Trio of polls: Support for raising taxes on wealthy
December 6th, 2012
10:19 AM ET
2 years ago

Trio of polls: Support for raising taxes on wealthy

Washington (CNN) - A new poll indicates a majority of Americans are OK with raising taxes on incomes over $250,000 per year as part of a deal to prevent the country from falling off the fiscal cliff.

A Quinnipiac University national survey released Thursday is the second in two days and third over the past week and a half to indicate public support for raising taxes on households making more than $250,000 per year. A tax increase for high income Americans has been a major sticking point between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans in negotiations to avert the fiscal cliff.

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Last year Congress and President Barack Obama agreed to a program to reduce the federal deficit that is referred to as the fiscal cliff. Unless Congress and the president reach an agreement by the end of the year, tax rates will automatically rise next year for nearly all Americans and major spending cuts will automatically begin to kick in for most government spending programs, including military programs.

At issue in the negotiations is a disagreement between the two major political parties over how to best raise the federal government's revenues. The president and most congressional Democrats argue for tax rate increases on the wealthiest Americans in order to raise revenue, while most congressional Republicans call for the closing of tax loopholes and deductions, overall tax code reform.. Both parties have indicated a willingness to implement spending cuts, some kind of reforming of entitlement programs, such as Social Security and Medicare, although specifics over how much and where have yet to be made.

According to the Quinnipiac poll, 65% of registered voters support higher taxes on incomes over $250,000 per year. Eighty-four percent of Democrats and two-thirds of independent voters questioned support such a move, but Republicans are opposed by a 53%-41% margin.

An Associated Press/GfK survey released Wednesday indicated that a plurality favor letting tax cuts expire for the country's top earners, and 60% of those questioned in an ABC News/Washington Post poll released last week said they supported such a move. The public opinion polls are in-line with the national exit polls from the November election, which indicated that 60% of voters said that taxes should be raised on incomes over $250,000.

As with the Quinnipiac poll, the ABC News/Washington Post survey also indicated that most Democrats and independents support the move, with a majority of Republicans opposed.

As for raising taxes on capital gains, which may also on the bargaining table, the Quinnipiac survey indicates support by a 47%-40% plurality.

While raising taxes on higher income Americans appears popular, the public apparently doesn't want changes to Medicare, the federally administered program which guarantees access to health insurance for those 65 and older, and for younger people with disabilities.

By a 51%-44% margin, the Quinnipiac poll indicates the public opposes gradually raising the age for Medicare eligibility. Two-thirds of those questioned in the ABC/Washington Post poll also objected to raising the age from 65 to 67, and plurality in the AP/GfK poll say the same thing. And only three in ten of people surveyed in that poll support the slowing of growth of annual Social Security benefits.

According to the Quinnipiac poll, seven out of ten oppose cutting Medicaid spending.

A plurality (48%-43%) in the Quinnipiac survey say that the president and Congress will reach agreement on a plan to avoid falling off the fiscal cliff. A plurality in the ABC News/Washington Post poll was pessimistic about a deal being struck by Obama and congressional Republicans.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted November 28-December 3, with 1,949 registered voters nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.


Filed under: 2012 • Fiscal Cliff
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Landry

    Funny how everyone wants higher taxes but does not want to handle Medicare eligibility, Social Security or any other entitlement. Best bet is to go over the cliff and come back after the new year to get retroactive middle income tax cuts. Its not a great plan but probabaly the most that will happen. The US has become to fat, lazy, and selfish to make hard choices for our children and grandchildren – pass on the problems.

    December 6, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  2. Kelby in Houston, TX

    There was a trio polls telling them President Obama was going to be re-elected and the Republicans still couldn't see the writing on the wall. These polls only matter to Republicans when it agrees with their preset structure of beliefs.

    December 6, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  3. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    Support for raising taxes on wealthy...

    And God spoke all these words:
    “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
    Exodus 20:17

    December 6, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  4. somebody

    Maybe it's time the GOP does the will of the people instead of just yapping about it in front of the cameras.

    December 6, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  5. jeff

    Wow, and this is news, of course the Dems support raising the taxes, I support it "IF" they get serious about cutting spending, that has got to be done. You can't raises taxes enough on the wealthy to pay for all that Obama is spending, and wants to spend more. WE HAVE GOT TO GET A HANDLE ON OUR SPENDING, we can't keep spending more that we take in, I don't care who is in the WH. It is time to get serious!!!!!!!

    December 6, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    These polls are redundant! We've been screaming from the high heavens for the last 2 years that taxes need to go up on the wealthy. Corporate welfare and tax cuts for the rich need to end NOW!!! If republicans want to hold the economy hostage to protect tax cuts for the rich, then we will make them pay at the polls in 2 more years.

    December 6, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. Republican who supports President Obama

    Time to pay up!!!!!!

    Paying a few dollars more does not hurt – the "well off" paid it in the past and the world did not explode so they can pay for it now. They enjoyed this break for long enough and the money they spent on politicians could have been better spent on creating job here in this country.

    December 6, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  8. Ramana7

    Guess we just have to keep voting out Republicans so that Congress can start of operate again...

