Should taxes on millionaires be boosted?
September 19th, 2011
09:52 AM ET
10 years ago

Should taxes on millionaires be boosted?

Washington (CNN) - Is increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans to lower the nation's deficit a good idea?

President Barack Obama thinks so. Monday morning he'll head to the Rose Garden at the White House to present his plan to reduce America's deficit. His proposals include raising taxes on people who make more than $1 million a year. Republicans say it's a bad idea, but billionaire Warren Buffett has said the rich don't pay their fair share of taxes.

So what do Americans think?

According to a CNN/ORC International Poll conducted last month, 63 percent of the public said they were OK with any deficit reduction bill passed by Congress that included increased taxes on higher-income Americans and businesses, with 36 percent opposed to the idea. The national survey also indicated a wide partisan divide, with eight in ten Democrats supporting an increase in taxes and six in ten Republicans opposed. Sixty-two percent of independent voters supported boosting taxes on higher-income Americans and businesses, with 37 percent opposed.

The CNN/ORC poll was conducted in early August, right after the congressional agreement to create a bipartisan "super committee" to lower the nation's massive budget deficit. While the survey is six weeks old, there have been few intervening events since then to dramatically alter opinions on the issue.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: Polls • President Obama • Taxes
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. Chas in Iowa

    It's time to stop the class warfare and make the rich pay taxes just like the rest of us. They pay at 15% for all the free money the falls from the sky but we pay 28% to 32% for money we work hard to earn.
    Time to make the rich pay taxes at a minimum at the same level as hard working Americans.

    September 19, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  2. Real Patriot

    The wealthy need to pay at least the same PERCENTAGE as those of us who are not wealthy. What's unfair about that?

    And Please-spare me the "Job Creators" baloney-jobs were lost by the millions after Bush's tax cuts on the wealthy-it is a lie that the rich paying their fair share would constrict hiring-it didn't happen before-it hasn't happened since Obama extended the Bush tax cuts–t will never happen....the only result is the rich get richer.

    It's time for a little fairness!

    September 19, 2011 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    We need to eliminate the grotesque 15% rate on most capital gains. Why should a millionaire pay 15%, when the middle class pays 28%. The middle class also pays more taxes in the form of sales taxes(8%) and property(4%) taxes, which pushes their total taxes to well over 30%, maybe to 40% or higher in some cases. That is simply not fair. I feel it is unconstitutional because he shows a preferential treatment for one segment of society.

    September 19, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  4. sonny chapman

    Repubs: They LOVE America; until it's time to pay taxes or send their Grandchildren to fight the wars they just HAVE to have.

    September 19, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Should taxes on millionaires be boosted?

    Of course not!

    It's already grotesquely unfair that a small minority of the population is forced to pay 90% of all federal income taxes received by government, especially since almost half the population pays nothing. What's the moral justification for forcing some people to subsidise others?

    In the US, we're all supposed to be treated equally under the law, and there's no defensible reason that shouldn't be as true with taxes as it is with everything else. The current system is the moral equivalent of laws that say burglary is illegal–unless you're stealing from a rich man. Stealing cars is illegal–unless it's an expensive car.

    September 19, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  6. Bessy

    Yes,yes, yes. It is about time that they have to pay their fair share. They are so worried about folks, who don't even have jobs, paying taxes. All they do is try to con people by telling them that by raising taxes there will be no jobs created. Okay, what jobs are they creating? None ! They are trying not to hire until they can shove President Obama out of office just to keep the jobless high and blame it on this administration. The majority of the rich do not care one bit for this country. Greed is the only thing that matters to them.

    September 19, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  7. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    "The wealthy need to pay at least the same PERCENTAGE as those of us who are not wealthy. What's unfair about that? "

    What's unfair about it is that the same percentage translates to more dollars. Why should some people be forced to pay more than others for the exact same screwed-up government forced on all of us? Percentage doesn't matter, absolute dollars do, and no one in a country that purports to treat everyone equally should impose equal taxes on everyone.

    September 19, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  8. dreucalypt

    Well, millionaires should at least pay the same tax rates their secretaries do. Now they pay rather less.

    September 19, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  9. Nad Daredia

    Not charging rich fair tax is class warfare not other way around as republicans have us believe.

    September 19, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  10. Annette

    Yes they pay more taxes,Why should the poor and middle class keep paying all the taxes.

    September 19, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  11. John K.

    Obama wants to raise taxes as we appear to be going back in to a recession.
    Is he insane or just incompetent?

    September 19, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  12. Ross DiRienzo

    Four and The Door, I'll ask, but you should ask to all the teachers, firefighters, construction workers that will need the charities because of the cuts you like so much. We need to choose between some discomfort for the rich (they won't be able to buy that big yacht they really wanted because they cannot make it look like it belongs to their company, boo-hoo) and poverty for middle class. We see in Texas how the policy you champion are going... with people working for minimal wage and getting more and more poor. So, to me the choice is rather simple!
    Tax the riches their FAIR amount, thet is as much as the middle class. Also do not allow for them to deduct their properties as work expenses!

