September 8th, 2010
10:39 AM ET
4 years ago

Do Americans want to extend tax cuts for wealthy?

 Should tax cuts for the country's wealthiest income earners be extended?
Should tax cuts for the country's wealthiest income earners be extended?

Washington (CNN) – Should tax cuts for the country's wealthiest income earners be extended?

On CNN's American Morning White House senior adviser David Axelrod argued against such an extension. President Barack Obama is expected to announce later Wednesday at a speech in Cleveland, Ohio that he wants to keep such tax cuts in place for those in the middle class but roll them back for the wealthiest Americans.

Republicans oppose that move and say the tax cuts, introduced by President George W. Bush in 2001, should be kept in place for everyone.

So what do Americans think?

According to a recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll, three in ten said that the Bush-era tax cuts should be continued for all Americans, with just over 50 percent saying those tax cuts should be continued only for families who make less than $250,000 a year, and nearly one in five believing the tax cuts should expire for all Americans.

Not surprisingly, Republicans tend to favor tax cuts for all, while Democrats prefer Obama's proposal. Half of all Republicans surveyed want tax cuts on all income brackets to be extended while only 13 percent of Democrats feel that way. Meanwhile, two-thirds of Democrats are in favor of rolling back tax cuts for wealthier Americans while only 40 percent of Republicans feel the same way.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll included interviews with 1,009 adult Americans conducted by telephone on August 6-10. It carried a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

There are similar findings in other national polls.

Fifty-two percent of people questioned in a Newsweek poll conducted in late August said that tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans should expire, with 38 percent saying they should be extended.

A CBS News survey conducted in mid August indicates that 56 percent of the public says the tax cuts for families making over $250,000 should be rolled back, with 36 percent saying they should be made permanent.

But according to a Ipsos/Reuters poll also conducted last month, 49 percent say tax cuts for all should be extended, with 31 percent saying they should expire for the wealthiest Americans and 15 percent calling for an end of the tax cuts for everyone.

And an AP-GfK survey from August indicates that 45 percent want the tax cuts extended for all Americans, with 38 percent saying they should expire for the wealthiest Americans and 14 percent saying they should expire for everyone.


Filed under: CNN Polls • David Axelrod • issues • Taxes
soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. Mesa Mick

    Wanna do something really stupid come Nov? Vote (R).

    September 8, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. Billy, NYC

    I do not agree with GOP that extending the Tax Cut for the wealthy will create jobs. Look at the past 30 years since Reagan, the wealthy did not create jobs for main street; instead they out source jobs oversea to increase their profits. For 10 years, the rich has enjoyed the BUSH tax-cut with borrowed money. It is time for them to take the financial responsibiliy while the middle class working people can have a chance to rebounce. Otherwise, there will be no more middle class in this country; only the rich and poor. Rich continues to live with luxury and leave the poor for the government to handle. This is so not right.

    September 8, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. wayne

    Sure. Why don't we give them our first born children for sacrifices to the money God while we're at it?

    September 8, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  4. robertJ

    Ok. Where did this assinine idea of tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% (debateable) come from? From a sleazy, greedy moron that's where. Why is this even a question?
    There never should have been a tax break in the first polace, much less ask if the other 98% want it?
    These people who got this break are the same people whose "super" intelligence brought us the derivatives market, worthless homes, trillions in debt, and two (count em) worthless wars. not to mention almost a second great depression. Sure I want them to keep their tax break. RIGHT> Give me and everyone under 200k income a 15-20% break and watch the economy grow. Not for a few worthless fat cats who can't even eat the steak they order. What a stupid question you ask!

    September 8, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. Brady

    Extend the tax cuts for everyone. The question you have to ask is has anything Obama thought was best worked. The answer is no. He was cramming Obamacare (that no one wants to talk about now) down our throat when the economy was crashing and unemplyment was skyrocketing. Democrats are and have been oblivious to the American people who are out of work unless they are a union member or a government employee. Sixteen months of consecutive unemployment over 9% is what we have gotten from a Democratic congress. We had 48 consecutive months of job growth under Bush – it was pretty d@mn good. Rich people and businesses are not spending right now for a reason.

