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Word and Number Games Played in Fiscal Showdown

George E. Curry | 12/12/2012, 12:07 p.m.

"There are tens of billions in new fees and surcharges and increased premiums in Medicare alone. Table S-10 of the revised fiscal 2013 budget proposal outlines numerous other new and higher fees under the section titled 'Mandatory Initiatives and Savings.'"

Amid the word and numbers games, the public is clear about what should be done, even if Washington isn't.

A Gallup poll in November found, "Forty-five percent of Americans now say they favor reducing the federal budget deficit with an equal balance of tax increases and spending cuts, up from 32% last year. At the same time, the percentage favoring an emphasis on spending cuts is now 40%, down from 50% last year, while the percentage in favor of reducing the deficit primarily through tax increases is unchanged at 11%."

A Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll conducted Nov. 29-Dec. 2 found that a majority of Americans -53 percent - would blame Republicans in Congress if Washington fails to reach a deal in deficit talks to avoid the fiscal cliff.

The survey found that only 27 percent would fault President Obama would if negotiations between the executive and legislative branches of government fail, 12 percent would split the blame equally between the two sides and 2 percent have no opinion.

Like Ronald Regan, this could be Obama's "make my day" moment.

George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine, is editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service (NNPA.) He is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach. Curry can be reached through his Web site, www.georgecurry.com. You can also follow him at www.twitter.com/currygeorge.