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Romney Lost, but His Ideas May Still Be Winners


Mitt Romney was soundly defeated in the presidential election, but parts of his economic agenda live on.

"If there was one thing that everybody understood was a big difference between myself and Mr. Romney," the president said at his Wednesday press conference, "it was, when it comes to how we reduce our deficit, I argued for a balanced, responsible approach, and part of that included making sure that the wealthiest Americans pay a little bit more. I think every voter out there understood that that was an important debate, and the majority of voters agreed with me – by the way, more voters agreed with me on this issue than voted for me. So we've got a clear majority of the American people who recognize if we're going to be serious about deficit reduction, we've got to do it in a balanced way."

The latest Gallup results bear that out, as 45% of Americans now say the budget deficit should be reduced by an equal balance of tax increases and spending cuts, up from 32% last year. Another 11% now say it should be done only or mostly through tax hikes.

At the same time, 85% say they like the idea of cutting the deficit mostly through spending cuts or through an equal balance of cuts and taxes.

"At this point, Americans appear more willing than last year to consider tax increases as a substantial part of a deficit reduction approach," Gallup's Jeffrey M. Jones wrote yesterday. "However, that increase is seen mainly among Democrats and independents. Thus, Republican leaders must decide whether to follow the wishes of the party's rank-and-file supporters and put a lesser emphasis on tax increases, or to compromise and move in a direction of a balanced approach now favored by the greatest number of Americans overall."

The negotiations between Obama and GOP leaders are set to start in earnest on Friday.

Editor's Note: This article by Yuval Rosenberg originally appeared on The Fiscal Times.

For more from The Fiscal Times:

The Long, Treacherous Climb Up the Fiscal Cliff

The Stunning Collapse in Business Confidence

Obama Takes His 'Tax the Rich' Show on the Road

Follow The Fiscal Times on Twitter @TheFiscalTimes.
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