(Week of 12/1/2012) As the public — along with Congress — considers the possibility that lack of a budget agreement will mean steep automatic tax increases and budget cuts on January 1, the latest Economist/YouGov Poll finds Americans not optimistic that those unwelcome outcomes can be avoided. Nearly half say it is unlikely that Congress and the President will reach an agreement.
58% of Republicans and 49% of independents are skeptical there will be an agreement, but only 41% of Democrats are.
And while there is as of yet no Congressional or Presidential plan that cuts across party lines, there is party agreement among the public that no agreement before
January 1 would be a very bad thing. More than eight in ten Americans say the economy will be hurt if there is no agreement; nearly half say it will be badly hurt.
Large majorities in all party groups see a negative outcome. Republicans are especially worried.
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