Domestic Taxes

Gallup poll finds majority favor ending tax cuts for the rich

Forty-four percent of those polled want tax cuts for individuals making less than $200,000 and families under $250,000 to be extended, but favor phasing out tax cuts for people who earn more than those thresholds.

Another 15 percent favor allowing the tax cuts for the rich to expire along with the middle-class tax cuts, according to Gallup.

That means 59 percent favor ending the tax cuts for the rich.

Thirty-seven percent of those polled by Gallup want to keep all the tax cuts in place.

Obama wants to make the middle-class tax cuts permanent, but end tax cuts for the wealthy this year. Republicans favor extending all of the tax cuts, and Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio), who is poised to become Speaker if Republicans win back the House, this week called for a two-year extension of all of the tax cuts.

A large number of Republicans disagree with Boehner, according to the poll.

Thirty-two percent of Republicans favor allowing the tax cuts for the rich to expire. Another 11 percent of Republicans polled think all of the tax cuts should be allowed to expire.

It’s possible these figures reflect concerns over the record budget deficits built up during the economic recession.

Only 18 percent of Democrats want to retain the tax cuts for the rich.

A majority of independents, who appear to be breaking for Republicans in the midterm according to several other polls, favor allowing the tax cuts on the wealthy to expire. Forty-one percent of independents would keep the tax cuts for the middle class but allow those for the wealthy to expire, while another 15 percent would allow all the tax cuts to expire.

“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 states. “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.”

Democrats are divided over how to handle the tax question, as several Senate Democrats have suggested an extension of all the tax rates. Former White House budget director Peter Orszag and Mark Zandi, the Moody’s Analytics economist who has advised both parties on the economy, also have called for an extension of the tax cuts for wealthier taxpayers.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is expected to act on the Bush tax cuts after lawmakers return from the August recess. He has signaled that he will propose extending the middle-class tax cuts and allow the ones for upper-income earners to expire.

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