Poll: Do Americans like the tax cut deal?
December 8th, 2010
12:41 PM ET
4 years ago

Poll: Do Americans like the tax cut deal?

Washington (CNN) - A new poll indicates that two-thirds of Americans support the deal between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans to temporarily extend tax cuts for all Americans.

But another new survey indicates that a majority of the public is not in favor of the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

According to a Gallup poll released Wednesday, 66 percent say they support the extension for all Americans, including families making over $250,000 per year. An equal amount say they approve of the temporary extension of unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed, which was part of the deal between the president and Republican leaders in Congress.

The poll, which was conducted during the tax cut negotiations, indicates a partisan divide, with 85 percent of Republicans questioned in the survey supporting the temporary tax cut extensions. That number drops to 67 percent of independent voters, 52 percent for Democrats and 39 percent for self described liberal Democrats.

Eight-four percent of Democrats say they back the extension of unemployment benefits, with that number dropping to 71 percent for independents and 43 percent for Republicans questioned in the poll.

Gallup points out that their new survey differs slightly from their poll in November that indicated that four in ten favored extending tax cuts for all Americans, with 44 percent supporting the extension but with limits on extensions for the wealthy, and 13 percent calling for the cuts to expire at the end of the year.

"Nevertheless, the results of the new question suggest that, while the compromise position on taxes may not be their ideal, most Americans would support congressional passage of it," says Gallup, in their release.

A Bloomberg National Poll also released Wednesday indicates that just over a third of Americans support keeping the lower tax rates for the highest earners in the country.

According to the survey, 19 percent say they favor extending the cuts for all Americans, 16 percent saying tax cuts should be permanently extended for families making under $250,000 per year and should be extended temporarily for two years for those above that threshold, 34 percent favoring that the tax cuts should be made permanent for those families earning less than $250,000 a year but no extension for higher wage earners, and 27 percent calling for all tax cuts to sunset.

None of those options listed in the poll were included in the agreement struck between Obama and top Republicans. Most other recent polls conducted in the five weeks since the midterm elections have also indicated that a majority did not favor extending the cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

The tax cuts were passed into law in the first years of the presidency of George W. Bush. They are set to expire at the end of this year unless a new bill is passed by Congress. The issue became a raging battle between Democrats and Republicans in the nation's capitol and on the campaign trail across the country during the past three months. The White House and many, but not all, congressional Democrats want to keep such tax cuts in place for those in the middle class but roll them back for the wealthiest Americans. Republicans say the tax cuts should be kept in place for everyone.

The Gallup poll was conducted December 3-6, with 1,003 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

The Bloomberg National Poll was conducted December 4-7, with 1,000 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Check out CNN's new Polling Center, which provides the most comprehensive polling data covering national questions and the top 2010 election races of any news organization in the political landscape.


Filed under: Polls • Taxes
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. betterdays

    Apart from hobnobbing with celebrities, the liberal Democrats in congress' favorite part of their jobs is spending gobs of other people's money on social programs that never work in the long term in a misguided attempt to make us all "equal" throught every day of our entire lifespans.

    No wonder they're mad about this. Fortunately, they're also a minority (albeit a very loud and perpetually dissatisfied one), both in Congress and in the citizenry as a whole. And in their self-righteousness they remain entirely oblivious to how little they represent the average American's thinking.

    December 8, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. john

    Our government officials waste the Taxpayers Dollars and the Taxpayers get the SHAFT. Again. Why do the American keep putting the same people back in office? They are the ones that should be blamed for this mess. And yet they keep getting re-elected. Am I the only one who sees what's wrong with this?

    December 8, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  3. Maynard T. Krebbs

    Considering some 48 +/- % pay nothing in taxes yet are on the receiving end, I would imagine that they could care less as long as their check keep a comin'. Both State and Federal Governments have grown too big, too expensive, and too invasive into citizen's liberties to remain sustainable. Over 45% of the working class are now employed by government in some form or another, so the remainder of the workforce (private) now works their butts off to be taxed to pay in to make sure that the bureaucraps all have the benefits of an over inflated pension and a tax supplemented healthcare plan for life. I hope and pray that the end of all this mess is soon to be upon us, it will have to be for us to recover...the government employed still don't get it because they are still getting their over-compensatory weekly paychecks for many to do nothing! When I was a young beatnik, we had volunteer firestations within our communities and no one ever heard of an emergency response team or tax funded meat wagon, remember when you could pull a permit in a week?

    December 8, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  4. Chas in Iowa

    It is now a public fact that a minority of less than 1% of Americans runs the agenda for all. And in addition they are willing to put people out in the streets to protect their personal wealth.
    The have tax breaks, deductions, tax shelters, dividend income investment income, all used to lower their actrual income tax to rates lower than the average American pays. If they want to bitch about a higher rate we can work with them. We will drop all the tax dodges in the code and they can pay the income tax at the present rate on all of their income not just on the part they can't legally (or illegally) hide.
    The Democrats should throw Obama to the curb and vote down these tax measures. We cannot afford another 2 years of deficit spending just to orchistate another give away for the rich. Enough already.
    Let all the Bush tax cuts sunset and lets get back to a point where this country was operating at a surplus.

    December 8, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. We all need perspective

    So....basically, this article is saying that different polls produce different results and that we shouldn't take any of them seriously.

    The one thing that bothers me about a few of these articles in the ticker is that they are never constructed in a way that makes the facts clear. I'd like to think of myself as an average person who loves to read. If I'm have difficulty understanding the facts clearly from these articles, I'm sure I'm not alone.

    December 8, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  6. T'sah from Virginia

    @once upon a horse –
    Yep – I've been saying the SAME THING!! Where is the Tea Party??? Why isn't their LEADER – the PA'IN blogging in FACEBOOK about this??? In reality, the TEA PARTY is the GOP – that's the REASON WHY they are SILENT!! They will now MERGE back within themselves until it is time to SEPARATE and go off the deep end again – It WILL NOT work next time because we have the cornered.

    What the Democrats should do is "constantly" call them out over the next two years!!! DON'T let them get away with it. We KNOW THEM by name and they should be given HELL.... Those "FISCAL RASCALS" are liars and they said the meanest things in order to get elected. Now it will BACKFIRE in their FACE because we just INCREASED the deficit and it will even go HIGHER when the debt ceiling is RAISED – What will be their ARGUMENT?!

    December 8, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  7. Chas in Iowa

    To "Once upon a hourse"
    I don't think the Tea Party acually has any opinion on the tax issue other than they want to abolish the IRS altogether.
    I don't know how they expect to keep the country running but that's just one of those facts the Tea Party doesn't have time to discuss.

    December 8, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  8. Jaywing

    The President and the democrats are missing a perfect opportunity to show very clearly that the GOP is simply out of touch with reality when it comes to average Americans. Continuing tax cuts for the wealthy, killing unemployment for the poor and middle class, and keeping their Wall Street and Banker friends happy, is all the GOP thinks about. And as far as someone crying about having to pay a little more after the cuts are repealed I assume you think you're entitled to a strong military to protect us; a safe interstate highway system to feed and clothe us; clean air, water and food, without having to pay for it. In other words, an immature, spoiled brat, without an adult sense of ethics or responsibility.

    December 8, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  9. concerned liberal

    I resent my president breaking his campaign promise to let these tax breaksd expire. We voted for Change but got a lot of Same 'Ol.

    December 8, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. Sara

    GOP has NO credibility when demanding deficit reduction but you people DO realize how the Republicans will want to reduce it...cut Social Security, raise retirement age, etc. The rich are taking us for every dime until we go to our grave. Anyone who votes for Republicans, this is on your hands.

    December 8, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  11. Rene

    The rich get richer ... while the rest of us don't. So much for the French Revolution's effects.

    December 8, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  12. chryda

    sorry im a dem and i dont like the agreement. let all the taxes lapse and start over. the top 2% could take the hit and not miss
    it.

    December 8, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Tea Partyers and the Rich won this one....
    Oh wait, the tea party folks are for the little guy.... imagine that!

    When are the Tea Party folks going to realize that you have been led by the nose by the Right all along? If Tea Party folks are for America, then by the very nature of the modern world, you *should* be against corporate interests (the folks getting the cuts. the rights, and sending your jobs overseas) and the needs of the Rich. The GOP was perfectly willing to hold jobless benefits hostage until the poor, forlorn Rich got theirs first. Welcome to Reality!!!

    December 8, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  14. JoeT

    Nail on the head, OUAH. Where are the tea partiers now that we have this 800-900 billion package to add to the debt? I would imagine they would be against all of this (esp. cuts for middle and poor, and 99ers) based on rhetoric.

    December 8, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  15. katiec

    If anyone had any doubt about who the republicans represent this should make all realize they do not care or are concerned about the welfare of us and our country.
    Their sacrificing and holding hostage middle class America , the unemployed etc to get their tax cuts, perks for the wealthy , along with their other irresponsible actions are putting them well on the path to becoming our country's
    most dangerous domestic terrorists.

    December 8, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. CTinDC

    Oh Tea Party??? TEAA PARTYY? where are you????

    December 8, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  17. Peter s

    If you stayed home and you didn't go to vote you get what you deserve! either way you are screwed!

    December 8, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  18. j

    NO ---- I`m a Democrat, but the line has to be drawn somewhere. Obama should have "locked down" and stuck to his promise to only extend the tax cuts for those making less than $250K/yr. The Repubs are only taking care of the "rich folks" ( their voters), with the rest of America left to hell in a hand basket.

    December 8, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  19. mleddy

    I am not weatlhy and my income for 2010 is about two thousand dollars under the poverty level for a family of four. I do not like it when someone takes my money that I earn so I do not think it is fair to expect other people to work hard and give away their money either. Maybe if the government significantly reduced the services it provided we could all be taxed less? The solution is not an easy one I just pray that we the people are willing to sacrifice in order to be fiscally responsible and realize that though we may want to do alot of things we can't always do those things.

    December 8, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  20. SuperD

    I do not support the president, but I am very happy with him in this regard. The biggest problem is the Class Warfare that is going on in the Dem Party. Also what is disturbing is to hear Dems and Progressive spread the lie that tax relief would not help the economy. I'm glad were going supply side this time and I'm glad that Obama for the first time compromised with the other Party.

    December 8, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
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