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Tom Murse

Who to Blame if the United States Goes Off Fiscal Cliff

By December 6, 2012

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President Barack ObamaLots of Americans would be hit with higher taxes if the United States falls off the so-called fiscal cliff and the massive automatic spending cuts known as sequestration take effect in 2013.

But whose fault will it be if lawmakers fail to adopt one of the many proposals to avoid the fiscal cliff, according to voters? Here's a hint: Not President Barack Obama's.

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A majority of Americans would blame Republicans in Congress if lawmakers fail to reach an agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff with Obama, according to a survey of more than 1,000 adults conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and The Washington Post.

In all, 53 percent of the 1,003 people surveyed said they would blame Republican lawmakers and only 27 percent would blame Obama. Another 12 percent said they would blame both.

"The public continues to see dire consequences - both for the nation's economy and themselves - if the government goes over the fiscal cliff," the Pew Research Center reported.

Americans are fairly pessimistic that the two sides can put politics aside and reach an agreement; 49 percent said they don't believe a compromise can be reached by Jan. 1, and only 40 percent said they felt Congress and the president could do it.

We'll know soon who's right and who's wrong. And, perhaps, who's to blame.

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