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. gt

    if you make a million a year now thats wealthy...250 is nice but not wealthy... come on...

    September 8, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  2. Rob

    Yes, they should be extended for everyone. We shouldn't be redistributing wealth and punishing the successful! The government should lower spending and learn how to balance a budget!

    September 8, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  3. kd

    These tax cuts have been a complete disaster. They have not done anything the Republicans claimed they would and the Republicans continue to lie about them.

    I am absolutely amazed at the ignorance of the American public on this (and so many topics). Taxes have never been lower since they were instituted in the early 20th Century. And people STILL want tax cuts.

    The American public is the most ill-informed, uneducated, foolish and ignorant voting block of any nation in the world.

    September 8, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  4. terry,va

    The tax cuts should be extended for all or no one. We have enough class and racial warfare in this country already. Obummie has created a very divided America. How very, very sad !!

    September 8, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  5. gate

    NO!

    Reduce the deficit.

    Tax the rich.

    They got us in this mess in the first place with their unregulated greed. I'm tired of bailing them out.

    September 8, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  6. Hunter of the lib hunter

    Republicans prove they are still out of touch with the majority of Americans. Unfunded tax cuts for the wealthy do not create jobs, they only add to the debt. By the way, the majority of Americans do not want health reform eliminated, nor do they want republicans to cut social security and medicare or turn it over to Wall Street.

    September 8, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. jay

    7 million plus jobs lost during the Bush tax cuts.

    September 8, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    Absolutely not. The wealthy need to be paying taxes, to keep the debt from getting any worse. (Assuming we can stop the squandering Obama, from his squandering.)

    September 8, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  9. No new democrats in 2010

    We are all free to pursue happiness. It is time that Americans and politicians STOP COVETING OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY and take personal responsibility for their own lives.

    Democrats and labor union crooks apparently think that government is a legal way to steal. If you don't believe it, take a close look at the 'healthcare' bill, the financial 'reform' bill, cap (tax) and trade, Obama's dealings with GM, AIG, Bank of America, GE, SEIU, ACORN, Fannie and Freddie, illegal immigration... and then compare that to his policies for ordinary citizens.

    September 8, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  10. Rick

    These Bush tax cuts haven't helped us . Stop them now.

    September 8, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  11. Dave

    Only the Republicans and the rich want an extension. Republicans don't care about the debt that it creates and an extension will not create jobs. The rich hold on to their money.

    September 8, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  12. jim

    I'm not one of those people that hate weathy people and want to tax them out of existance.Someday i'd like a chance to get to where they are.But , for you that want to soak the rich with increased taxes have you ever seen a poor person create a job for anyone.I haven't.And by the way Obama is worth millions and doesn't have to worry no matter how bad his policies hurt the economy.

    September 8, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  13. TOM

    Oh just go ahead and extend the tax shelters for the rich as well!!!!! You been trying to get rid of the middle class for the last several years so just go ahead and pound the nails in the cofin and get rid of the middle class all together. Give the country to the rich and poor and then the rich can take it all! We as a nation are moving into some unknown waters when this move is complete! I can believe we all just stand around and watch it come.

    September 8, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  14. Bill

    Yes, The majority of small businesses file as individuals, keeping them in place will help stimulate the job growth factor.

    September 8, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  15. terry,va

    People that say the tax rates should expire for those that make more than $250,000 don't have a clue. When was the last time you got a job from someone that made $40,000? Obummie is a socialist and his goal is to redistribute wealth and collapse our economy. 50% of the people in this country already don't pay taxes.

    September 8, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  16. paulbark

    It's interesting that Republicans are so concerned about the deficit that they don't want to extend unemployment benefits.

    Republicans are always most concerned about the plight of the wealthy in America. Extending tax cuts for the rich, which adds hundreds of billions to the deficit? Not a problem.

    September 8, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  17. Rob

    Tax cuts for the wealthy are an awful way to stimulate the economy. Since the wealthy spend less of their marginal income on taxes, they are less likely to funnel the money back into the economy through consumer spending. They horde tax savings away. Let the tax cuts lapse.

    September 8, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  18. Ron in Califonia

    Why would any one want to see tax cuts for anyone go up. It is every American's duty to LEGALLY to keep as much of your hard earned money as you possibly can by paying as little tax as is legally permissible. Our tax system is unfair at all levels and the tax code needs to be overhauled.

    September 8, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  19. Spirit4us

    Yes extent the tax cuts for everyone. We need to move the economy forward.

    September 8, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  20. Jim

    Gosh, you don't hear much talk about deficits from Republicans now that they have a choice to make that would actually keep it from increasing. They want to hand as much money to the rich as they can and they want to use cuts in Social Security to pay for it. They start talking about making adult decisions when it has to do with the middle class but they use childish reasoning when it comes to the rich. America, if you vote for these guys, you get what you deserve.

    September 8, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  21. Lisa P

    Something's going on here with the survey methodology. That's a huge difference among the various polls.

    September 8, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  22. Hunter of the lib hunter

    Once again, President Obama shows leadership and vision in what is best for the country. Republicans show fear, hate, lies and misinformation, and no plans to fix what they did to the economy. Still, right wingnuts continue to blame Barney Frank and Chris Dodd for the failures of the Bush presidency and his republican majority in congress who rode shotgun while they drove us to brink of a great depression. It is amazing that they can sell to their base, the power one congressman and one senator had, while in reality, it was the unfunded programs the republicans shoved down our throats, that led us to disaster.

    September 8, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  23. Debbie from Arizona

    I was not polled, but add me to the Americans who think that the tax cuts to the wealthy should expire. These tax breaks to the wealthy were suppose to create jobs, but they have not.

    September 8, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  24. A keen observer

    Republicans in Congress will always support tax cuts for the wealthy because most of them will directly benefit. Republicans also want to reward big business for exporting American jobs to foreign countries.

    Republicans fail to acknowledge that tax cuts for the wealthy have produced no jobs despite the false propaganda they espouse.

    September 8, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  25. Wes

    Let the cuts expire for everyone. We need to reduce the national debt.

    September 8, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
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