Americans think government could harm economy

WASHINGTON Tue Jan 8, 2013 8:16am IST

The U.S. Capitol Dome is seen behind the entrance to the U.S. Senate (R) on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 9, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing/Files

The U.S. Capitol Dome is seen behind the entrance to the U.S. Senate (R) on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 9, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Last week's "fiscal cliff" deal did little to ease fears among Americans that Washington could harm the U.S. economy or their personal finances in the months to come, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday.

The online poll found that President Barack Obama gets more credit than his Republican adversaries for the agreement, which canceled across-the-board tax increases and postponed broad spending cuts that could have pushed the economy back into recession.

But the deal did little to instill confidence about the nation's economic direction as Republicans and Democrats prepare for more showdowns over taxes and spending in the coming months, the poll found.

"If you had to score it, the Democrats and especially Obama, came out better, but there's a lot of uncertainty," said Ipsos pollster Clifford Young. "There's no clear winner from this."

More than two-thirds of those surveyed said they were concerned that their taxes could rise, or their benefits could shrink, while 81 percent said they were worried that the economy could take another downturn.

More than three in four said they were concerned that Congress would not be able to avert deep spending cuts to military and domestic programs that were postponed for two months in the fiscal-cliff deal, the poll found.

And 70 percent said they were concerned that the United States could default on its debt. Congress will have to raise its $16.4 trillion debt ceiling by early March to avoid a first-ever default, which would upend global financial markets.

Obama and Republican leaders initially hoped to resolve all of these issues in a "grand bargain" that would have combined tax increases and benefit cuts to put the country's finances on a sustainable course, but in the end they had to settle on a smaller deal that left many issues unresolved.

Still, the deal did allow Obama to fulfill a central campaign promise by raising taxes on top earners - in this case, individuals making more than $400,000 a year and couples earning more than $450,000. About 33 percent of those polled said Obama or his fellow Democrats deserved the most credit for the deal.

Only 11 percent of those surveyed said Republicans should get credit for the agreement. The plan passed with support from both parties, but many Republicans voted against it on the grounds that it should have included spending cuts.

The deal was not exactly a clear triumph for Obama's Democrats, however: 28 percent of those surveyed said they were not sure which side should get more credit, and another 22 percent said both parties were responsible.

"It's very clear people are still uncertain," Young said. "They're worried that until there's a final deal, are we going to go through this again?"

(Editing by David Lindsey; Editing by David Brunnstrom)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Power Outage

Power Outage

India may face blackouts as coal shortage cuts power output  Full Article 

Moody's on Inflation

Moody's on Inflation

Persistent inflation hurting India's sovereign ratings - Moody's  Full Article 

Carmichael Project

Carmichael Project

Adani buys Australia coal mine royalty rights from Linc for $145 million  Full Article 

GDP Preview

GDP Preview

Economy likely grew faster in June quarter: Reuters poll.  Full Article 

India-Japan Meet

India-Japan Meet

Modi eyes breakthrough nuclear pact on Japan trip   Full Article 

Monetary Policy

Monetary Policy

BofA says RBI may cut rates by 75-100 bps starting early 2015  Full Article 

Road to IPO

Road to IPO

Mega-IPO to rekindle the 'bromance' behind Alibaba's rise  Full Article 

Automakers Haven

Automakers Haven

Tata, Volkswagen, others agree to invest $1.9 bln in India  Full Article 

Rare Earth Output

Rare Earth Output

India to chip in with 5 pct of global rare earth output  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage