Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fiscal cliff poll has good news for both sides

A new poll released on December 10 by Battleground is being touted to show President Obama’s edge in the fiscal cliff negotiations. While it is true that the poll shows that 60 percent of voters favor the president’s plan to raise taxes on Americans who earn more than $250,000, other items in the poll are not as favorable for Obama. Sixty-five percent of respondents also favor increasing taxes on large corporations even though the U.S. corporate tax rate is already the highest in the world.

In the same poll, 69 percent opposed raising taxes on small businesses that earn more than $250,000. The problem is that many small businesses are privately held by individuals who earn more than $250,000.

Seventy-six percent favor cutting government spending across the board, a position that President Obama is at odds with as he tries to negotiate for the ability to unilaterally increase the debt limit to avoid spending cuts. Sixty-nine percent of respondents opposed making significant cuts to the debt limit.

Respondents were evenly split on several issues. There was slight approval (51 percent) for reducing Medicare benefits for wealthy seniors. Fifty percent approve of reducing Social Security benefits for the wealthy. Forty-eight percent want to end foreign aid while 46 percent disapprove.

Obama gets bad marks for his job performance on several issues as well. Fifty-nine percent disapprove of his handling of the deficit and 53 percent disapprove of his handling of the economy. He gets marginal approval (50 percent) for working with Congress, taxes (49 percent) and Medicare (48 percent).

For Republicans, the current battle is largely lost on tax increases even though the wealthy already pay the vast majority of taxes. The challenge is to use their mandate to cut spending and reduce the deficit to force President Obama and the Democrats to compromise on real spending cuts.


Originally published on Examiner.com:


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