Poll: Blame to share if tax cuts fail
December 10th, 2010
03:51 PM ET
12 years ago

Poll: Blame to share if tax cuts fail

(CNN) - Who will be blamed if tax cuts expire on December 31st? According to a new McClatchy-Marist Poll, it depends on how you slice it.

The political furor surrounding President Barack Obama's deal with Republicans in Congress gives few hints about whether the proposal will succeed or fail. If the measure which includes an extension of Bush-era tax cuts for two years for all Americans, an extension of unemployment benefits for 13 months for the long term unemployed, and lowers the payroll tax by two percentage points for a year, fails and tax cuts are allowed to expire, a new poll says that there will be blame enough to go around.

When asked who would be at fault if the current Congress and the president fail to reach an agreement and let the Bush era tax cuts expire on December 31st, exactly one-third of the nation said Republicans in Congress would be most to blame.

President Obama, who drew criticism among his base for not consulting Democrats prior to brokering the deal with Republicans, receives 19 percent of blame in the poll.

About 3 in 10 Americans said they'd blame Democrats, who voted on Thursday to reject the deal brokered between Obama and the GOP.

Combining the values for liberals in Congress and the president reveals that almost half the nation would place the blame on Democrats for failing to reach a compromise with the GOP. One in ten said all parties would be at fault.

The White House has been actively engaged in drumming up support for the tax deal, which also includes a 35% estate tax on inheritances worth more than $5 million dollars.

The McClatchy-Marist poll was conducted among 873 registered voters from December 2-8, 2010 via telephone. It has a sampling error of plus-or-minus 3.5 percentage points.

Check out CNN's new Polling Center, which provides the most comprehensive polling data covering national questions and the top 2010 election races of any news organization in the political landscape.

Filed under: Polls • Taxes
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. stufit

    It sounds to me as if it is the last screwing of American workers by the democrat liberals (the same folks who rammed through Obamacare and the allowed unions who supported it "opt out" among so many other criminal deals). I will blame them and will tell all I know, that the incompetent, inept, corrupt, lying, weak, union toady president that SEIU/ACORN stole the election for lied and lied and is completely untrustworthy.

    December 10, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  2. Edward

    The blame rests on the voters who decided to vote the Republicans BACK in to finish the job of the Bush era, AND the
    Democrats who did not vote at all. I hope everyone enjoys their tea.

    December 10, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  3. T'sah from Virginia

    "...almost half the nation would place the blame on Democrats for failing to reach a compromise with the GOP. One in ten said all parties would be at fault..."

    Of courst the Democrats will be BLAMED – Period!!! AND, if JOBS don't come back like predicted in the next two years, President Obama will be BLAMED and the RepubliCAN'Ts know that!!!!

    December 10, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. Four and The Door

    We sent the Republicans to Washington with a mandate: Help get the economy back on track.
    Extending unemployment benefits does not help get the economy back on track.

    Avoiding tax increases right now does help get the economy back on track. It's probably the single most effective thing the government can do to encourage economic growth and address high unemployment.

    If the Democrats do not pass this they are 100% to blame. What is it they have against effectively addressing unemployment? Are they afraid tax cuts will work? They must know it will.

    December 10, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  5. Orlando Patriot

    How can you NOT blame the Democrats? The literally kicked Republicans out of ANY discussion over the last two years. Everyone KNEW that the tax issue was coming up Jan 1st, 2011 and the Democrats thought it more important to push through a health care bill (that will cripple this country), try to push Cap and Trade, try to push Illegal Immigration, and so on. The Democrats knew that the public was smart enought to know when you increase taxes on the businesses then businesses hire less (i.e. will "layoff" more). The Democrats did not want to do that BEFORE the election so decided to wait until AFTER the election to complete their agenda. However, they didn't realize the spanking they were going to get so NOW they want to talk with Republicans. Why didn't you talk with us, say, 12 MONTHS AGO!!!!

    This is what you get with the Democrat agenda and an incompetent Community Organizer in Chief. The solution is simple: extend the current tax rates for one year. That allows there to be a smooth transition from Dec 2010 to Jan 2011. NOTHING ELSE SHOULD BE IN THIS EXTENSION!! Simply extend and let the new Congress discuss it in Jan/Feb to come up with a longer term agreement or solution. Why are the Democrats making this so darn difficult?

    December 10, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  6. CTinDC

    "The McClatchy-Marist poll was conducted among 873 registered voters from December 2-8, 2010 via telephone. It has a sampling error of plus-or-minus 3.5 percentage points."

    That says it all. Im surprised that only 30% attribute failure to Democrats given the fact that land-line polls heavily lean Republican.

    December 10, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. sammieb51

    Agreed. The Dems didn't want to take care of this before the elections .... why not I wonder? But honestly - the tax "cut" I got under Bush I really didn't notice what with the increase in health care costs.

