Fiscal cliff deal didn’t impress, poll shows

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U.S. Capitol Building

(CNN) — For all the last-minute wrangling to avoid the potentially damaging consequences of the fiscal cliff, Americans aren’t impressed with the solution, according to a new poll.

The Pew Research Center poll out Monday showed 38% of adults approved of the scaled-back deal congressional leaders passed as the calendar rolled into 2013 — after the country, technically, had gone over the cliff.

Had the across-the-board spending cuts and tax increases been implemented, economists predicted the U.S. economy would dip back into recession. Congressional leaders and the White House haggled over tax increases, eventually reaching a deal that delayed the spending cuts, which now are set to trigger in March.

Forty-one percent of adults disapprove of the deal and 21% did not register a view.

More than half, 52%, thought the deal would hurt people like them and only three in 10 thought it would help people like them.

The dismal view of the deal was reflected in other metrics: About a third thought it would help the budget deficit or the overall economy.

The Congressional Budget Office assessment that the bill would increase federal deficits by $4 trillion over the next decade included spending to extend unemployment benefits. It was also calculated in comparison to going over the cliff, when government revenues would be higher because of the higher tax rates.

The Pew survey was in line with a Gallup Poll released Friday that showed Americans generally disapproved of how their elected officials handled the negotiations.

Democrats, independents and Republicans agreed, however, that President Obama got more out of the legislation than did Republican leaders.

The poll, by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, included 1,003 adults reached by telephone between January 3 and 6. It had a sampling error of plus or minus 3.7 points.

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