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Political Insiders Poll: Should Members Agree on Closing Business Tax Breaks and Medicare Reforms for Deficit Deal? Political Insiders Poll: Should Members Agree on Closing Business Tax ...

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Magazine / Political Insiders Poll

Political Insiders Poll: Should Members Agree on Closing Business Tax Breaks and Medicare Reforms for Deficit Deal?

Insiders on the debt ceiling and gay marriage.

July 7, 2011

Should your party accept a debt-ceiling deal that includes closing business tax breaks in exchange for significant Medicare reforms?

Democrats (102 votes)


Yes: 58%
No: 41%
Depends (volunteered): 1%




“The devil is in the details, but this is the beginning of the ‘grand bargain,’ along with reforming Pentagon spending.”

“Compromise is essential to good government so long as the Medicare reforms don’t include vouchers or privatization.”

“The president will get credit for a bipartisan fiscal deal.”

“My party is wrong on a policy basis to resist entitlement reforms.”

“Everyone needs to put skin in the game for this to have the scale we need to make a real difference.”

“Though it would depend on what those Medicare reforms are. If they include major cuts to beneficiaries or programs like home health care, I would say no.”

“But watch out upsetting the seniors; no good choices here.”

“We can’t be against a deal that includes taxes.”

“Politics is the art of compromise, and voters know that. From their point of view, avoiding a fiscal calamity trumps a wide range of policy outcomes.”

“Shared sacrifice is the holy grail which the public will embrace.”

“Both issues need to be reformed for our long-term economic viability. The party base on both sides might not like it, but this is what compromise is about.”



“Voters want corporate tax breaks eliminated and don’t want cuts in Medicare. Dems have no reason to compromise.”

“Republicans are looking for a way to spin [Rep. Paul] Ryan’s plan to abolish Medicare.”

“If we close business tax breaks that scare the markets and produce modest revenues in exchange for losing our best issue for 2012, what the hell good is that?”

“Medicare changes should be driven by real cost savings that get at inefficiencies, fraud, and abuse—not by deficit reduction.”

“Closing business loopholes is not enough of a concession: The Republicans are substantively and politically wrong about Medicare, and the Democrats should not give in.”

“Dems cannot give up the Medicare issue.”

“Do we want to be known as the party that closes business tax breaks or the party that saves Medicare?”




Should your party accept a debt-ceiling deal that includes closing business tax breaks in exchange for significant Medicare reforms?

Republicans (105 votes)


Yes: 54%
No: 45%
Depends (volunteered): 1%



“GOP loses credibility if they fight for what is modern-day opulence. Corporate-jet subsidies? Please.”

“A smaller, short-term [debt-ceiling] increase may be required to allow the debate on these serious questions to manifest itself in a passable product.”

“Medicare reform is necessary, and it gets the Ryan-plan monkey off our back.”

“If business were wise, they would back Republicans in doing this.”

“This can’t be a one-way street. There has to be give on both sides, and this is reasonable.”

“No question; and rank-and-file Republicans will accept this.”

“If we are serious about addressing long-term structural budget problems, giving a little on unpopular tax provisions is a no-brainer.”

“Many business tax breaks are no better than appropriations earmarks and should suffer the same fate.”

“Brings the Democrats onto the Medicare hot seat along with Repubs.”

“If reforms are significant and track with the Ryan plan, then yes; if not, it’s not worth the effort.”

“Despite the incoherent tea party rants, we have to deal with the reality of a Democratic White House and Senate, and this is the best, most substantive deal Republicans can get.”



“Bad for the economy and bad politics.”

“The GOP base will not appreciate ‘progress’ purchased by trade-offs on taxes.”

“Voting for any debt-ceiling increase is like voting for TARP, which would be politically toxic with our tea party base.”

“Tax reform should be done separately.”

“If the president is reelected, we should consider that deal for the sake of the country. But we are nuts if we sell out on taxes prior to 2012.”

“Job creators should not be hindered any further because Democrats refuse to deal with the impending crisis of Medicare.”

“It must reduce government and debt without killing jobs. Hurting business prospects now is moronic.”

“If the leaders buy into it, they won’t have any followers.”




Which statement comes closest to your political views on gay marriage?

Democrats (102 votes)


My party should support it                       
July 2011: 84%
April 2009: 59%


My party should oppose it                       
July 2011: 1%
April 2009: 2%


My party should avoid the issue                       
July 2011: 14%
April 2009: 32%


Other (volunteered)                       
July 2011: 1%*
April 2009: 7%

*My party should move gradually toward support.


My party should support it

“It a divisive issue, but a majority of Americans now favor gay marriage. Plus, it’s the right thing to do.”

“Anyone opposing this is on the wrong side of history. This issue will look like mixed-race marriage in 15 years—people will be amazed we ever debated it.”

“The president looks like yesterday’s news on this one.”

“The country is moving quickly toward acceptance of gay marriage. There is no need to hang back and expect civil unions to provide cover.”

“I used to think ‘avoid the issue,’ but politically speaking it isn’t the pariah it used to be.”

“No-brainer. It’s this generation’s civil-rights moment.”

“It is the right thing to do, and it’s about time leaders in both parties do the right thing.”

“It’s going to happen. We might as well start to lead on something.”

“The way the N.Y. law was written is worth studying and may provide useful precedent for getting this done and moving us finally past this issue.”

“It’s the right thing to do. Can’t we use that as a starting point?”


My party should avoid the issue

“Marriage is religious; civil unions are legal. We are not the church.”

“Let’s not push the envelope. We need to focus on swing voters in swing states.”

“With the economy, we need to show that we are focused on priorities. It should be addressed, but not through the optics of election.”




Which statement comes closest to your political views on gay marriage?

Republicans (105 votes)


My party should support it                       
July 2011: 14%
April 2009: 8%


My party should oppose it                       
July 2011: 30%
April 2009: 50%


My party should avoid the issue                       
July 2011: 56%
April 2009: 37%


Other (volunteered)                       
July 2011: 0%
April 2009: 6%


My party should support it

“Opposition can’t be justified intellectually. It’s time for our leaders to lead regardless of politics, and not simply wait for the courts to decide this.”

“Huge issue with young voters we need. Only idiots fight demography.”


My party should oppose it

“There is little downside and significant upside to oppose gay marriage. Civil unions are another matter.”

“There is no such thing as gay ‘marriage.’ As it has been defined for thou-sands of years, marriage is between a man and a woman. End of story.”

“Honestly, the issue should be dealt with on a state basis, provided there is no reciprocity.”

“State the position and move on. Do not make it the focal point.”


My party should avoid the issue

“Gay marriage is in our future, but there’s no political upside for the GOP.”

“Most of our base is opposed; I get that. But devoting resources to this culture war against an inevitability is a distraction and a waste of focus.”

“Let the states figure it out.”

“We can’t come to a consensus on the issue, but the country is changing so rapidly that it will be a nonissue in a few years. A confrontation now would just delay the inevitable.”

“This isn’t about being anti-anything. Being for traditional marriage is an important part of our party platform.”

“We are not capable of addressing social issues without alienating the middle.”




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, Deb Callahan, 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, 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, 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, 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, Katrina Swett, 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, Steve Duprey, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Mindy Fletcher, 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, George S. LeMieux, Steve Lozmbardo, 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, Connie Partoyan, Dana Perino, 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, 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, Tom Wilson, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud.

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