    December 10, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  8. S. Zander

    Why aren't we talking about the fact Obama put a freeze on retirees monthly Social Security benefit checks for the next 2 years and no one seems to mind that the proposed tax cuts are coming out of Social Security tax? Why are the wealthy getting tax breaks at the expense of my monthly Social Security check?

    December 10, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. Peter E

    Yes, tax cuts... the holy grail of economics that is agreed on across the political spectrum... despite the fact that no data whatsoever shows that they create jobs. Reagan cut taxes hugely and yet produced not just one, but two recessions! Clinton raised taxes slightly, and yet instead of killing the economy, that resulted in the boom of the 90s. Bush Jr.'s tax cuts ended with him having a net loss of jobs for this first term, and plunging us into the greatest recession since the Great Depression.
    Face it: rich people just pocket the tax cuts, but it gives them no incentive whatsoever to create jobs. Why create jobs when you can just make the poor work harder, and you can getmore profit just rubbing up against politicians to give you more tax cuts? Where is the incentive? Nowhere! And neither are the jobs!

    December 10, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  10. Mad man

    FAIR TAX TIME, FAIR TAX TIME, FAIR TAX TIME: Why should Americans and I mean any American be forced to pay more than another or have their private property subject to double taxation? Why should 2% of our population pay 80% of the way for the rest of the Nation. It is not that I think people of wealth should get preferential treatment, I do NOT, but I am more adamantly opposed to the Federal Government thinking that they have the right to levy higher tax rates on people and businesses for being the best and the most productive at what they do. Our Nation should go to some FAIR Tax system with some caveats for the impoverished and elderly and let EVERYONE pay their share of the burden. The reduction of Federal IRS goons alone would be enough to fund another war for God's sake. Perhaps if people felt the cost of all those extravagant pensions and benefits packages politicians and bureaucrats like to give themselves and their Union thuggery they would have the same disdain for them ALL that I have learned to embrace.

    Prepare and make peace with your God for the end of days is approaching...

    December 10, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. Annie, Atlanta

    I'd rather see the tax cuts expire than to give Wall Street Banksters any more money, after they brought the global economy to it's knees. If we aren't going to bother finding a way to put them behind bars, let's not give them more money, please.

    December 10, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  12. a in austin

    Sounds like some of the posters have their panties in a wad. The expiring tax cuts won't amount to a hill of beans in my case. The tax cuts do not create jobs. I guess the R's who ran on fiscal responsibility suddenly had amnesia....sly as a fox, the party of no have already circulated memos stating they could now call the tax cuts, the Obama tax cuts and the deficit as Obama's. Go Bernie Sanders........

    December 10, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  13. Gil

    When the repulsive republicans demand and get the tax breaks for the top 1% you know who is buttering their side of the bread. Wake up Americans! You will deserve the tax burdens that you are allowing these rigiht wing nut cases you sent and are sending in even greater numbers to work for Big Business, Big Oil, Big Wall Street and now the Rich. It is the dumbing down of your country people! You must all be teabuggers?

    December 10, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. Annie, Atlanta

    Orlando Patriot, dealing with Republicans over the last 2 years was like dealing with my sons when they were 2. How do you include someone like that in an adult conversation when all they do is say no. They even said no to things they proposed if the President turned around and agreed with them. Let's get it straight here, instead of the usual Noise for the Republican Noise Machine, please. We're sick of the propaganda, honestly.

    December 10, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. Hangar 13

    Didn't we just fire those Bozos? What are they doing still running the country???

    December 10, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. Four and The Door

    Peter E
    ... Why create jobs when you can just make the poor work harder, and you can getmore profit just rubbing up against politicians to give you more tax cuts? Where is the incentive? Nowhere! And neither are the jobs!
    As the owner/ CEO of a business I can tell you that the overwhelming majority of us want to grow our busineses. It is what we focus on every day. It is our upside. It is why we take risks with our life savings and mortgaging our homes to run our businesses. Most of us are personally liable for the success of our businesses and have made big bets that we will grow them. If the government takes more money from me it is absolutely less money I have available to invest in my business and hire people. Very few businesses right now can get any more work out of our employees. We have all cut back to the bare minimum and are doing everything we can with what we have.

    December 10, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    " Why should 2% of our population pay 80% of the way for the rest of the Nation."

    First, they don't. Your numbers are completely incorrect.

    Second, the top 1% of wage earners in the US takes home 25%+ of the total national income. THAT is why they pay a large % of the taxes that get paid. It's weighted by the skewed distribution of the income spectrum. The rich have gotten richer and richer and richer for the past couple decades, while the middle-class SHRANK and the poor got poorer. If 1% of the country was earning 100% of the wages, they'd be paying 100% of the taxes too. That's just how it works. Blathering like a math-inept moron about 1% paying X% of the taxes as if the raw comparison illuminates some vast and societally damaging unequal treatment and raping of the ultra-rich...that just makes you sound very VERY stupid, despite the fact that so many like yourself will CHOOSE to believe it despite any rational explanations or facts/evidence that contradict it.

