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. Corporations R. People

    Which is why the GOP will block it. Boehner, CANTor et al will once again fail to listen to the "will of the American people".

    April 16, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. Randy, San Francisco

    The 30% opposing the Buffet Rule are GOP/Tea Party zealots and fat cats.

    April 16, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Excellent. Put the Republicans on the record voting against the best interests of middle class America, once again.

    April 16, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  4. Don

    Romney, A greedy tax cheat who stashes his ill-gotten money in Swiss banks like the Mafia, I believe that there is something more than just the typical money laundering charge with people who hide their money in foreign accounts. by refusing to divulge it, Romney may be hiding something even bigger than just not paying taxes or the methods in which he obtained his wealth by stealing money from regular Americans, I think that there is something even shadier going on with the Mormon guy. I just can’t believe that Republicans would support this very very shady man.

    April 16, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. martin

    Cant for the general election to vote out Mitt Romnney once for all. He will end up treating America like the way he ran Bain Capital – firing the weak and the rich getting stronger.

    April 16, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    The so-called "Buffett Rule" ISN'T GOOD enough. To fix the tax problem all let people deduct only the family. if you are married with two childrens that only four to claim. Think of the taxes you would pay if you made $ 2 million dollar 2012 and only claim 4 on your taxes. What a day that would make. The Buffett Rule want fixed the debt, it only asking for people to pay fair their share of taxes only

    April 16, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  7. sonny chapman

    So, what do we call those Repub. Sens. who vote against the will of the people because THEY know what's best for the people? Snobs, elitists, Ivy Tower inhabitants ?

    April 16, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  8. No one

    Even if the 'majority' support it, who are the ones that write the lawmaker's paychecks? Or I'm sorry, make 'donations' to their campaigns.

    April 16, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. freelance

    why would anyone want to block this? I make 100K a year and pay a 30% top tax rate. What's wrong with requiring
    millionaires to do the same?

    April 16, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  10. Johnson

    The Buffet rule is everything moral. The major comments I have been reading is that he should donate the money he believes he owes the country; however that policy will not get the 99% that will not donate. A Millionaire would never miss the money we are talking about. Accountants and Lawyers are the ones who encourage their clients to take advantage of every loophole available in order to justify their fees.

    April 16, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  11. Martin Walters Seattle

    I sure hope so.

    April 16, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. JJ

    The GOP will continue to fight to make sure that the rich don't have to pay their fair share.

    April 16, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  13. carly

    What a surprise that most Americans want fairness when it comes to taxes. The right wing nuts just keep on fighting on the wrong side of every issue.

    April 16, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. Ozie

    Bottom line is that those politicians who oppose this receive almost all campaign dollars from the millionaires who would be effected by this. Makes you wonder who is REALLY running Congress...

    April 16, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. K3Citizen

    We all know the Buffet Rule is a minor step in balancing the budget. We will know if the GOP supports reducing the deficit ifthey pass it. If not, they lose credibility even more.

    April 16, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. John B.

    The ONLY way to change things is to get rid of the GoP. Anyone that signed the "Norquist Pledge" needs to be out of work come November. We can't have a Congress that opposes our President in every way...to the detriment of our country and it's people. These people can well afford a raise in taxes after reaping the benifits for so long. We ALSO need to cut our budget and spending but to do one and not the other while millionaires sit on their yachts is foolish.

    April 16, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  17. Jianjian Song

    The poll should be read as 3 out of 5 against the Buffett Rule as 50% of US citizens do not pay federal tax at all and therefore 5 out of 10 who don't pay tax at all should refrain from giving opinion.

    April 16, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. podunda

    In that case, Congress should do the will of the people and pass it.

    April 16, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  19. SeeTheBias

    The Buffet rule is moronic, and would hurt our economy. If you have any understanding of the current double taxation that occurs, how the tax code helps businesses who take big losses one year by letting them take a deduction the next couple years, or how the current lower tax rates are good for venture capital (starting the next Google, etc) – any understanding of all this at all – you would realize The Buffet rule is quite awful.

    April 16, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  20. Jorge

    And when revenue is less than expected, people will be shocked.

    April 16, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  21. Cast Iron Chef

    I've always thought it strange that what is called UNEARNED income is taxed at a lower rate that what we label as EARNED income. And yet we say we value hard work. Seems to me that if you didn't earn it, it should be taxed at a much HIGHER rate that income that we have to actually WORK for!

    April 16, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  22. Dave

    The rich don't want to pay a fair share of taxes. This desire is backed by the 1% with their 15% effective tax rate, and the 29% of American citizens who are absolutely, stark raving insane.

    April 16, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  23. k

    I support an obama rule. He paid far less in percentage that the avg paying american. He also gave 48k to his daughters as a tax dodge. How out of touch is that.

    April 16, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  24. aggie95

    And while Conservatives argue that raising taxes in this economy will hurt even the wealthy, they fail to discuss that this argument is an oxymoron. The Bush tax cuts have now been in affect for over 10 years now, so if their argument were true, we wouldn't have went into so deep a recession to begin w/....And, conservatives don't want to answer as to why these long lasting tax cuts haven't allowed these "job creators" to create jobs, as they claim has not been happening. The Pres has said while this is not the answer to it all, it should be part of the solution. After all, Bush said when he passed the tax cuts that they were suppose to be temporary. Therefore, I believe most Americans know that opposing this bill is just political posturing, as this poll indicates.

    April 16, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  25. rc

    Oh my gosh, newsflash 70% of people want others to pay more. How many of them are for letting the Bush tax cuts expire that will effect them too? How long before those who are targeting others become targets themselves? With the BUsh tax cuts expiring those at the top will pay 4.6% more. There is also a surcharge in the ehaltcare bill or nearly 5% as well. That means someone making a milloin could pay an extra $100,000 on top of the nealry $300,000 they are already paying. Use you brains people you don;t tnhik that's going to cost anyone their job?

    April 16, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
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