    September 8, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. President Obozo: On vacation and OUT TO LUNCH

    Tax cuts for "the rich"? You mean the unlucky 50% of the people in this country that foot the tab for the rest that don't pay any income tax?! The DemocRATS in true class warfare style, just love to demonize and steal from "the rich".

    Did it EVER occur to you dumb liberals that this recovery is stalled because these people have decided to idle their money pending a more favorable business climate from the government? I know I wouldn't be willing to help a government that constantly attacked me, demonized me, stole from me at ever increasing rates. What ever happen to equal treatment under the law? Pretty soon this country will have nothing but welfare cases if this insanity continues.

    September 8, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. Anne Berndt

    They(GOP)forget who got us in this mess.It's O.K.to keep the tax breaks for them,the rich, yet they cry that this administration is spending too much.Double standards has always been their way.The problem with them is our president is a black president. .President Obama is doing a great job in trying to clean up the mess Bush left and his efforts which are many irritate the Republicans especially that he has accomplished what other presidents could not.

    September 8, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. Jared from Delaware

    the President has the best idea – continue the tax cuts for everyone EXCEPT the wealthy.

    If anything, we should increase taxes on the rich. The rich represent 5% or LESS of all Americans.

    Who in the 95% majority really cares what that 5% thinks? or wants?

    September 8, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  9. TomC

    One major clarification is needed: the Bush tax cuts affect income brackets, not people. So even if the "tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans" expire the wealthy will still be able to claim the tax cuts on the lower- and middle-income brackets that the rest of us enjoy.

    September 8, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. Ed L

    What GOP really means is to save tax cuts for the rich.... GOP does not and never has cared anything about the middle class.

    September 8, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. Poser

    The Bush tax cuts for the rich from 2001 to now clearly didn't trickle down and clearly didn't create jobs. The rich are now super rich and the deficit exploded. I am amazed that people are still fooled into thinking the tax cuts for the rich help average Americans.

    September 8, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  12. steve kevlin

    if the gop would tell the truth the public wouldnt want this but the public over all are dumb.... and stupid.. so i hope the gop screws them over.. and all those folks who had benes will be cut.. no more debt we should all vote for those guys and cut medicare and ssn... why not.. no more govt.... in your life.. and then we can work on farm subisides.. no more farmer welfare... where is the gop and teabaggers on that welfare program...... no more debt

    September 8, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  13. Veteran

    I think it was a horrific error on the part of Bush to place these cuts into being in the first place. However at present time no matter how I feel about the cuts, is not the time to let them lapse, however, if they are not to be permitted to lapse on those with incomes over $250K there needs to be some assurance that money is in fact used for what the Republicans are claiming can not occur with the lapse of the Bush roll backs, and that is the creation of new jobs. Seems to me that the creation of new jobs has not occurred with the Bush tax rollback and what growth did occur as a result of the roll back bearly kept pace withthe lose of jobs during the Bush adminstration. But tell me how the Republican plan to create a Service industry rather than a manufacturing industry has helped America.

    September 8, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  14. me

    No, what have they done in the way of jobs for the last ten years. Do we want more of the same, NO, I mean NO. See I can use the word, too. I say NO, and NO it is.

    September 8, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  15. Michael

    I say roll the taxes back; wealthy people can afford it and have available to them far many more loop holes that the middle or lower classes do. In fact, while it would be somewhat painful, I might even suggest rolling back the tax cuts for ALL Americans. And while you're at it, close all of the tax code loop holes (especially for Congress and the rich) so that each and every American over the "poverty level" pays their fair share. "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few"

    September 8, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  16. Shawn

    HELL NO! It's time the rich start paying up. It wouldn't be as great a loss as it would be to the MAJORITY of Americans who ARE the working class. Bring down the deficit, TAX THE RICH!

    September 8, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  17. Jules

    No the majority of Americans do no want the nice hefty tax break to continue for the wealthy. We, the majority voted for President Obama so he would eliminate this favored tax break for the wealthy. The only reason the republicans want to keep it is because these same wealthy people contribute to their campaigns, and they want to continue to grease their palms.!

    September 8, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
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