September 14th, 2010
08:33 AM ET
13 years ago

Do Americans want to extend tax cuts for wealthy?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption =" A new poll indicates that Americans are divided on whether tax cuts should be rolled back for the wealthiest Americans."]

Washington (CNN) - Should tax cuts for the country's wealthiest income earners be extended?

It's a raging debate right now between Democrats and Republicans here in the nation's capitol and on the campaign trail across the country. The White House and many 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, introduced by President George W. Bush in 2001, should be kept in place for everyone.

So what do Americans think?

A new Pew Research Center Pew Research/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll indicates the public's divided, with 29 percent saying tax cuts for all Americans should be extended, an equal amount saying tax cuts for the wealthy should be repealed but kept for everyone else, 28 percent saying roll back the cuts for everyone, and 14 percent didn't know.

The survey suggests a partisan divide, with 47 of Republicans wanting to extend tax cuts for all. That number drops to 30 percent for independents and 16 percent for Democrats. Forty-percent of Democrats questioned say that tax cuts for the wealthy should be repealed. That number drops to 28 percent for independents and 22 percent for Republicans.

The Pew Research Center/National Journal poll was conducted September 9-12, with 1,001 adults questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

So what do other polls indicate?

A Gallup/USA Today survey conducted late last month indicates that 37 percent want to keep tax cuts for all Americans, with 44 percent saying they should be rolled back for wealthy Americans and 15 percent saying that the Bush tax cuts for all income earners should expire.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll conducted in early August, three in ten said that the Bush-era tax cuts should be continued for all Americans, with just over 50 percent saying those tax cuts should be continued only for families who make less than $250,000 a year, and nearly one in five believing the tax cuts should expire for all Americans.

Fifty-two percent of people questioned in a Newsweek poll conducted in late August said that tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans should expire, with 38 percent saying they should be extended.

A CBS News survey conducted in mid August indicates that 56 percent of the public says the tax cuts for families making over $250,000 should be rolled back, with 36 percent saying they should be made permanent.

According to a Ipsos/Reuters poll also conducted last month, 49 percent say tax cuts for all should be extended, with 31 percent saying they should expire for the wealthiest Americans and 15 percent calling for an end of the tax cuts for everyone.

And an AP-GfK survey from August indicates that 45 percent want the tax cuts extended for all Americans, with 38 percent saying they should expire for the wealthiest Americans and 14 percent saying they should expire for everyone.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN

Filed under: issues • Polls • Taxes
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. Edward

    Who are they polling? There was a poll on this website and it was 79%-29% in favor of repealing the Bush tax cuts.

    September 14, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  2. Joe Winslow

    I'm in the lower tax bracket and I don't understand why higher income citizens should pay a higher tax rate. They already pay more in taxes because they make more money. If everyone paid the same percentage (SAY 15%) then the 250,000 wage earner WOULD PAY 5 times more tax than the 50,000 wage earner JUST BY THE FACT THEY EARN 5 TIMES MORE IN WAGES. Now you raise the 250,000 wage earner rate from 15% to 30% and they pay 10 times the tax than the 50,000 wage earner. I think the higher income population ALREADY PAY TO MUCH TAX. AGAIN i AM IN THE LOWER TAX BRACKET.

    September 14, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  3. The incompetent Barrack Hussien Obama

    Yes, the wealthy need to be treated fairly too.

    They already pay more taxes than anyone else. 10% of the country pay 90% of the taxes at already higher rates.

    This reverse discrimination (called progressive tax rates) discriminates against those who are successful.

    I'd like to be in their position. Would love it. You can't sti back, be jealous, full of envy, and hate them for making more money and expect them to pay for others more than they already do.

    You want to be fair. Come up with a FLAT TAX, X % paid by all based on total income.

    September 14, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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