The Hill, once again, as many times as necessary:
A new poll finds the public views the looming “fiscal cliff” as a serious crisis for the nation and would blame Republicans more than President Obama if Washington fails to reach a deal.
Forty-five percent surveyed in a new CNN/ORC poll said they would blame congressional Republicans if there is no agreement, with 34 percent pointing the finger at Obama…
By a 52-44 split, Republicans surveyed in the poll said they favor a combination of spending cuts and tax increases over only spending cuts.
Democrats surveyed overwhelmingly support both elements in a deal, with six of 10 independents wanting both cuts and tax increases.
Fifty-six percent say taxes on the wealthy should be high, while 36 percent support low rates to help boost investment and job growth.
It’s a similar situation to what congressional Republicans faced in 2011, when polls showed clearly that Republicans would be the ones to take the blame for any negative consequences of a failure to reach a fiscal deal at that time. And as it turns out, they did take the blame–the outcome clearly demonstrated in President Barack Obama’s re-election.
That said, there are many details to consider: how much play is there to negotiate between spending cuts and revenue increases? What’s the ideal “ratio” of revenue to spending cuts, if any? What programs should be protected, like Medicare, even at the cost of raising taxes? How do the human costs of “entitlement reform” factor in relation to the goal of reducing expenses?
One thing’s for sure, it’s past time to have an honest conversation about these issues. And that is exactly what Republicans have spent the last four years avoiding, hoping that any attempt at intelligent discussion of fiscal policy could be pre-emptively shouted down.
But Republicans lost the election. What will change is the question, and only they can answer.