Poll: 67% Say Lawmakers Will Act like “Spoiled Children” During “Fiscal Cliff” Negotiations

Posted: Nov 26, 2012 7:33 AM

A new CNN/ORC poll conducted before Thanksgiving underscores just how confident the American people are in their elected representatives: more than two-thirds of respondents believe lawmakers will behave like “spoiled children” during the budget negotiations slated to begin in earnest this week (via National Journal):

Roughly 24 percent said the country would face a crisis and 44 percent said the country would face major problems if the tax increases and spending cuts set to enact early next year are allowed to take hold. Just 24 percent think it would cause minor problems.

Fully 77 percent said it would impact their personal finances, and more than 70 percent called for Republicans and President Obama to compromise to find a solution. If talks fail, however, the poll suggests Republicans would receive greater blame. And respondents apparently don't have much confidence in the outcome.

When asked if “elected officials in Washington will behave mostly like responsible adults or mostly like spoiled children,” 67 percent chose the latter.

When asked about solutions, 67 percent said they want to see a budget plan with a combination of spending cuts and tax increases, while just 29 percent want spending cuts only. Fifty-six percent said taxes on the wealthy should be kept high, while 36 percent think taxes for the wealthy should be kept low.

Obama has called for an increase in the tax rates on the wealthiest Americans, while extending the Bush-era tax cuts for the lower- and middle-class citizens. Republicans have said recently that they would consider additional revenues, though they want to generate them by closing loopholes in the tax code rather than raising tax rates.

The poll was conducted with 1,023 Americans between Nov. 16 and 18, with a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

This is (at least) the second poll we’ve seen in which the GOP will ultimately be blamed if the negotiations fail and sequestration cuts are implemented. Splendid. Perhaps this is why some congressional Republicans are putting revenue increases on the table and planning to violate Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge in order to strike a bipartisan agreement.