“I want to say no, but I have to say yes, because the country can’t afford to lose economic momentum now. If ever there was a politically feasible time to make a run for it, though, now’s the time. Unfortunately, the top 2 percent will be the ones with parachutes either way. Gotta say yes.”
“A compromise, yes, but not submission.”
“Democrats are prepared to support the president in a grand bargain to reduce the debt if revenues are on the table.”
“Democrats who are unwilling to compromise will face voter ire in 2014.”
“In theory, I favor a deal if wealthy Americans and corporations pay their fair share. At that point, we can talk about raising the eligibility age for, and means-testing, Social Security.”
“We won; time to stand up for the principles the voters agreed upon.”
“I think Obama and the Democrats need to be very careful on what they give away on Medicare.”
“That would be bad politics and bad policy. This is a trifecta; stand firm, fortify the base, and do what’s right for America.”
“I don’t know what ‘major’ means—but if it means jettisoning Social Security, we shouldn’t.”
“Any compromise that includes tax breaks for the wealthy, cuts in Medicare or Social Security, or serious cuts in children, education, health care, or veterans should be off the table. Democrats had some of the biggest victories they have had in years, and it was [by] running against the proposals likely to be in a big compromise.”
Broadly speaking, should your party agree to a major compromise to avoid the fiscal cliff?
REPUBLICANS (93 VOTES)
“If ‘major’ means putting real revenue on the table in exchange for real entitlement reform, then yes.”
“Good government and good politics converge on this one.”
“Avoiding a total disaster while acting like grown-ups has to be good politics.”
“No change on rates. Tax reform. Real entitlement reform. Some defense spending cuts and domestic cuts as well. President has to change his leadership style and sell a comprehensive package.”
“Politically generated crises generally backfire. Just ask Newt, who shut down the government in 1995.”
“In theory, yes. But raising taxes may also result in a recession, so the devil is in the details.”
“We should cave on higher rates for real millionaires (not the Obama ‘millionaires’ who make between $200K and $1M). In return, we should demand more in spending cuts than we would have dared had Romney won.”
“The Democrats need to respect that we aren’t giving in on tax rates—and need to see that we have already signaled a revenue compromise via eliminating upper-income deductions.”
“Obama has won the tax argument but still has little credibility on spending. Republicans should give but not allow a redo of the Bush-Gephardt fiasco in 1990.”
“We don’t own D.C. now, so no rush to compromise. Become the party of fiscal responsibility by insisting on an immediate spending reduction and glide path to entitlement reform. Anything else is simply lipstick on a pig.”
“This reminds me of the last grand compromise on taxes and budget. It cost Bush Sr. the White House and hurt congressional Republicans.”
“Despite public opinion, you cannot solve the problem without most of the solution coming from cuts. Neither the Democrats nor the public are ready to take the medicine. Apparently things are going to have to get much worse before realistic solutions will be considered.”
“Republicans should insist on meaningful entitlement reform as part of any major compromise. Otherwise, we would be compromising for no major reason.”
“I’d rather go over the cliff.”
Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Steve McMahon, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jefrey Pollock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.
GOP Political Insiders Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Brian Baker, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Jonathan Collegio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Jay Cranford, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Kevin O’Neill, Connie Partoyan, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, David Tamasi, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud.
This article appeared in print as "Political Insiders Poll: Is the GOP’s no-tax pledge politically harmful to the party?"
This article appears in the Nov. 17, 2012, edition of National Journal.