Only 1 in 3 Americans Favor Keeping Tax Cuts for Wealthy

Here is something that I hadn’t expected, probably due to the way Fin-Television has been covering this issue:  Only “one in three Americans, including a minority of independents and Democrats, in favor of extending the Bush-era tax cuts for all taxpayers.”

Geez, based on the typical Squawk Box/Fox Business/NBC/ABC/CBS coverage, I was under the impression that a tiny minority of people were against this. (Remind me again why I watch other than Louie and Entourage?).

The data comes is according to a USA Today/Gallup poll:

“A majority of Americans favor letting the tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration expire for the wealthy. While 37% support keeping the tax cuts for all Americans, 44% want them extended only for those making less than $250,000 and 15% think they should expire for all taxpayers . . .

The fate of the 2001 and 2003 federal income tax cuts that were a centerpiece of Bush administration policy could be a significant campaign issue this fall. The tax cuts are set to expire after this year unless Congress votes to extend them. Congress plans to take up the issue next week when it returns to session.

It appears as though Congress, like the American public, broadly agrees that the tax cuts should be extended for American families earning less than $250,000. The debate Congress will have this fall will be over whether to extend the tax cuts for wealthier Americans. Most Republicans and some Democrats in Congress are thought to favor extending them for wealthier Americans. President Obama said Wednesday that he is opposed to any plan that wo7uld extend the tax cuts for wealthier Americans.”

That adds up it 59% who favor letting the top bracket cuts (defined as $250k per year)  expire.

Pretty fascinating stuff, given the opposite impression the news has created.

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As Caroline Baum has written, this is precisely as as George Bush intended. If the Bush White House wanted a permanent tax cut, then they should have passed it through ordinary legislation, and not as part of a reconciliation bill (which automatically expires after 9 years) . . .

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Sources:
Americans OK Allowing Tax Cuts for Wealthy to Expire
Jeffrey M. Jones
Gallup, September 10, 2010
http://www.gallup.com/poll/142940/Americans-Allowing-Tax-Cuts-Wealthy-Expire.aspx

Forget Bed Bugs, Tax Increases Are Bush’s Fault
Caroline Baum
Bloomberg, August 26 2010 
http://noir.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=aMcHN4SWNCug

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