Poll: Liberals, Conservatives Agree: Tax the Rich

By Chris Good

Liberals and conservatives don't typically agree on budget priorities, but according to a national survey from Marist, they feel the same way about one thing: Raising taxes on the rich is the way to go.

That was by far the most popular option both for self-identified liberals and conservatives, when Marist College asked 550 adults, by phone April 10-14, whether they'd rather cut Medicare and Medicaid, cut defense spending, or raise taxes on people who make over $250,000.

House Republicans favor revamping Medicare and Medicaid. Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan would convert Medicare into something like a voucher system, with the government spending roughly the same amount on health care over the next few decades. (Under current law, Medicare and Medicaid spending would continue to grow.) President Obama, on the other hand, has proposed letting the Bush tax cuts expire for those with high incomes.

Among conservatives polled by Marist, 45 percent supported raising taxes on people who make more than $250,000, 29 percent supported cutting Medicare and Medicaid, and 27 percent would supported cuts to defense spending.

Among liberals, 84 percent supported raising taxes on high incomes, 60 percent supported defense cuts, and 8 percent supported cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

Tea partiers favored raising taxes on high incomes, too, with 45 percent supporting tax hikes, 32 percent supporting defense cuts, and 28 percent supporting cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

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This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/04/poll-liberals-conservatives-agree-tax-the-rich/238057/