Poll: U.S. opposed to big spending cuts

Dec. 18, 2012 at 6:15 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Americans back higher taxes on the wealthy but not military or entitlement spending cuts in a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff," a poll released Tuesday found.

The Washington Post/ABC News poll showed strong support for raising taxes on those with the highest incomes. Almost three-quarters, 74 percent, described President Barack Obama's proposed tax hike for those with incomes of more than $250,000 as "acceptable."

Majorities said significant cuts in the defense budget and Medicaid are "unacceptable." They also oppose raising the age of Medicare eligibility or limiting increases in Social Security payments.

While 76 percent said Republicans in the House of Representatives are not willing enough to compromise, 57 percent faulted Obama. Half approve of Obama's handling of the economy and 54 percent say he is doing a good job overall, while 70 percent disapprove of the Republicans' overall performance.

On economic issues, 45 percent said they trust Obama and 41 percent preferred Republicans to deal with the budget deficit. On taxes, 46 percent trust Obama and 42 percent the Republicans.

Almost half, 47 percent, said they would blame the Republicans if there is no budget deal, 31 percent said they would blame Obama and 18 percent would blame both.

The poll surveyed 1,002 adults by telephone between Thursday and Sunday. The margin of error is 3.5 percentage points.

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