April 16th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
10 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. Natalie

    This is just another reason why republicans don't listen to the American public, they only listen to their own stupid babble about what "they think" is best for Americans...they have no idea what they're doing!

    April 16, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  2. Corey

    Having congress (who this bill would effect just about all of them) is as absurd as them voting on their own pay.

    April 16, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. Debby

    Where was this poll taken? 509 wow thats not even a fraction of the US population.

    April 16, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. bc runner

    Dear Bruce, I don't think Romney's income powers anything other than the hot air that comes out of his mouth. I work just as hard, actually harder, and I pay a much, much higher effective rate. Treating income as carried interest is loophole.. And, by the way, I am not envious of his wealth..- it's just upsetting seing him getting away with paying so little..

    April 16, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  5. Joe

    7 out of 10??? the seven are the ones getting free money from the Obama Administration....don't let the free money quit!!!!

    April 16, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  6. rob

    the democrats have moved so far left on fiscal policy that they are now in the land of quasi-socialism. this tax goes against every principle upon which this country was founded and does virtually nothing to address the deficit problem. of course 70% of the people support a law that gives them money from the rich. duh. luckily, the republicans own the house and will vote against this garbage.

    April 16, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. John

    AL in West Palm Beach


    "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."

    ^^ "Robmey" that is cute. You do realize that Romney paid $6.9 million dollars in taxes last year. At my current sallary it would take me almost 100 years to earn that much. I'd say he paid his fair share, unlike a certain democrat politician who licensed his yacht in another state to avoid taxes on it, etc etc.

    April 16, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. Bill (Louisiana)

    I 100% support this bill and it would put more than a dent in the funds coming into the Fed, and could boost the economy right out of this depression most of the middle class is in. 1/3 of 3 Billion is $1 Billion in tax revenue. The only fare way of taxing is Americans is by scaled percentages from lower to upper class with the upper class paying a higher percentage than the poor and middle class, not backwards. As far as small business's go they should be seperating their personal income tax from the business part of it by incorporating. If they are doing the whole kit and boodle, they are not a business that hires people and improving the economy. It is as bad as a poor person who gets a deacon licence and writes all his income as a non profit organization. Every time one of these rich people or politicians gives a speach at a college or university, they are writing off their time and expenses for $$$$$. Loop holes and I don't mean home mortgage interest and other taxes paid. What the rich gets away with is far more then an inefficient government gets away with.

    April 16, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  9. Joe

    It will never be posted ....this is main stream media.....and you hate people from the right.....what ever happened to fair and balanced with the media.....or just reporting the truth

    April 16, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  10. A Southern Lady - North Carolina

    Could it be that it is the 1% and the very wealthy that oppose the Buffett Rule? If the tax breaks Bush gave to the wealthy job-creators worked ====- where are the jobs? A good and decent man sits in the White House and he is and has tried to make things better and more fair for the average American and has been fought tooth and nail by the Republican Party. The R's say it is OK to cut Medicare and Medicade, teachers, fireman, help for the elderly, lunches for poor children, early education for children at risk and many other things that help the average American and the poor but we can not ask the rich to stop hiding their money in Switzerland and the Caymens and how dare we suggest they should pay their fair share of taxes! The nerve!! Do the Republicans have no shame?

    April 16, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  11. Careful Thought

    Check what the percentage of people who agree to the buffett rule who actually know what the capital gains tax IS. This argument on the left is pandering to people who don't really understand the situation. And who would be surprised if a poll said that 90% of people believe the OTHER 10% should pay more taxes to give that 90% more free stuff?

    April 16, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  12. KJ

    Can't we all just agree to go back to Reagan era tax rates?

    April 16, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  13. Investment Advisor

    Hey" 7 out of 10" before you wish for something, do your homework! In other words, "be careful what you wish for"! Don't get sucked in to this administrations warped sense of economic justice....use your head and not your emotions.

