CNN Poll: Americans Think 'Fiscal Cliff' A Crisis, Favor Tax Increases and Spending Cuts

I know what your thinking - if Americans think the fiscal cliff is a crisis, why are they in favor of what the fiscal cliff does (increases taxes and cut spending?) Cuz the American electorate is not the sharpest pencil in the box and the American Media is well matched to that. Consider from CNN:

"Americans definitely feel that they have something at stake in the upcoming negotiations - 77% believe that their personal financial situation will be affected if the government goes off the fiscal cliff," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

At issue in the negotiations is a disagreement between the two major political parties over how to best raise the federal government's revenues. The president and most congressional Democrats argue for tax rate increases on the wealthiest Americans in order to raise revenue, while most congressional Republicans call for the closing of loopholes and reform in the tax code. Both parties have indicated a willingness to implement spending cuts, although a decision over how much and where has yet to be made.

So what does the public think? Two thirds of those questioned in the poll say that any agreement should include a mix of spending cuts and tax increases, with just under one in three saying a deal should only include spending cuts.

If the 'fiscal cliff' is a crisis, and it is not the right policy right now, imo, it is the TIMING that brings the urgency, not the specific policy mix. This is not the time to be cutting government spending. It is time to increase it in stimulative ways. But the Media either does not understand this, or instead chooses to ignore it. One last point - when did Republican agree to increase tax revenue? CNN is making that up.

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    The American public is ill informed (5.00 / 7) (#1)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:56:50 AM EST
    because they are feed this propaganda 24/7 by the news media and by at least 98% of the politicians from both parties.


    As this poll shows... (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Dadler on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:06:59 AM EST
    ...there is no fiscal cliff, only human beings deciding to treat their fellow citizens like complete sh*t. The stupidity is both staggering and inexcusable, useless media or no. Just as we have nothing to fear but fear itself, we really have no one to fear BUT ourselves.

    Fiscal cliff, sure, and in a few hours, if I don't appease it, my sofa is going to chase me around the house and kill me.

    Shakes his head and sighs.

    There is (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by lentinel on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:34:15 AM EST
    nothing wrong with the intelligence of the American electorate imo.

    I disagree with your assertion that

    ..the American electorate is not the sharpest pencil in the box

    I do agree with your statement that

    This is not the time to be cutting government spending. It is time to increase it in stimulative ways. But the Media either does not understand this, or instead chooses to ignore it.

    The dummies are the leaders in government. Including the president. Who is presenting the electorate with accurate information? Who is using the bully pulpit to educate and inform the electorate?

    With leadership like this, and media without conscience, it is no wonder that the electorate is uninformed. The electorate is being victimized. It does not mean that it is stupid.

    The lords of the universe have spoken (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:35:41 AM EST
    WASHINGTON -- The corporate CEOs who have made a high-profile foray into deficit negotiations have themselves been substantially responsible for the size of the deficit they now want closed.
    During the past few days, CEOs belonging to what the campaign calls its CEO Fiscal Leadership Council -- most visibly, Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein and Honeywell's David Cote -- have barnstormed the media, making the case that the only way to cut the deficit is to severely scale back social safety-net programs -- Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security -- which would disproportionately impact the poor and the elderly.

    What are they willing to contribute? They will gladly allow the government to

    As part of their push, they are advocating a "territorial tax system" that would exempt their companies' foreign profits from taxation, netting them about $134 billion in tax savings, according to a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies titled "The CEO Campaign to `Fix' the Debt: A Trojan Horse for Massive Corporate Tax Breaks" -- money that could help pay off the federal budget deficit.

    Yet the CEOs are not offering to forgo federal money or pay a higher tax rate, on their personal income or corporate profits. Instead, council recommendations include cutting "entitlement" programs, as well as what they call "low-priority spending."
    while Cote strongly recommends cutting those benefits, when it comes to the tax obligations of corporations, he's clear about what he wants: a corporate tax rate of zero.

    "From a fairness perspective, nobody would be able to stand [a zero tax rate on corporate profits]," but if the U.S. really wanted to create jobs, he said this spring, "we would have the lowest rate possible."


    CBS News pushed this all last week (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by shoephone on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 10:43:29 AM EST
    on its nightly newscast. Scott Pelley "interviewed" CEO's -- most notably, Lloyd Blank Mind -- about what was needed to save us from !the frightening fiscal cliff! and, after paying lip service to tax hikes for the wealthiest, they got down to what they really think is needed: cuts to social security, which is not part of the budget, and which is not responsible for the budget deficit.

    Scott Pelley fellating the CEO's all last week. It was exactly what you would expect. And all nicely wrapped up (like a lump of coal in your stocking) before the final commercial break.


