Type to search

Poll: 71 percent of Americans disapprove of GOP debt ceiling tactics


Poll: 71 percent of Americans disapprove of GOP debt ceiling tactics

Adam Russett July 20, 2011

Americans may not approve of much that is happening on Capitol Hill, especially when it comes to the debt ceiling, but it seems that their sympathies lean heavily in favor of the Democrats. A recent CBS News poll revealed that a staggering 71 percent of those surveyed said that they disapproved of the GOP's actions during the debt ceiling debate, against a 58 percent disapproval rating for Democrats.

The sentiment is mainly fueled by the fact that Republicans have shown remarkable intransigence when offered any form of compromise. While both parties agree that there should be spending cuts, Democrats hope to increase revenue – and balance the budget – with tax increases on the wealthy. Republicans shun these kinds of proposals and explain that raising taxes on any group of people, especially the "job creators," will only slow the economy's sluggish growth even more.

Still, despite the public's disapproval of the handling of the debt ceiling debate, 66 percent believe that an agreement will be reached before the August 2 deadline.

Republicans are already on the move. The House recently passed a bill that emphasizes what the party has been espousing all along – legislation that slashes spending, puts a cap on the debt and mandates that the federal budget must be balanced.

The bill has been a favorite among Tea Partiers, especially. It would cut off any spending on the war on terrorism past $126 billion, while leaving Social Security, Medicare and veterans benefits untouched. The law also dictates that future government spending should not exceed 20 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

The alternative may be found in the "grand bargain" plan that has been put together by six Republicans and Democrats, according to The Wall Street Journal. Even party hard-liners, like Eric Cantor, didn't immediately dismiss the proposal.

"While there are still portions that are unclear and need more detail, this bipartisan plan does seem to include some constructive ideas to deal with our debt," he said, the news source reports.

The proposal would use 74 percent spending cuts to achieve a more balanced budget and 26 percent new taxes. "It would lower personal and corporate tax rates, eliminate the unpopular Alternative Minimum Tax and many deductions and tax breaks," the publication reports. Some taxes would be cut by $1.5 trillion over 10 years and raise $1 trillion in the same period through other taxation.