Polling the Nomenclature: It's a 'Tax Increase'

Another bit from the Crossroads GPS poll on the Bush tax cuts: People think that allowing the tax cuts to expire does indeed equal a "tax increase."

As is common to political debates, there's a current dispute over nomenclature. Republicans refer to the expiration of Bush-instituted tax rates as a "tax increase" levied upon income above $250,000, while Democrats refer to renewing those rates it as a "tax cut" gifted to the rich.

These descriptions do not overlap, at least in the minds of Washington-based partisans.

From the clashing definitions flow real logical arguments. For instance, Republicans see no reason to cut spending to offset the "cost" of preserving current tax rates, because, to them, the lost potential revenue of a "tax hike" isn't really being lost, it never existed, and the term "cost" doesn't apply.

A fair-minded person can see it both ways. In one-sense, the tax rates on certain income levels would go up, which sounds like a tax hike. In another, those present rates were prescribed to expire under the natural course of the Bush-instituted tax code, and it takes extra action on the part of Congress to lower next year's rates, which sounds quite a bit like a cut.

According to Crossroads GPS's Nov. 29 - Dec. 2 survey of 1,000 likely voters (margin of error 3.1 percent), Republicans win on the lexicological front:

Tax nomenclature - GPS poll.png

Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Politics

Just In