    September 19, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  13. ThinkAgain

    Yes, in poll after poll after poll, a majority of Americans want this. But, of course, the Republicans are turning a deaf ear, instead intent on perpetuating the lie that "tax cuts create jobs."

    For a bunch of yahoos who claim to be representing the "will of the American people," the Repubs sure as heck won't listen to THIS.

    September 19, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  14. Roger

    What is wrong with politicians? And, for that matter, What is wrong with us Americans? The only equitable solution to this problem (Equal taxation) is to enact a "FLAT TAX". This would lower the tax rate for lower income tax payers and make it equitable for the rich. This would be a great start to lowering the deficit and then we tackle the "out of control" government spending.

    September 19, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  15. ThinkAgain

    Ever notice they always neglect to say WHERE?

    Because tax cuts for the wealthy put more money in their pockets, which they in turn invest overseas where labor is cheap and environmental regulations don't exists (let alone the ability to take legal action against a company that has harmed you).

    So, yeah, technically, tax cuts create jobs – just not here in the U.S.

    September 19, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  16. patNY

    apparently when you cut the taxes on the so called job creators, they have less incentive to grow because the gov't is giving them more money by decreasing their overhead with the tax cuts..its free money...they don't have to grow and don't have to hire to make more business for tax the shiiiiit out of them to force them to be more productive to make more money to recover the more they will pay in taxes.

    September 19, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota

    Should millionaires pay more taxes? Hmmm. Let's just say I'm definitely NOT joining the GOPer bandwagon in support of these folks, that's for sure.

    September 19, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  18. Four and The Door

    By putting a cap on itemized deductions, Obama isn't really screwing the wealthy. He is screwing the thousands of charities that gave the wealthy many of these deductions. Oops! ( again )

    September 19, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  19. Inmyopinion

    Yes, millionaires should pay a much higher tax bracket than everyone else and millionaires are not those people making $250K a year, millionaires are all those people in Hollywood who became millionaire actors, directors, producers, singers, etc.., millionaire politicians and millionaire journalists, millionaire business executives, millionaire owners of major corporations, millionaire major stockholders, millionaire football, golf, basketball, baseball players, millionaire Union leaders, millionaire preachers, millionaire beauticians and let's not forget the silicon valley billionaires.

    September 19, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  20. Freddy

    Let's see who some of the "job creators" are who would pay more taxes under President Obama's plan: major league baseball players, NFL football players, NBA basketball players, lawyers, doctors, hedge fund managers, to name a few. How many jobs to they create? Answer: None.

    Let's hear how the Grand Old Tea Party defends their tax breaks.

    September 19, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  21. gt

    every one should pay something... yes they need to pay more....

    September 19, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  22. Marcia Greenwood, IN

    The Republicans have had a class war for the last 13 years in favor of the rich-It is time for them to step up and pay a fair share instead of buying another Rolls or another house

    September 19, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  23. Anthony

    Republicans will reject Obama's plan to cut debts, but they will not unveil their own plan. The reason: other than defunding Obama's health care program, which amounts to about 100 billion a year, Republicans have nothing else to cut. The stimulus is over. If Republicans are forced to come up with their own plan, voters will know that the runaway spending in Obama's budget consists of the wars and other defense spending, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Along with interest payment on the national debt and other spending required by law, they make up about 3.2-3.3 trillion of the 3.8 trillion federal budget. These are spending even a Republican president would be forced to make. In contrast, the federal government receives only 2.2 trillion in revenue. So even a Republican president would have to come up with a revenue increase of more than one trillion, or he would have a trillion-dollar deficit. And this is assuming that the government spends nothing on the rest of the government, which includes FDA, CDC, NIH, etc.

    September 19, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  24. Rudy NYC

    One. The press needs to push Republicans on their "job creator" theory, which says we need to cut *personal* taxes to help *small* businesses. (Republicans actually want to help S-Corporations)

    Two. The press needs to push Republicans why they enacted the "S-Corporation" loophole for privately owned, multi-million/billion dollar companies in the first place. (Companies can file their taxes on someone's personal income taxes.)

    Three. The press needs to get Republicans to explain why they are for *personal* tax cuts for the wealthy, but against *business* tax cuts aimed at actual small businesses. (Republican definition of small business is how many owners, not total gross sales.)

    If you do not know what an "S-Corporation" is, then you need to do some research on it and find out. The owners of these types of companies are the "job creators" that Republicans constantly talk about. They are the *small businesses* that Republicans constantly talk about.

    September 19, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  25. AlaskaPalin

    To whom much is given much is required! When there's an economic boom those who benefit most should contribute most in the down turn for it is in their interest that the economy does well for they'll benefit most. Meanwhile, we must cut and stop spending for this is unsustainable and the bubble it creates will burst.

    September 19, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
1 2 3