    December 6, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. Facts don't Lie

    it's too bad that inside the right wing FoxNews world bubble that such polling really doesn't matter nor does it even exists. These people that believe the UN is coming to take our disabled children out of our homes and that President Obama was elected with the help of a non-existing organization called ACORN wiil not beleive that a majority of Americans favor the plan the president is putting forth. Too bad that have to stay in that bubble because one day it's going to pop and reality just might set in.

    December 6, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. judy

    the repos don't look at polls unless it is in their favor. Wake up guys. The country doesn't have a very good opinion of you right now.

    December 6, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  11. sifto

    from canada–cannot believe that Americans support a Pres that seems to be trying to destroy your great country.......

    December 6, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. Data Driven

    60% support last month, 65% support this month. That sound you hear is the Speaker of the House cracking open yet another Beer of Despair.

    December 6, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  13. ST

    Boehner and his buddies should not pretend not to hear the loud voice of the majority. It is quite simple, act accordingly or get prepared to face consequences.

    December 6, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  14. TEAPARTY MIKE

    Republicans are speaking in the news every day stating the truth, that their plan does indeed increase taxes paid by the rich. Many Republicans are saying in the news that they would even support a tax rate increase if it was part of a good deal with real spending cuts and entitlement reform. By Jan. 1 2013 even Obama will not be able to convince voters that the Republicans are not including a real tax increase on the rich in their offer. I think by Jan. 1 a large majority of voters are not going to care much if the rich pay more taxes because of higher rates or a cap on deductions or how many hundreds of billions the tax increase is. I think they will just want both sides to agree on something, anything. In the end I believe most voters will be mad as hell if a deal is not made when both sides have a tax increase on the rich in their plan and they can not come to an agreement. I believe they will be equally mad as hell with Obama as they will be with Republicans. I believe in the end a majority of voters will just say on the tax increase issue to just flip a coin and live with it. In the end I believe they may even hold Obama even more responsible if he will not even sit down and try to work out a deal with Republicans unless they first agree to do it his way. Not even trying to make a deal is the most sure way possible to make sure a deal does not get done. That is not what voters expected of Obama when they gave him a second chance.

    December 6, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  15. michael

    Thank God these polls weren't from FOXNEWS, they would not be trustworthy! Remember their election polls favored Romney and every other neocon ideological conservative political half baked cause! The American people have spoken with the election of President Obama, we really don't need polls to validate his position on taxes!

    December 6, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  16. TEAPARTY MIKE

    Republicans are speaking in the news every day stating the truth, that their plan does indeed increase taxes paid by the rich. Even Obama will not be able to convince voters otherwise by Jan. 1 2013. I think by Jan. 1 a large majority of voters are not going to care much if the rich pay more taxes because of higher rates or a cap on deductions or how many hundreds of billions the tax increase is. I think they will just want both sides to agree on something, anything. In the end I believe most voters will be mad as hell if a deal is not made when both sides have a tax increase on the rich in their plan and they can not come to an agreement. I believe they will be equally mad as hell with Obama as they will be with Republicans. I believe in the end a majority of voters will just say on the tax increase issue to just flip a coin and live with it. In the end I believe they may even hold Obama even more responsible if he will not even sit down and try to work out a deal with Republicans unless they first agree to do it his way. Not even trying to make a deal is the most sure way possible to make sure a deal does not get done. That is not what voters expected of Obama when they gave him a second chance.

    December 6, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  17. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The Republicans are just stalling to collect more lobbyist money.

    December 6, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  18. Larry in Houston

    GO OFF THE CLIFF !! I really don't mind paying an extra $2,200.00 (twenty two hundred dolalrs) or if it's more,

    then so be it – Money isn't worth much now days anyway – as long as the Fed keeps printing and printing and printing IT – With all the paper money that has been Printed the last 50 years, we could never go to the "ron pauls" idea –

    If He would have gotten over the idea of that "Gold Standard" stuff – he would have went further – he was the only one who was against spending Billions to other countries – and putting the resources here in this country – paying down the debt – and the list goes on – Bottom line is : There isn't enough Gold in the world, to offset the money that has been printed. If we did go on the gold standard, the price of gold would be something like 500K per oz.

    December 6, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  19. Barry In Las Vegas

    And how many of those polled pay taxes? Lets all hope we go over the cliff because that is the only way to get Obama and the democrats to cut spending.

    December 6, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. CaliforniaBC

    You got these 3 polls and Obama elected on a platform to raise taxes, something that has only happened once before in a century, so let's do the math.

    3 national polls + one re-election = MANDATE!

    December 6, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  21. Data Driven

    I agree that WE HAVE GOT TO GET A HANDLE ON SPENDING. Let's start by slashing that bloated Pentagon budget by at least 1/2.

    December 6, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  22. Rick McDaniel

    This is all smoke and mirrors. Economists on both sides, state clearly that the revenue will simply be far too little, to pay for Obama's spending. Period. End of story.

    This entire battle, was fought simply to take control of the Congress, by a dictator.

    December 6, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |