Obama’s Calling Card: Another Poll

Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

President Barack Obama during a meeting with governors in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.

Support for President Barack Obama’s call to let the Bush-era tax rates expire as planned for wealthier Americans, and trust leaning more toward the president and congressional Democrats  than congressional Republicans in handling the forthcoming convergence of scheduled tax hikes and spending cuts are shown in a new Quinnipiac University poll.

`Voters see Republicans as more likely to be obstructionist, and have less confidence in their ability to come up with the right solution to the nation’s financial woes,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac polling institute. The survey found 53 percent trusting Obama and congressional Democrats concerning the fiscal cliff, compared with 36 percent who trusted congressional Republicans.

By 56 percent to 38 percent, respondents said that they believed Obama and congressional Democrats would make a good-faith effort to work with Republicans. By 51 percent to 43 percent, they said congressional Republicans would not make the same effort to work with the other party.

As for solutions, 66 percent of respondents favored a combination of spending cuts and tax increases to reduce the deficit, with 65 percent saying income taxes should rise for those earning more than $250,000 a year; 51 percent opposing raising the eligibility age to 67 from 65 for Medicare, the health-care program for the elderly; and 70 percent opposing cuts in Medicaid, the health-care program for the needy.

Two percent of taxpayers and 3 percent of small businesses would pay more if the tax cuts expire as scheduled for those earning more than $250,000 a year, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington-based research group.

The Quinnipiac poll was the second released this week giving the Democrats the upper hand in the fight over taxes and spending. A Pew Research Center/Washington Post survey taken Nov. 29-Dec. 2 found 53 percent of respondents planning to blame congressional Republicans if a solution is not reached, compared with 27 percent who would blame Obama.


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