Polls back Obama's plan on Bush tax cuts

A new poll by the Associated Press also shows a clear majority (54 percent) of respondents think the tax cuts for the wealthy should expire on schedule at the end of the year. Forty-four percent oppose the idea. 

The Gallup organization last week came to a similar conclusion on the fate of the Bush tax cuts. 

It found that 44 percent of respondents believe tax breaks should be extended for everyone but the wealthy. 

The findings come as Democratic leaders seek to made good on Obama's campaign promise to end the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and continue the breaks that benefit the middle-class. 

The hope is to extend the measures before November's election, which some fear that plan could hurt the reelection bids of liberal lawmakers. 

Gallup suggests that these fears are overblown. 

"With about one in three Americans, including a minority of independents and Democrats, in favor of extending the Bush-era tax cuts for all taxpayers, Democrats may not be putting themselves at great political risk by allowing the tax cuts to expire for wealthy Americans," Gallup stated on Friday. "In fact, the middle ground of extending tax cuts for low- and middle-income Americans but allowing them to expire for wealthy Americans — the Democrats' most likely proposal — is the specific option the public prefers most."

However, Rasmussen Reports last week came to a different conclusion on the issue. 

Its poll found that 40 percent of voters say a tax hike on the wealthy would be bad for the economy, while 35 percent say it would help the economy.

The Senate is expected to take the lead on extending the Bush tax cuts shortly after it completes work on legislation providing tax relief and credit extensions to small businesses.