Archive for Friday, February 24, 2012

Poll: Millionaire tax, spending cuts popular

February 24, 2012


— Most people like President Barack Obama’s proposal to make millionaires pay a significant share of their incomes in taxes. Yet they’d still rather cut spending than boost taxes to balance the federal budget, an Associated Press-GfK poll shows, giving Republicans an edge over Democrats in their core ideological dispute over the nation’s fiscal ills.

The survey suggests that while Obama’s election-year tax plan targeting people making at least $1 million a year has won broad support, it has done little to shift people’s basic views in the long-running partisan war over how best to tame budget deficits that lately have exceeded $1 trillion annually.

“Everybody should be called to sacrifice. They should be in the pot with the rest of us,” Mike Whittles, 62, a Republican and retired police officer from Point Pleasant, N.J., said of his support for Obama’s tax proposal for the wealthy. But Whittles said he still prefers cutting government spending over raising taxes because of federal waste and what he calls “too many rules, too many regulations.”

Sixty-five percent of the people in the AP-GfK poll favor Obama’s plan to require people making $1 million or more pay taxes equal to at least 30 percent of their income. Just 26 percent opposed Obama’s idea.

Yet by 56 percent to 31 percent, more embraced cuts in government services than higher taxes as the best medicine for the budget, according to the survey, which was conducted Feb. 16 to 20. That response has changed only modestly since it was first asked in the AP-GfK poll last March. The question on Obama’s tax on the rich was not asked previously.

The poll showed that overall, more people have a positive view of Democrats than Republicans, a ray of hope for Obama and his fellow Democrats with the approach of November’s presidential and congressional elections. Fifty-four percent in the poll gave Democrats favorable ratings compared to 46 percent for Republicans, similar to results in January 2011, at the start of the newly elected Congress in which Republicans have run the House and Democrats wield a slender Senate majority.

Though embraced by congressional Democrats, Obama’s proposal on taxing millionaires more has virtually no chance of passage by Congress in the political heat of this year’s campaigns. But it stands as a rallying cry for Democrats — about 9 in 10 of whom supported the plan in the poll — and it contrasts with proposals by the remaining major GOP presidential candidates, who would lower the current 35 percent top income tax rate.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 9 months ago

"Yet they’d still rather cut spending than boost taxes to balance the federal budget,"

Even I could agree with this-- as long as those cuts are in corporate welfare, especially the $trillion that are flushed down the hole of the military-industrial complex.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

And yet, Medicare and SS spending is a much greater chunk of the pie than defense, unfortunately.

The problem is that everybody wants to cut spending, but not "their" spending.

And, I think the only real solution is a combination of increased revenue and lower spending.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 9 months ago

The only way to cut Medicare and SS spending (the latter of which is funded wholly by its own tax) is to just let old/disabled people die off due to a lack of access to food, shelter and healthcare.

But you'll never hear Republicans acknowledge that inconvenient fact.

On the other hand, we can save $trillions in a few short years by eliminating the war machine and instead creating a true "defense" department. No one would suffer but the corporate-welfare billionaires who'd at worst become merely millionaires.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 9 months ago

Schadenfreude would have to entail actual suffering by someone. Being a millionaire doesn't qualify.

OK, continue trolling.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

That's actually not true.

Means testing for those programs would eliminate payments to wealthy and well off individuals who don't actually need them, without harming those who do.

The point remains that those programs are far more expensive than defense spending, and cutting defense spending won't balance the budget.

I agree, as you should know, that we should cut defense, of course - it's just not a real solution by itself.

And, how we could cut defense spending without hurting the people who work for that department isn't completely clear to me - I think there would be a number of them who would be unemployed as a result of cuts.

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