    From day one, (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 11:02:15 AM EST
    this is what it has been all about.

    A push to seriously weaken Social Security and Medicare until it is no longer valued and can be eliminated to the benefit of the vultures in the article I posted. A decrease in the corporate tax rate under the guise of tax reform.


    Safety Net (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by koshembos on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 09:39:57 AM EST
    The almost consensus among politicians that our safety net should be, at the very least, reduced and may be even eliminated drives the political classes. Only a handful of liberals object. Obama is not a liberal; he is right of center. He always wanted to reduce the safety net.

    Instead of taking away your social security as such, the politician call it a financial cliff and made made it into a cliff so we cannot object. Raise taxes on the 1% and that's that. Of course, SS and Medicare will be cut to make the politicians happy.

    BTD, you're in good company (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 11:06:30 AM EST
    A number of economists, including Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz, have said that this is not the time to cut government spending.    ;-)

    You left out a word: "looming." (5.00 / 6) (#9)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 12:03:16 PM EST
    It's the "looming fiscal cliff," which adds a certain element of fear and danger that is key to pushing the agenda that's being pushed.

    A few heaping helpings of "middle-class taxes are going to go up over $2,000!" and pretty soon, the public is panting right along with the media in urging the Congress to "do something."  Considering how often they don't "do" anything, and when they do, how wrong-headed they are, I sometimes can't believe we would entrust anything of value to these chuckleheads.

    Here's the question: where's the real leverage?  Answer: it should be obvious that Democrats have much more leverage all the way around, but especially with respect to reinstituting the Bush rates on incomes below $250K, if they let the clock strike midnight.  

    So, why is it that so many Democratic voices keep talking about putting "entitlement reform" on the table in order to get those tax rates?  Because the end game isn't about lower tax rates for us little people.  


    And why isn't the payroll tax cut in the conversation at all?  We're being led to believe that we desperately need to keep the lower rates on incomes under $250K in order to prevent the economy from slowing down, but what effect does reducing wages by 2% have on that same economy when the payroll tax cut goes away on January 1?  

    We are just pawns in this political game - not that that's anything radically new, but the stakes are getting higher, and we're the ones who will be paying the price even if the Dems "win."  

    Heads, they win; tails, we lose.  

    Too late for leverage. (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by lentinel on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 01:55:01 PM EST
    Here's the question: where's the real leverage?

    The only leverage we had was during the election - especially after the first dismal debate when Obama was scared sh-tless and the possibility loomed of his well-earned defeat at the polls.

    That was the only time we had to exact concessions from the guy.
    If he wants our votes, he has to agree to our demands. Seems fair.

    Well, as you know, it didn't go that way.

    As long as we were assured that Romney would be worse, we let ourselves be content with reminding each other about what a horse's arse he is. And we contented ourselves with Obama being coached to project a more animated image during the next debate. Yahoo. He's back!

    So he won.
    And now, it's cliff time.
    And we have nothing to say about it.


    It would seem that (none / 0) (#11)
    by KeysDan on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:45:39 PM EST
    the deficit/debt reduction crowd would see this as their having reached Mt. Everest rather than worrying about falling off a  cliff.  With all Bush tax cuts set to expire,  the sequestration to go into effect with equal cuts to defense/security and domestic (excluding Medicare, Medicaid and social security),  the end  of the payroll tax holiday, and a new Medicare tax (3.8%) on  investment income (incomes above $200,00/250,000, we have achieved "balanced" revenues and cuts

    And, we share the burden and austerity reins supreme.   Better than B.S. (Bowles/Simpson).  This should  be just what will save the economy.  No government stimulus.  So what's the problem?  

    Too much austerity?   Actually balanced?     It would seem perfect but for the increased taxes on the rich, and no cuts for  Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security (i.e., means testing, change in eligibility age, increase in premiums).  We will have to work on that part.

    Oh, and let's put Obamacare on the table, especially cuts to the preventive and public health fund, recapturing of overpayment for those who have the misfortune of getting a raise and being put above 400 percent of poverty, and, of course, cuts to Medicare for testing of payment reforms and heath care delivery efficiencies.

    BTD - pardon the spelling nazi in me (none / 0) (#12)
    by tworivers on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 01:57:51 PM EST
    It's "you're thinking", not "your thinking".

    I come by this honestly (my mom was a proofreader back in the day, and my sister still is).

    I agree completely with the content.  

    Counter the false dialog (none / 0) (#13)
    by esfoad on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 03:33:12 AM EST
    Another government directed story shaping weak minds.

    People who report these types of stories must correct the dialog focus, as in,

    "Congressional Bickering Continues, Will Maturity Be Found?"