April 16th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
3 years ago

CNN Poll: 7 out of 10 support 'Buffett Rule'

Washington (CNN) - Hours before a crucial Senate vote over the so-called "Buffett Rule," a new national poll indicates that nearly three-quarters of Americans support the measure to require people earning $1 million a year or more to pay at least 30% in taxes.

According to a CNN/ORC International survey, 72% favor the bill, which is named for billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has argued that it's unfair that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. Twenty-seven percent oppose the measure.

Full results (pdf)

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The bill is intended to prevent the wealthy from paying a lower actual tax rate than most middle class workers. Both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are heavily lobbying in support of the "Buffett Rule." The legislation is opposed by most Republicans, including presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. They argue raising taxes on anyone, including high income Americans, is a bad move, and claim that a minimum tax on millionaires would hurt small business owners, some of whom file tax returns under the individual tax code. The partisan battle has spilled from Capitol Hill to the presidential campaign trail.

According to the poll, nine in ten Democrats say they support the "Buffet Rule," with nearly seven in ten independent voters and even 53% of Republicans favoring the measure.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International April 13-15, with 509 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

- CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Also see:

Obama re-election team increases fundraising haul

Buffett Rule would barely dent debt but fits nicely into Obama's theme

McCain: I agree with Ann Romney


Filed under: 2012 • CNN/ORC International poll • Polls • Warren Buffett
soundoff (121 Responses)
  1. Brian DiPietro

    This tax is needed because the Investors so called Job creators dont hire anymore they ship our jobs over seas and make the average person pay ten times the cost to make it I say fck em and congress to!

    April 16, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  2. GOP = Greed Over People

    And yet, once again, the neo-cons and tea baggers in the House, will thwart the "will of the people", they claim to hold so sacred and revere, but apparently only when the "will of the people" coincides with the "will of the GOP"!!

    April 16, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  3. Careful Thought

    @JG You didn't have to tell me you were liberal. Your smug, arrogant tone gave you away.

    1) It's hilarious how brain-dead liberals quote Clinton as a liberal success for economics without revealing to the new people that Presidents don't decide how to spend money. Congress does. and it was the republican congress under Newt Gingrich who balanced the budget.

    2) When Bush lowered the cap gains, the total money from cap gains taxes went UP. Because of the reasons we stated

    3) What do you think is a fair portion of your paycheck for Uncle Sam to take? 40% like Clinton had? or 95% like other Dems had? How about 0% like every president up until 1913 had?

    4) "funded education" Are you nuts? Are you not aware of the inverse relationship between throwing money down public school black holes and graduates who can't read their own diploma? We spend so much money per kid, that it would be cheaper to send them to a private school where they would learn. I went to a private school, and you know what? There was no goofing off. IF someone started screwing off in class, someone even, the dumbest kid, would say, "HEY! We're PAYING to be here- if you want to screw off- go to QV! (the local public school) Bottom line: you don't appreciate what your et for free. Look at the projects. We give them free housing and they spray paint all over it. BUT, look at low cost housing they pay for: they mow the lawn and put in a picket fence.

    4) "MODERN societies provide provide provide" Have you BEEN to any of the socialized medicine/socialist haven countries like UK that already HAS those death panels that Palin talked about. I had lunch with a guy last month whose mother died because the death panel decided she wasn't worth the surgery, so they scheduled it 3 years out after she was given 6 months to live without it. I've been to socialist havens where they've succeeded in getting a "living wage" to every worker. What happened? Sure the minimum wage is $23/hour, but a bottle of coke is $6 now. Robin hood is a fairy tale. Every occupation has an inherent value to society based primarily on difficulty. If you try to jack up the value of low value jobs, everyone else needs a raise, then, and the cost of the product made has to go up.

    If CNN can't stop Romney from winning and we have a massive recovery, you KNOW they'll be saying, "Romney is taking credit for the work Obama put into place." But OBAMA is going around saying, "The us is producing more oil than ever" but he's NOT saying, "Because Bush approved those permits 6 years ago."

    The left simply is not very honest, and not very "American" on how to get things done. Every single founding father, and the first dozen presidents would have been DERIDED as right wing extremists if the left-leaning media of today were there.

    Most of the left are not even very aware of their own heritage- how the republican party was FORMED to try to free the slaves. How the democrats RESISTED freeing the slaves and went to WAR over it.

    April 16, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  4. Scott

    careful thought: Your name doesn't match your argument. No one pays NO taxes. The total tax burden–as a percent of total income–is much greater on those with less income than those with greater income. That is the problem–the wealthy are not paying as much as those with less, and that's not fair no matter how you slice it. A flat amount tax (i.e., everyone pays 10k) is highly regressive and unfair because those who make more benefit more from being a member of the society. If I can't, for example, afford to get on an airplane to go on a vaction, then having air marshals on air planes doesn't do anything for me. But, under a flat amount tax, I'd be paying the same amount for that service as someone who makes use of it often. That's why a flat percentage tax makes more sense, but that is NOT what our system is. Total effective rates are higher for those earning the least.

