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. KJ

    28% oppose the Buffett rule. 28% is also the percentage that still approved of GW Bush at the end of his term. These are the people that would oppose Jesus himself if he agreed with a democrat / Obama.

    April 16, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  2. kevindaltam

    Of the three against, one might be a millionaire, the other two are wannbe's
    the voted no because Faux News told them to and being loyal drones, they do
    not think for themselves and allow Murdoch the hacker to tell them what to think.

    April 16, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  3. dwl

    7 out of 10 are broke, non motivated, lazy individuals who are worried about a recession yet driving there 40k cars and playing with their iphones. If i was lazy id be for the buffet rule so the motivated pay more.

    April 16, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  4. Jimmy S

    This is just a CNN poll, duh. No semblance to reality. I will just await the Fauxnews counter-poll.

    April 16, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  5. BobbaFett

    Um, you guys actually think the Buffet rule will put a nanoscopic dent in the debt? It's pathetic how easily misled people are.

    April 16, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. Emperor Vadik, CA

    The 29% opposing it are just people who have heard Rush oppose it and really don't know any better...

    ...and the 1%...well, we know why they oppose it...

    April 16, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. Mark

    The GOP will block passage of the bill. They will not let Obama suceed, even if it destroys America.

    April 16, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. Joseph

    You Repubs don't think it's fair but understand we are on the brink of class warefare. If the middle class allows itself to be controlled by the wealthy employees oil compaines, pharmaceutical, insurance, finance companies this country will revert to the inequities of the early 1900's where most people had little choice but to work for the local big boss.. and buy goods at the company store to boot.

    April 16, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. Chris from Chicago

    The several polls released by CNN paint a very interesting and unique picture of this election year. I love how a CNN headline can make a conclusion about National opinion based on a poll of 500 people. "OBAMA UP 9 POINTS!" "7 OUT OF 10 FAVOR BUFFET RULE!" Really? 7 out of 10 in favor, yet it can't pass the senate? Obviously a flawed poll. This is just desperate pandering.

    @Randy from San Fran., the 30 percent of the 500 person sample? Why don't you look at the facts. How much will this tax hike help close our deficit? It will be negligible, as stated by Obama himself, because it only targets a small handful of people for the purpose of "fairness."

    April 16, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. Mortalc01l

    Since the ultra-wealthy are paying the lowest tax rate in the last 53 years, all that's required is that we go back to the rate they paid under Ronald Reagan their patron saint and demi-God. That would be fair, right? Or was Reagan a job killing socialist commie for having such high rates of taxation for the wealthy?

    April 16, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  11. ron

    So you're going to raise taxes on my employer... ya, I'm sure I won't be paying any of that. :/

    April 16, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  12. AL in West Palm Beach

    hahaha,
    I'd be surprise if Romney was for it.

    Robmey is more 10 times more likely to cut off one of his fingers than to agree to pay taxes.

    April 16, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  13. snowdogg

    Is this better than the 10% flat tax with no deductions or loopholes for EVERBODY?

    I really don't know – would like to see the whole tax structure simplified. Maybe do away with 90% of the IRS?

    April 16, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  14. Kyle

    7 out of 10 people don't understand that the tax dispariety is due to the socialization of an economic environment dictated by free-market principals. End the war on drugs, War on Terror, War on Profit, Bring taxes as low as we can possible get them. Keysian economics can work only if you have an unlimited supply of capital not derived via taxation, but we don't... Austrian school all the way

    April 16, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    The only ones not supporting this is that top 1%, of which Romney is a member. He still needs to disclose info on his offshore accounts so the rest of the americans ( those in denial ) can see how crooked he really is.

