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.
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.
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.
Debt and Deficit: A Public Opinion Dilemma
Pew Research Center President Andrew Kohut writes that there has never been an issue such as the deficit on which there has been such a consensus among the public about its importance — and such a lack of agreement about acceptable solutions.
Partisan Polarization Surges in Bush, Obama Years
Americans values and basic beliefs are more polarized along partisan lines than at any point in the past 25 years. Party has now become the single largest fissure in American society, with the values gap between Republicans and Democrats greater than gender, age, race or class divides.
For the Public, It’s Not about Class Warfare, But Fairness
Income inequality has become a major issue in the presidential campaign.
Auto Bailout Now Backed, Stimulus Divisive
Public support for government loans to major U.S. automakers are viewed more positively today than in the fall of 2009, but there has been less change in opinions about other major economic policies such as the federal loans to banks and financial institutions during the 2008 financial crisis and President Obama’s economic stimulus plan.