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Congressional Insiders Poll





How confident are you that Congress and the president will be able to enact a significant deficit-reduction package next year?

                                                                            (35 votes)

(31 votes)
Very confident 6% 10%
Somewhat confident 26% 52%
Not very confident
Not at all confident 20% 0%
Volunteered 3% 0%


Not very confident


“Real progress on a host of issues, including deficit reduction, is pretty much impossible because the Republican base now views any compromise with Obama as something just short of treason.”

“I expect partisanship to be at an all-time high, thus preventing any serious progress on any issue.”

“Too much is already set in concrete for both parties.”

“The numbers are important, very important. But values are critical, and there seems to be a huge ‘values gap’ between the parties.”


“The Republicans are focused on discretionary spending cuts, but even the most-austere budget cuts will not significantly impact the deficit or the debt—especially if Congress votes to add $4 trillion to the debt by making the Bush-era tax cuts permanent.”

“Republican crazies will shut down the government.”

Not at all confident

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“Until both parties are willing to cut the fat from grossly inflated, unchecked, no-bid defense spending and to tie the hands of a defense industry that engages in egregious war-profiteering, we may never
see the pages of a deficit-reduction package.”

No other choice

“We have no choice but to make significant reductions; however, the problem will be getting both sides to give on things they have so far been unwilling to compromise on.”


Very confident

“They will fight about the details, but, because of the 2012 elections, it is in the interests of all concerned to make real progress in this area.”

“Obama is sure to draw a 2012 opponent who will use smaller government as a central campaign theme.”

Somewhat confident

“If the president wants to survive the election, he must. Republicans will be like bulldogs on this issue.”

“The president’s entire domestic agenda will be frozen unless he acts on meaningful deficit-reduction policies.”

“House Republicans are serious about deficit reduction. We will have to see if the Senate and the president are as well.”

“The debt commission will push it, the Republicans will push it, the people will push it, and Obama will see the light—also known as 2012.”

“Republicans will be steadfast for reductions.”

Not very confident

“Will President Obama work with congressional Republicans to significantly cut spending? Only he can answer that question right now.”

“Obama will demagogue and use class warfare through Election Day 2012, without serious interest in policy.”



This article appears in the December 4, 2010 edition of National Journal Magazine.

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