Americans support tax increase on rich, finds Pew poll
Americans say by a two-to-one margin that raising taxes on incomes $250,000 or more annually would help the economy and that it would make the tax system more fair, says a new poll commissioned by the Pew Research Center.
However, the poll results (.pdf) show that the outcome is influenced greatly by the attitudes of Democrats and self-defined independents, since 41 percent of Republicans say raising taxes on those with incomes of $250,000 or more would hurt the economy and 36 percent say it would make the tax system less fair.
The results are based on telephone interviews of 1,015 adults (approximately 60 percent on landlines, 40 percent on cell phones) conducted July 12-15; the overall sample has a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points at a 95 percent level of confidence. The margin of error for particular political affiliations is approximately 6.5 points at the same confidence level.
Taxes on all wage earners are set to go up automatically starting in January due to expiration of Bush-era tax cuts and payroll tax cuts enacted under the Obama administration. That, combined with the possibility of sequestration and inaction by Congress that could permit the alternative minimum tax to affect more individuals has been christened a "fiscal cliff."
The Congressional Budget Office projects (.pdf) that, in the short term, full enactment of the policies behind the "fiscal cliff" would cause gross domestic product growth to slow to .5 percent, whereas full reversal would permit it to grow by 4.4 percent.
- download the Pew Research Center poll (.pdf)