    April 16, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  5. webxl

    Can we see the percentage of TAXPAYERS who support this bill?

    BTW- I define TAXPAYER is someone who *pays* the government more than he/she gets *paid by* the government. So that excludes about 60% of Americans, including bankers who got bailed out and defense contractors. There's a conflict of interest when people who GET the MOST OUT OF government are allowed to determine the contributions of those who PUT the MOST INTO government.

    April 16, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  6. Marc

    @ Bill Not event he Democrats are saying this bill will even dent the budget deficit. Obama added a 4 trillion to the deficit, and wants to off set that with a billion? Wow, please, don't fall for it.

    It is all too fuel the class warfare that Obama needs to try to win the election. Don't buy into the class warfare. There are many other fairer options, that eliminate loopholes, build the economy, and make it so everyone has more money and so don't need all the social welfare programs that the Dem's use to buy votes.

    April 16, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  7. Thomas

    It's a start in the right direction !

    April 16, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  8. Bob

    I remember a time when people had pride in themselves. There was a time when people were offered money, and they declined because it wasn't theirs and they did nothing to deserve it. Now, 7 of 10 would gladly take what's not theirs, and not only that, they want more. No pride. No morals. No matter if the rich worked for their money, or got it sitting on their rear ends, it doesn't matter: it's not yours.

    April 16, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  9. Marc

    @ Nick. He pays more in taxes each year then the majority of us on this discussion forum will make in our lifetime. Who do you think benefits the most from his paying taxes? Not him.

    April 16, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  10. Careful Thought

    @Scott

    How can you say with a straight face "God forbid the rich help get the country out" Are you not aware that these rich are the ones paying the taxes? They're the ONLY ones helping! Of all the money that comes into the government from Federal taxes, it's the very few rich people paying the lion's share of those taxes. You might think that they should pay more, but you can't fool anyone into thinking that they're not already paying a lot.

    If you take every worker in America and line them up by income, then cut that right in half, with the rich on the right side, can you believe that EVERYBODY in that left HALF pays ZERO tax? It's true. Obama's own IRS reports that every year.

    Zero.

    Who should be helping out more?

    (And don't tell me that "Well, they're paying sales tax and social security tax" garbage. Everyone pays sales tax. It goes to states. has nothing to do with the federal budget or deficit. It's a distraction. And social security tax, you get right back. you just asked the government to hold it for you AND, they usually give you THREE TIMES back what you lent them. And the difference is made up by rich people who pay gobs and gobs of taxes.

    Look at line 60 on your tax form. That's how much tax you need to pay. look how LITTLE it is. Is it ZERO?

    Warren Buffet's was $6,938,744

    Yeah, he really should try to help out more.

    April 16, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  11. ace1

    The 28% that oppose this are either directly affected probably less than 10% or are brainwashed by right wing radio and the propaganda they speil.

    April 16, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  12. Shameeka's Sister Shanaina

    Yeah tax them more. It someone's money. Why do I care long as I get free stuff from the government.

    April 16, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  13. HenryMiller

    "...named for billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has argued that it's unfair that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary."

    Nothing in the world is preventing Buffett from donating as much of his wealth as he likes to the government, but that should in no way obligate anyone else to be even more outrageously ripped off than they already are by the federal monstrosity.

    In this country, in theory, we're all equal. The corollary to that, of course, is that we should all be taxed equally. Not equal percent, equal dollars.

    April 16, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  14. tom silvestrini

    7 out of 10 will wonder why their jobs were shipped overseas because they continue to take money from the job creators and give it to the government that wastes it on companies like Solandra.

    There are two kinds of people in the world, spenders and investors. 9 out of 10 are spenders. The government is the biggest spender of all. The investors make money because they are good at it. We would be wise to let them invest that money and grow jobs for the US. Why not tax the overseas earnings at a higher rate instead?

    April 16, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  15. DB

    The american people have spoken,,,,,PASS THE LAW!!!!!

    April 16, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  16. dwhaynes

    Come on Republicans, after nearly four years you can't come up with any new talking points? We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem. 50% of people pay no taxes. All liberals are deadbeats who want the government to take care of them. Job creators. Obozo. Class warfare. Socialism. Wealth redistribution. Envy.

    All of you have made a caricature of what was once a noble and honorable party.

    April 16, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    President Obama: How does this election time move create jobs?

    April 16, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  18. Peikovianyi

    Jihadis claim their enemies are in a holy war, because all they understand is a holy war. Progressives claim their enemies are greedy, because all they understand is greed. What is true in religious mysticism is true of its secular cousin, radical politics: seeking what is not earned by referencing what is not real. Both are versions of the something-for-nothing scam.

    April 16, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  19. Canadian Jim

    If the GOP win this Lincoln will look rather foolish when the "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." actually perishes and the Gettysburg Address is rewritten to "government of the rich people, by the rich people and for the rich people shall not perish from this earth." People get the government they deserve, I guess.

    April 16, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  20. DK

    What a surprise! Most people would rather someone else pay more than themselves. How unique.

    April 16, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  21. rad666

    Have they even agreed on a budget yet?

    April 16, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
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