Do Americans Support Higher Taxes?

More

Seeking to beat back Republican protestations that tax hikes, business or individual, are a no-go in any deal to raise the federal debt limit, Bruce Bartlett calls out poll after poll that show Americans support higher rates. A sampling:

A June 9 Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 61 percent of people believe higher taxes will be necessary to reduce the deficit.

A June 7 Pew poll found strong support for tax increases to reduce the deficit; 67 percent of people favor raising the wage cap for Social Security taxes, 66 percent raising income tax rates on those making more than $250,000, and 62 percent favor limiting tax deductions for large corporations. A plurality of people would also limit the mortgage interest deduction.

A May 26 Lake Research poll of Colorado voters found that they support higher taxes on the rich to shore-up Social Security's finances by a 44 percent to 25 percent margin.

A May 13 Bloomberg poll found that only one third of people believe it is possible to substantially reduce the budget deficit without higher taxes; two thirds do not.

A May 12 Ipsos/Reuters poll found that three-fifths of people would support higher taxes to reduce the deficit.

A May 4 Quinnipiac poll found that people favor raising taxes on those making more than $250,000 to reduce the deficit by a 69 percent to 28 percent margin.

Keep in mind, however, that "raising taxes" generally is far less popular than reducing federal spending, as a budgetary fix. People don't seem to like the idea of paying more, themselves. Here's one result from the first Washington Post/ABC poll listed above:

Screen shot 2011-07-11 at 3.53.24 PM.png

Tax hikes get more popular when they're specified as only applying to people who make lots of money, and when they're compared to other deficit-reducing options like raising the retirement age and reducing Medicare benefits.

In the June 7 Pew survey, upper-income tax hikes were the third most popular means of deficit reduction. Cuts to Social Security, proposed by Obama's fiscal commission and discussed during the current debt-ceiling talks, were unpopular:

Screen shot 2011-07-11 at 3.27.04 PM.png
Jump to comments
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.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Death of Film: After Hollywood Goes Digital, What Happens to Movies?

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.


Elsewhere on the web

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

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In