Fiscal Cliff

Americans Remain Divided on Budget Cuts vs. Tax Hikes

Lots of them want their goodies so long as somebody else foots the bill

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Politicians tasked with negotiating a deal next month to avoid the "fiscal cliff" can be thankful that their talks are taking place immediately after a clarifying national election that laid out exactly how the public wants Washington to deal with debt and deficits.

Or not.

In one of the most enduring features of Washington's two years of gridlock over fiscal issues, a flood of pre- and post-election polling shows little change in the public's divided — and at times conflicted — attitudes about what should be done to avert the $500 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts set to start taking effect in January.