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. markusb

    Of course Buffet thinks this is a great idea. He just knows how to and has the means to squirm out of actually paying 30% on his earnings.

    April 16, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  2. Marc

    Wait, here is a real idea on equality, everyone pay the SAME rate, that is REAL equality and fairness. But, you don't want equality or fairness, you want redistribution or wealth. Why do you moan about paying your fair share when really its about taking money from the rich to give to the poor? Either have one universal tax bracket, or get rid of the income tax entirely and go to a national sales tax. Then its all about your personal choices, what you buy, what you consume, that dictates your taxes. Complete fairness, but it doesn't pay the poor to stay poor and vote democratic.

    April 16, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  3. 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%.

    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 |
  4. Dorken Wackenburg

    I say we close the federal government, including the IRS and all federal benefit programs, and completely do away with all federal taxes. The US Government is from the devil, for the devil, and feeds the devil. Just as my good friend, Rufus Jabberwocky always says.....the water at some restaurants in America is just too clear.

    April 16, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  5. Common Sense

    SO this is like close to 70% of Americans want Obamacare repealed to one extent or another. All those who are in favor of the Buffet Rule please answer how 47 billion dollars over 10 years is going to do anything. Also, please answer this question. Many people who make over 1 million a year do so from their investments, which are taxed at 15% capital gaines tax. It has been proven through the past (and Obama admitted) that if the capital gains tax is raised, revenue is decreased. So how will raising the tax help anyone. People will get less tfrom their investments, people will invest less because of it and buisnesses will be hurt, and there will be less revenue to the government to help with the poor or the deficit. So everyone is hurt are they not?

    April 16, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  6. jg

    Who wants FREE STUFF?
    The American people want funded infrastructure, education, health care, and services. They want an empowered middle class. They realize that these are the things that drive the economy.

    As opposed to giving more money to the already wealthy...which actually BREAKS the economy.

    April 16, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  7. Scott

    God forbid the rich should have to help get this country out of debt.

    April 16, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  8. Bob

    I am deeply disappointed in the lack on knowledge and understanding that prevales. People act like Rominey is somehow a bad guy for paying 15%. He did not write the tax code that rewards capital being put to work. He even donated $6 million last year. Should he pay more tax than he's required so that the government can waste even more money? That is actually the second time (or more) that money is taxed. He earned it previously and now pays taxes on the gains on investment. Invested money grows companies and creats jobs. That why we do not want to raise the capital gains tax, it would hurt everyone who needs a job or a better job. I want money in the hands of people who create more, not the government.

    The focus on class warfare by the President is an awful smokscreen that takes us a from discussing real problems. We need leadership for the country, not just some campainer in chief. What about cutting spending? Cutting wasteful government?

    April 16, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  9. Marc

    A Southern Lady: You really need to look at the facts, and you will realize how backwards your comments are. Bush created so many jobs in his time in office that even after the start of the recession he was still positive for his presidency, and it was Clinton that created the recession with his policies from the 1990's, not Bush. Obama has cost each of us 40k in debt, 40k. Can you pay your share? I doubt it. Want I rich person to pay your share? That's what I thought.

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

    Finally, some people are actually talking their minds. I will once again read the comments.

    April 16, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  11. Ivy

    Mindless sheep? I guess when there is no valid argument to be made the 3 out 10 resort to insults.

    April 16, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  12. Rich54

    7 out of 10 want Obama care repealed, but the democrats do nothing.

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

    Well, of course. Why should people who make a ton of money get to pay lower taxes than the rest of us? That makes absolutely no sense.

    April 16, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  14. RonPaul2012

    just more election year propaganda from the white-house, the Buffet rule will not change anything, the amount raised in revenue is so small as to be invisible in the federal budget!

