Worried about the fiscal cliff?
So are a lot of Americans. According to a new Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll, 51% of those surveyed predict that President Obama and congressional Republicans will not reach a deal before automatic spending cuts and tax hikes go into effect on January 1, 2013. Only 38% have faith that an agreement is on the horizon.
While the president has expressed deep concern over the impending consequences of going over the fiscal cliff, the poll finds that a majority of the pressure to negotiate lies with congressional Republicans. Of those polled, 53% said they would blame Republicans in Congress if discussions break down, while 29% said they would blame Obama.
Should congressional leaders fail to cut a deal by the January 1 deadline, the fall from the fiscal cliff is sure to be long and painful, with $500 billion in budget cuts and the expiration of much needed tax breaks waiting at the bottom. The cuts and tax hikes would immediately curtail government borrowing, but could also push the fragile U.S. economy back into recession.
The president is slated to meet with labor leaders today to discuss balanced approaches to averting the fiscal cliff that include budgetary cuts as well as revenue increases. But so far, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has held fast to his party’s opposition to raising any taxes as a way of dealing with the country’s debt and deficit.