With the fiscal cliff inching closer and still no clear deal in sight, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds the American public overwelmingly want policymakers to reach a compromise. According to the poll, about two thirds of the Americans want Congress to pass a deal that both lowers our deficit and replaces the cliff, even if that includes tax rate increases and cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Less than 30 percent of those surveyed would rather congressional leaders not compromise and stick to principles, pushing us over the fiscal cliff. The polling shows that while some policies in isolation may be relatively unpopular, Americans are willing to do them in the context of an overall deal that avoids the cliff.
This is not terribly surprising. Given the scope of our unsustainable budget problem or the alternative of going over the fiscal cliff, Americans realize that a bipartisan compromise is neccessary if we are to have any positive outcome. As CRFB Board Member and former Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY) said:
The voters are way ahead of their elected representatives in realizing we need to honestly 'do something' about this problem and that fixing it will require that everyone accept some sacrifices in the things they may like for the good of the country they love.
Over 320,000 Americans have signed a petition at FixtheDebt.org urging lawmakers to do just that. Hopefully, our leaders are listening.