'Fiscal Cliff' blame game begins

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — If the government ends up falling off the so-called fiscal cliff, a new poll says Americans will blame Republicans in Congress.

All eyes are on Congress as they headed back to work this week with about seven weeks to reach a deal to avoid $600 billion in budget cuts and the steepest tax hikes in 60 years.

Jerry Lowe of Springfield said, “I think us Americans we're tired of all the bickering and all the internal fighting we would like to see them come together and come up with some give and take both parties need to work this out." 

There was optimism last year when congress created this fiscal cliff, assuming it would force them to reach an alternative deficit reduction plan.

However, that optimism is fading.

Jim Eisenstock of South Hadley said, “The horsing around that they're doing in trying to manipulate the progress of the Republican Party over anything else."

A Pew Research Center poll released this week shows fifty three percent of American believe republicans would be to blame if no compromise is reached.

Twenty nine percent would blame President Barack Obama and ten percent said both the president and republicans would share the blame.

John Baick, a History Professor at Western New England University, told 22News, “It's not about the Senate it's not about the president it's about the House and the Republicans although they had a pretty stinging loss in the election they maintained most of their majority for them to make changes would mean that the republican vision of the last generation is wrong."

The biggest disagreement is that Democrats, including the president, favor raising taxes on the wealthy.

Republicans still want to extend tax cuts for everyone.

Professor Baick believes the republicans will stand their ground.

He said, "There are still very important national figures on the Republican side that have urged republicans to stand fast to rather have the government and the nation fall back into recession than change their principles."

Representatives on both sides of the aisle say they are confident they will reach a deal eventually, but don't be surprised if negotiations last into the final hours of December 31st.

Copyright 2014 WWLP TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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