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Americans fear fiscal cliff's negative impact on economy, own finances


08:07, December 13, 2012

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Most Americans are worried that the looming "fiscal cliff" will have a negative impact on the country's economy as well as their own personal finances, found a poll released Tuesday.

Of the three major measures of the "fiscal cliff" -- cuts in defense and domestic spending and tax increases -- Americans think tax hikes are the most harmful to the country, according to the Gallup poll conducted on Dec. 8-9.

It showed that 76 percent of Americans think increases in federal income and Social Security payroll taxes for most taxpayers will have a negative impact on the country as a whole, while only 19 percent said they would have no negative impact.

Sixty-nine percent of Americans said major cuts in U.S. domestic spending will have a negative impact on the country, while 64 percent said major cuts in U.S. defense spending will have a negative impact, according to the poll.

At the same time, 64 percent said that failure for President Barack Obama and Congressional Republicans to reach a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff" will have a negative impact on their own personal financial situation, while 33 percent said no . Among those who are aged 50 to 64, 71 percent said it will have a negative impact on their own financial situation.

Those findings showed that most Americans are pretty aware of the negative implications of the "fiscal cliff," and they want government leaders in Washington to make compromise to reach a final deal before the end of the year.

The "fiscal cliff" refers to the tax hikes, and cuts in domestic and defense spending that will be automatically triggered off, if the White House and Congress cannot agree on a deal on reducing the country's spiraling debts.

The two sides have been negotiating and trading proposals to avoid the potentially disastrous scenario, which many experts have warned that could spark another recession as the U.S. economy is still struggling to recover from the worst downturn in decades.

Obama proposed to raise taxes on top rich Americans, while Republicans demanded for more cuts in government spending, citing that upper income Americans are the driving force of the economy and taxing them will hurt the economic recovery.

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