Majority of voters support extending Bush tax cuts

While a clear majority of voters (54 percent) support extending the tax cuts enacted by President George W. Bush, they are more ambivalent about whether breaks benefiting the wealthy should be continued, according to a new poll by Rasmussen Reports. 

Nearly half of the respondents (48 percent) think that all of the Bush tax cuts should be extended, while 40 percent prefer discontinuing breaks for the wealthy.

When it comes to party affiliations, opinions on the Bush tax cuts are very different. Eighty-three percent of Republicans and 58 percent of independents favor continuing the tax breaks. Fifty-three percent of Democrats think they should be allowed to expire on schedule at the end of the year.

If President Obama follows through on his promise to increase taxes on couples earning more than $250,000, 38 percent of respondents say it would be bad for the economy, while 33 percent think it might help. 

These results are very different from a similar poll completed in February in which 51 percent of voters said that tax increases on the wealthy would be good for the economy while 31 percent thought it would be a bad economic move. 

For the current survey, Rasmussen tapped the opinions of 1,000 likely voters between Aug. 1 and 2.