlock than what both parties consider necessary progress.

  • RMexico

    The poll is a low information poll, and as such I’m not sure how predictive it is of the public’s response to the negotiations. Note that the “cuts and tax increases” supporters are disproportionately over $50,000 in annual income; presumably if they knew that at most tax increases would only apply to income over $250,000 this would shift. And the “cuts only” demographic is skewed towards 50+, who, presumably, imagine that “cuts”=”waste”; if they knew that the cuts would only apply to Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid, those numbers would shift as well.

  • RMexico

    yes, and 61% of Americans think that Obama will have the “most influence over the direction the nation takes in the next four years” vs. Congressional republicans, 33%. This 33% is presumably the bulk of the 51% who want Obama to have the most influence, but have actually been following politics. But also its a good indication of the disconnect between what most Americans think they are voting for when they vote for president and what they actually get.

  • Naja pallida

    Goes to show that at any particular time, about any particular political point, you can count on somewhere around 20-25% of the country to not be paying attention, yet still have an opinion on the matter with or without the facts.

  • perljammer

    John, I realize that you can’t reproduce the entire poll report in your post due to space limitations — I hope the readers here take a look at it. There are some really fascinating things here. For example:
    16% never heard of John Boehner (27% age 18 – 34)
    24% never heard of Harry Reid (39% age 18 – 34)
    72% think Obama should compromise to get things done
    72% think Republicans in Congress should compromise to get things done
    67% think elected officials in Washington will act like spoiled children in dealing with the Fiscal Cliff

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