    December 10, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    Two other points:

    1. Is the converse true? That if the Dems deserve most of the balme for it falling through (if it does, which it likely won't), doesn't that mean they deserve the credit if it does pass? After all, THEY control congress, not the GOP...which is why the GOP pulls underhanded procedural BS like voting against cloture for bills that have enough votes simply because they want to control the Congressional agenda with irrational obstructionist time-and-money-wasting nonsense.

    2. Why no reports on Bernie Sanders epic quasi-filibuster that took place today? Agree with him or not, that's the kind of stand-up-for-something-ness we should see more of from our Congresscritters, instead of the limpwristed pseudo-governing that comes from playing procedural games and pretending that 60% should be required to even bring something to the debate floor.

    December 10, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  19. Marty, FL

    I do not necessarily like the plan to continue giving expensive tax cuts to the rich who do not need it but will reluctantly agree with a temporary extension because of extenuating circumstances in our economy.

    It is not the time to expire tax cuts on anyone, especially the middle class, nor cut critical benefits on unemployed Americans while our economy continues to recover.

    December 10, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "As the owner/ CEO of a business I can tell you that the overwhelming majority of us want to grow our busineses"

    But you won't unless there will be sufficient demand to absorb your new ability to produce more goods and/or services. We are in a recession. As a result, demand has contracted and people are scraping by with unemployment insurance, etc. You don't get out of a recession by handing business owners free money, which they are far more likely to simply consider an increase in profit/personal income beacuse it was unearned, did not require expansion, did not require investment, did not require innovation, did not require winning the competetive game....telling them to expand operations so they can hire people to produce additional goods and services for which there exists no demand. That does not magically fix a recession and unemployment (nor, as I said, is it likely to happen anyway). You want to fix it? Start paying your employees what they're worth, an actual living wage that covers the cost of living, so they can use their wages to increase demand for goods and services instead of using the false demand-increaser of consumer debt products, which is precisely what's happened over the past couple decades. Rather than pay employees more, CEOs and upper echelon management paid themselves as much more as possible while rotating the working-class employees...laying off those that could no longer justifiably be told "no" when they asked for a raise...in order to be able to keep their middle-class wage expenses the same by keeping those wages the same. Why bother paying employees more when you can give them jsut enough to allow them to live off credit cards and home equity loans to make ends meet AND you can make money off it by investing in consumer debt securities and the useless derivatives and hedge funds based thereon? Throw in a purposefully created cyclical recession here and there to make them aware of "just how lucky they are to be employed in the first place and to be making anything at all" and voila...middle-class wages pretty much never have to change, and those that demand it can be efficiently removed from the worker pool and replaced by someone else who was suffering enough to just take what he could get.

    Nobody with a brain in their head buys your malarkey. The increase in taxes for the income beyond $250K is small enough that you'd have to be making a very sizeable chunk of cash beyond that first $250K for your "loss" as a result of taxes returning to the former rates to add up to enough money that you otherwise could have hired someone new or expanded in some way. At a 4% increase, it would require you to be making $1.25M per year to experience an additional $40,000 in taxes for the $1M you made beyond $250K, which is a little higher than one average middle-class salary, not including benefits.

    December 10, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  21. BDM

    Well said, Sniffit!

    December 10, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |

    10 years of the Bush tax cuts and the GOP is STILL tying to convince us that they create jobs. Sorry but not EVERYBODY in the nation was "smart" enough to put the Republicans back in control of the House. These are the same GOPers that don't want to extend unemployment for those that are out of work saying that there are jobs out there...stop being lazy and go get one even if it pays less than what you once earned and stop living off the goverment. (doesn't really matter I guess that most workers pay IN to unemployment when they did have jobs) Yet when the poor job numbers come out every month it's these same GOPers are the first to yell WHERE ARE THE JOBS??? I admit that America seems to have a problem thinking correctly when it comes to politics but hopefully the dumbing down of America by the right has reached it's peak and even some of the Tea Party folks will open their eyes and see what is really going on here.

    December 10, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  23. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Sniffit and Annie of Atlanta are spot on!

    December 10, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  24. rusty155

    The deal Obama got with the Republican sound to me It the best deal we have right now. I think the Democrats sure agreed with this deal so you can get more bill through be for the end of the year like the start treaty.

    December 10, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  25. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    I wonder who is going to get credit for it if it works? Will the GOP be saying "I told you so"? Will FoxNews give President Obama a cover story praising his decision if the economy starts to turn around due to this? Sarah Palin singing "hail to the Chief" and the Tea Party starting to carry POSITIVE signs with Obama on it. Uh yeah...right!

    December 10, 2010 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |