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Americans are united across party lines in thinking that threatening a government shutdown as a negotiating ploy is unacceptable. In a new CBS News/New York Times poll, 80 percent of people said no, it's not okay to do that.
Americans are mostly putting the blame for shutdown threats where it belongs: on Republicans. Just 23 percent of those polled said Republicans in Congress are trying to work with President Obama to avert a shutdown, while 51 percent said Obama is trying to work with Republicans. In fact, fewer than half of Republicans polled think their party's representatives in Congress are trying to work with the president on this. (What percentage of them are celebrating that fact and sending money to Sen. Ted Cruz is not answered by this poll.)
The widespread disapproval of threatening a government shutdown as a budget negotiating ploy is no doubt related in part to the fact that 74 percent believe a shutdown would hurt them, according to another new poll. Happily, that means at least some people who aren't worried about the impact of a shutdown on themselves personally still believe that taking the entire country hostage isn't an acceptable negotiating tactic.