    April 16, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  14. webxl

    In other news, 7 out of 10 have virtually no economic education and also no idea how a job gets created. I wonder what the poll results would be if you said millionaires should pay 90% of their income. And then take the same poll after explaining that those who have lots of money create jobs by investing it in businesses. The government can only create government jobs: GSA and DMV type jobs. The private sector (i.e. millionaires) produces things like what you're reading this on. Every day. And they often sell it to you for less money than it's worth to you. Wanna talk about fairness? The top 1 percent pay nearly 40 percent of all federal income taxes, while the bottom 50 percent account for only 3 percent.

    April 16, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  15. sonny chapman

    But Mitch McConnell starts every sentence with:"The American people want/don't want". I thought Repubs. had a monopoly on what the American people SHOULD think.

    April 16, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  16. MBW

    If I invest my savings in stocks, then the tax rate on capital gains is 15%. If I invest my savings in CD's, then the tax rate is equal to my maximum rate of 28%. In both cases we are talking about savings which were derived from after
    tax income. So why is the tax rate different? Usury is usury. If income is derived from investments of earned income
    which we have already paid taxes on, then the tax formula for that usury should be the same for everyone, regardless of what the investment might be; ie, capital gains, CD's, treasury bonds, or passbook savings.

    April 16, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  17. KJ

    Looks like Rush and Hannity used the same script today. All of their mindless followers are saying the same things and using the same catch phrases word for word in these comments. Say what you want about right wing radio and Fox...their propaganda tactics are extremely effective. Goebbels has nothing on these guys.

    April 16, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  18. mike58

    The Buffet Rule is a political stunt either side wants it to pass and it won't.
    It's all just a game to Obama

    April 16, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  19. DaveinCincy

    ...ahh yes..the useless Daily CNN Barack Banner is flying high today.

    April 16, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  20. Pragmatic Conservative

    How many Americans support eliminating many of the tax deductions that allow Mr. Buffett to effectively pay a lower rate? If they were asked, I'm sure even more than support the Buffett Rule. But they won't be asked because eliminating deductions is the reform that Governor Romney favors, while the President focuses solely on ineffectual political games that allow him to promote class warfare. Mr. Obama has committed to dividing this nation along wealth, gender and racial lines so as to increase his support amongst the "permanent victim" class. He clearly doesn't care what this will do to the nation in the long run, as long as he gets another term.

    April 16, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  21. Dorken Wackenburg

    This is more evidence that political parties should be outlawed in the United States and all forms of political advertising should be disallowed.

    April 16, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  22. minnie

    I understand it just fine, and I am totally in agreement with the so-called Buffet rule.

    April 16, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  23. Steve

    Is anybody surprised at this statistic? 5 out of 10 pay NO taxes and therefore really don't have a chip in the game. Of the remaining 50%, those paying for everyone else, only 2 out of 5 like the Buffet rule. The bottom line is that the parasitic 50% who pay nothing want those of us who do to pay more. Again, is anyone surprised at this?

    April 16, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  24. minnie

    P.S. And I will NOT personally benefit from this change. Not everyone thinks only of personal gain.

    April 16, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  25. jg

    @ Careful Thought:
    Capital Gains tax is return on investment. For wealthy people it is their primary source of income. Therefore it should be taxed at income tax rates....as it was under Reagan.

    We DO KNOW WHAT capital gains is. And we know WRONG when we see it. A 15% rate on investment does NOT stop investment. The rate was 30% under Clinton. That's right.....no one invested in the Internet economy....the capital gains rates were too high. Remember?????

    AND: the American People do not want FREE STUFF as you put it. What do you base that on? The American people want funded educated, funded infrastructure, funded universities, funded Health Care....in other words....A growing, prosperous economy so the rich people can make MORE money....like they did under Clinton, who oversaw the strongest economy in 30 years. And that was when Capital Gains was at 30%.

    Get it now? We are NOT dumb. We understand history, the economy, and understand that funded infrastructure and an empowered middle class is what DRIVES the economy....not rich people.

    Is that clear enough for you?

    April 16, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
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