Americans blame all sides for committee failure: poll

WASHINGTON Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:03pm EST

An aide peeks in the committee room door as Democratic members of the 'super committee' wrap up a meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington November 16, 2011. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

An aide peeks in the committee room door as Democratic members of the 'super committee' wrap up a meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington November 16, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Americans blame the failure of the U.S. congressional debt "super committee" on Republican and Democratic lawmakers and President Barack Obama, although more than a third said it lowered their opinion of the president, according to Reuters/Ipsos poll results on Tuesday.

Eighteen percent blamed Republican lawmakers most for the committee's failure to reach agreement on a plan to reduce the U.S. budget deficit and 13 percent blamed the Democratic president most.

Only 7 percent primarily blamed Democratic lawmakers, according to the poll, conducted on Monday and Tuesday.

A 12-member congressional "super committee" abandoned its high-profile effort to address the U.S. debt crisis on Monday, cementing perceptions that Republicans and Democrats are too divided to tackle the country's biggest problems.

Nineteen percent of Americans blamed a combination of Democratic and Republican lawmakers and 22 percent blamed a mix of lawmakers from both parties and Obama, despite the two political parties' best efforts to blame each other for the impasse.

Thirty-five percent said the committee's failure to reach an agreement made their view of Obama less favorable, compared with 14 percent who said it made them more favorable, and 38 percent who said it made no difference.

The online survey also found that 35 percent of Americans saw a combination of cuts in existing programs and higher taxes as the best way to reduce the yawning U.S. budget deficit.

And 35 percent said the U.S. economy would decline when asked what they saw as the most critical issue stemming from the committee's failure to reach a deal.

The poll was conducted November 21-22, after it became known that the committee would not reach an agreement.

The survey of 1,331 Americans, ages 18 and over, included 501 Republicans and 608 Democrats. Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls but this poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, editing by Alistair Bell)

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Comments (17)
USAPragmatist wrote:
OK, how can any objective person blame the failure on President Obama? After all he is not even a member of the committee. I could understand blaming the Dems, I would disagree but I could understand, but I can not understand how one could blame the President.

I guess it just a sign of the unreasonableness that this President has had to work through. After all he proposes ideas that are originally GOP proposals, like the individual mandate, and he gets blasted for being partisan.

Nov 22, 2011 5:36pm EST  --  Report as abuse
UnPartisan wrote:
@USAPragmatist

Obama is supposed to be a leader. His attacking rhetoric of blaming Bush and the Republicans is not what a leader does. He has failed as a leader and hence shares the blame for the failure of the two parties not working together. The Republicans bear the greatest responsibility in my opinion for being bull headed about the tax increases. The Democrats however could agree to first putting forth cuts that they agree on, and then after doing the cuts when it is apparent that more needs to be done say we have done what you have asked, now we need the tax increases.

In my opinion not reaching a deal is beneficial. 1.2 trillion of cuts will happen automatically unless they decide to block that. Tax cuts will expire soon, and this will also happen automatically. Perhaps inaction is the best thing to do.

Nov 22, 2011 6:01pm EST  --  Report as abuse
fromthecenter wrote:
How many people agree that we need to raise revenue by eliminating bush tax cuts on people making over 250,000? Raise your hand. We cannot just eliminate and cut social security, medicare and medicaid without raising revenue. I just hope that the people who agree with this vote correctly in 2012.

Nov 22, 2011 6:04pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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