    April 16, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. Kevin, Cincinnati

    Get a clue. What will this do? The amount brought in by this "increase" is a drop in the hat compared to the spending the government has been doing. If this was a legitamate way of decreasing the debt, id be all for it. But instead you are just trying to deincentivize or punish those that make the most. Look at the big picture you angry liberals. Watch generous donations go away due to the lack of tax incentives. Watch businesses cut more fat to keep the profits up. On paper, you all have great ideas on how to make the world a better place with ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE on how it will muddy up the other waters and affect everything else. You may as well run around and say we should all get $100,000 a year. Its fantasy, and the sooner you all realize that and jump off the class wafare train, the better your life will get. America is full of bitter, unemployed people that dont want to see anyone else doing better. That mentality needs to change. And we need to get used to less governement assistance....

    April 16, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. Pikeone

    Of course those 7 out of 10 probably pay little or no taxes. This is one of the inequities of the system – the one paying the most in taxes to support a bloated government have the same vote as the person who pays nothing. The tax rate should be the same rate no matter what the level of income is.

    April 16, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  18. noel

    The Buffett Rule is no more than political positioning for Obongo. We all know, or should, that further taxing the wealthy and retirees' investments won't even come close to curing our economic woes. Poor OBONGO, grasping @ more straws. This fall when we have $5 gas and 9%+ unemployment, we'll see who the American people support. Hint: It won't be this Manchurian President with his photoshopped BC!!!
    OBAMANOS!!!

    April 16, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  19. Cperry

    WOW.....since when should someone pay more than others under the term "fairness"? Why cant we all pay a mandatory percent of gross earnings without any loop-holes. Instead, this transfer of wealth scheme to take from those that "DO" and give it to those that "DONT" will disrupt the foundation of our country. Our businesses has more cash-on-hand than ever before in the past 60 years. Why? Because business men and women who take financial risk every day to employee us or cutting off capital investments in rejection of President Obama. Sometimes you dont cut off the hand that feeds you. Say what you want, use the ignorance of others to get an advantage, do whatever but the reality doesn't change. "Doers" keep our system running. Sure, tax them more, curse at them for being successful, deamonize the DOERS to make yourself feel better by blaming others for not doing what you should have done over the years. It appears that the "DO NOTHINGS" would rather see everyone fail to make themselves look better. A flat tax isnt good enough for you. NOPE!

    April 16, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. rob

    Framed the way the dems and the liberal media do, as only "Fair", yes people would probably agree. When pressed (if ever) the administration and campaign spokes people admit it won't bring down the Debt or help people find jobs or improve the economy in any way. It is straight up divisive. As they always do, they are pitting one American against another. A Dem Senator on a news show today stated while it was not the answer it was a start of a larger reform of the tax code. If this is the case, WHERE IS THE PROPOSAL FROM ANYONE IN THE DEM PARTY???

    April 16, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  21. Jason Glugla

    Your Republican Representative doesn't care what 7 out of 10 of you think. They care what their corporate masters think.

    April 16, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  22. JAANC

    newsflash...7 out of 10 are mindless sheep...

    April 16, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  23. AceRyder

    When it doesn't raise enough revenue to impact the deficit, be ready for the government to come after YOUR money.
    It's a spending problem, not a revenue problem.

    April 16, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  24. MrCranky57

    It's amazing that CNN publicizes such garbage. Polling 1000 people hardly make this news-worthy, or a reasonable assessment of what the American people think. People should be demanding that the tax codes be changed, not tax the rich more. Of course, 47% of the people do not want the tax codes changed because it will likley mean they would have to pay federal income tax. Oh well. We have a spending problem folks, not a tax problem. Until this concept is grased the USA is in big trouble regardless of the party in power. By the way...who do you think will be impacted most if taxes are raised on the rich? The rich will still make their money. It's just a matter of how many people they lay-off and how high they raise prices to accomodate their profit requirement. In the end, the little guy will pay.

    April 16, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  25. John

    Do people not realize that there are middle class baby boomers who saved most of what they earned, and as a result now have over a million dollars invested that they are using to live off of? This "rule" will hurt them much more than it will help anyone else. And what about us middle class people who are trying to get to that point? Thanks to this rule, we'll never get there.

    The US government doesnt have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem, and that needs to be fixed. Politicians are like drug addicts and they are mainlining our hard earned money. It is time for an intervention.

    April 16, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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