The ’Fiscal Cliff’ and Public Opinion
Just as the White House and Congress faced a deadline for an agreement on raising the debt ceiling in 2011, they now must reach a deal to avoid a “fiscal cliff” before year-end. And, they have to do it against the backdrop of a public that’s divided on how to reduce the deficit.
Broad Concern about ’Fiscal Cliff’ Consequences
The public is skeptical that President Obama and congressional Republicans will reach an agreement by the end of the year to avoid the fiscal cliff. About half say the two sides will not reach an agreement, while just 38% say they will.
Deep Divisions over Debt Reduction Proposals As ’Fiscal Cliff’ Approaches
Among a dozen specific options for reducing the debt and deficit, only two win majority approval from the public – raising taxes on annual incomes over $250,000 and limiting corporate tax deductions.
Where the Public Stands on Government Assistance, Taxes and the Presidential Candidates
When the national conversation focuses on class, the social safety net and the distribution of wealth as it has in the past week, the public sees clear differences between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, and Obama has an overall advantage.
Medicare Voucher Plan Remains Unpopular
A proposal to shift Medicare to a voucher system, part of a Paul Ryan plan approved by the House last year, remains unpopular. Both Ryan and Democrat Joe Biden get negative marks as vice presidential candidates.
Older Americans Have Been Highly Resistant to Medicare Changes
Older Americans are wary of changes to Medicare than are younger people. They are more positive about the way the program operates, less apt to think that changes are needed and far less disposed towards Paul Ryan’s proposal to reshape Medicare.
Raising Taxes on Rich Seen as Good for Economy, Fairness
By two-to-one (44% to 22%), the public says that raising taxes on incomes above $250,000 would help the economy rather than hurt it, while 24% say this would not make a difference. Moreover, an identical percentage (44%) says a tax increase on higher incomes would make the tax system more fair, while just 21% say it would make the system less fair.
U.S. Public, Hispanics Differ on Arizona Immigration Law
The American public has repeatedly expressed support for Arizona’s immigration law, much of which was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday.
GOP Holds Early Turnout Edge, But Little Enthusiasm for Romney
Republicans are more engaged than Democrats in contrast to 2008 when it comes to focusing on this year’s presidential campaign and saying it really matters who wins. But Democrats are more enthusiastic about Barack Obama than Republicans are about Mitt Romney.
Health Care News Coverage Wanes; Opponents Won the ’Messaging’ War
Health care reform largely disappeared as a subject in the American news media as it wended its way through the legal system to the Supreme Court. But during the the political battle over the legislation, opponents of the reform won the so-called “messaging war” in the coverage.