Study: many Americans do not understand impact of fiscal cliff

By WEEK Producer
By Katie Parr

Study: many Americans do not understand impact of fiscal cliff

November 29, 2012 Updated Nov 29, 2012 at 3:30 PM CDT

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A large percentage of Americans don't fully understand the impact of the fiscal cliff, according to a survey from Pew Research.

Approximately 4 in 10 (42 percent) surveyed said they are confused about the impact of what would happen if the automatic spending cuts and tax increases were to go into effect in January. Seventeen percent say they don't understand what would happen at all.

However, those who say they understand the potential impact of the automatic spending cuts and tax increases either very or fairly well are more likely to say there will be a major impact on the U.S. economy (75 percent) and their own personal finances (48 percent) than are those who understand the issue not too well or not at all well (58 percent major impact on economy, 38 percent major impact on personal finances).

There are only slight partisan differences in percentages of those saying they understand the consequences of the fiscal cliff: 64 percent of Republicans and 61 percent of Democrats say they understand the possible impact of the spending and tax changes.

For the full study, please visit http://www.people-press.org/2012/11/13/broad-concern-about-fiscal-cliff-consequences/.

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