    April 16, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  15. Careful Thought

    The idea that republicans only care what their corporate masters think is a confession of brainwashing! I'm a republican. I have no corporate master, and I think the buffet rule is not only NOT a serious attempt to solve any problem, but a worrisome attempt to get people fighting over envy. If you pay ZERO taxes, why are you so bent out of shape that Warren Buffet "only" paid $6,938,744 in taxes? Is he really not paying his fair share, or are you not paying yours? What if everyone had to pay the exact same AMOUNT. not a percentage of their income, but the same dollar figure. Wouldn't that be totally fair? What if we all paid the same PERCENTAGE? Then the rich would pay more, but the same percentage of their income? But what we have is the rich not only pay more, since they make more, they pay a higher PERCENTAGE, so it goes up much faster. You can single out the people who are so rich that they have no job, and only are taxed on the occasional increase in their investments, to try to make your point, and you will win, among people who don't understand it.

    April 16, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  16. Virtual Media

    The comments on this post are embarrassing. I seriously question whether or not they should be allowed to vote. The Buffet rule DOES NOT effect you if you have a Million dollar. it's if you earn this much annually. One commenter suggested that if we think millionaires should pay a tax rate equal or greater than the working class were clueless. REALLY???

    These people are either deeply racist, brainwashed by FOX, Limbaugh and their minions, completely out of touch with reality or all the above. I challenge every one of you to compare your current tax rate and look at the facts rather than fall for FOX, Limbaugh's propaganda.

    NEWS FLASH! The wealthy are not concerned about your financial well being PERIOD!

    April 16, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  17. The Crying Boehner

    Boehner cries when theBuffet Rule gets passed in both Senate and House and signed by Obama.

    April 16, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  18. KJ

    What's mindblowing is that these know-nothing conservatives think that applying this rule is somehow unprecedented and going into uncharted "socialist" waters. News flash: The proposal is to return to tax rates that were in place under Clinton and even lower than under Reagan. The ignorance of factual information on the right wing is troubling at best.

    April 16, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  19. Plantiful

    It does not matter what 7 of 10 think..... for "our" congressmen, it only matters what the 1 in 100 think (those with the sweet, sweet campaign donations).

    For those 1 in 100, they SHOULD be paying back into the society that allowed them to become rich. Without the infrastructure (the roads and bridges that let goods pass relatively undamaged), a well-educated and healthy work force (the people that used to engineer and actually make things), and the lack of low-level corruption, this country was able to produce anything that was needed. But that time is going away, in favor of something more resembling a third world country– the super rich, and everyone else. But don't forget, without the everyone else with enough money to buy all of those wonderful things and services, then all of those sweet profits go away too. Odd thing, how the economy works.

    April 16, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. rec

    The Congress is full of MILLIONAIRS that don't want to rais thier OWN taxes.

    April 16, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  21. jon

    What that means is the 7 out 10 people polled came to this liberal media site. If Obama is for the Buffett rule why did he shelter his income and pay a lower percentage in tax than his secretary? Shouldn't he setting the example?

    April 16, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  22. Marc

    The president said the Buffet Rule would both BALANCE the budget and LOWER the debt. Instead, it won't cover but a drop of the interest we have to pay on the trillions of dollars he has already wasted, and what do we have to show for it? No jobs, little infrastructure, a few bankrupt green energy projects, a devalued dollar (you are earning %40 percent less now, just because your dollar is only worth 60 cents in comparison to 2008). At this rate we will have a double dip recession. The president's own secretary would still pay more taxes than him, even with the Buffet Rule, and he doesn't touch to loopholes that Romney has already pledged to close. Romney= Fiscal responsibility and economic health. Obama= Debt and recession, with our children's grandchildren still paying for his fiasco.

    April 16, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  23. paul

    Fairness is long overdue

    April 16, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  24. Marc

    @ JG Clinton's economy was good because the Republican congress forced a balanced budget.

    April 16, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  25. Nick

    Why should people like Romney who make lots and lots of money get to pay less taxes than the rest of us? It makes no sense whatsoever. Of sourse, people in congress won't agree as they also make much more than the common folks.

    April 16, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
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