Another new poll on the fiscal cliff — this one from Politico/George Washington University — gives President Barack Obama clear leverage on the issues at hand, a theme that has remained constant since Election Day.The survey respondents side more with the President on two crucial issues — they favour raising taxes on incomes above $250,000 and don’t think it would harm the economy, and they don’t favour many specific spending cuts.
According to the poll, 60 per cent of respondents favoured raising taxes on incomes above $250,000. Even more — 65 per cent — want taxes raised on “large corporations.” Meanwhile, 58 per cent of respondents also said that they believed these tax increases wouldn’t harm the economy.
The tax increases, of course, are the central part of Obama’s plan for a deal. He has said he won’t sign a bill that doesn’t include them. Boehner and other Republicans say the increases would harm the economy — but at least so far, the public doesn’t appear to be buying it.
The survey respondents also said they would support the blanket idea of “cutting spending across the board.” When asked for specifics, however, most said they would only be willing to reducing Medicare or Social Security benefits for higher-income earners. The idea of raising the retirement age for Social Security benefits is unpopular, as only 33 per cent support it. defence cuts are also not viewed favourably.
Obama and Boehner met Sunday at the White House, their first face-to-face meeting in 23 days. The two sides have three weeks to come to a deal.