Though some think recently reelected President Barack Obama should overhaul the country's broken immigration system, or take bold steps towards addressing climate change, a new USA Today/Gallup national presidential poll found that 95% of Americans think Obama should focus his second term on fixing the economy.
Obama recently met congressional leaders in the White House to start negotiations over the so-called fiscal cliff, that will trigger $1 trillion in spending cuts as well as the expiration of the Bush tax cuts if a bipartisan agreement over reducing the debt is not reached before the end of the year.
And though both parties agree on the need to address the issue, and have shown a conciliatory tone after the election, they still fundamentally disagree on how to balance the budget (Republicans want to increase revenue by closing loopholes and eliminating deductions in the tax code, while Democrats believe in the need to raise tax rates for Americans who make over $200,000 a year).
The USA Today/Gallup poll, conducted from November 9-12 among a random sample of 1,009 adults, also found that over three-quarters said Obama should ensure "the long-term stability" of Social Security and Medicare, as well as prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Seventy-three percent of respondents said the U.S. should reduce its dependence on oil, gas and coal.
Seventy-percent also said Obama should focus on making cuts in federal spending and simplifying the tax code, a point that seems to echo the GOP's narrative of reforming welfare and the tax code (for which Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner asked the president to reschedule the fiscal cliff deadline, for somewhere in 2013), as they claim raising tax rates on anyone will hurt economic growth — since many small businesses are taxed as individuals and would stop hiring if they're hit with a tax increase in a still fragile economy.