Most Polls Show Most Americans Want to End Bush Tax Cuts for Richest 2%
A new McClatchy-Marist poll showing the majority of Americans want the Bush-era tax cuts to be extended for everyone conflicts with other polls, and probably is erroneous because the wording confused voters, according to a prominent pollster for Americans for Tax Fairness.
The McClatchy poll asked: “Which statement comes closer to your view: Congress should extend the tax cuts only for the middle class, but not for the top 2%, that is, households earning $250,000 or more, OR
Congress should extend the tax cuts for everyone, including the top 2%, that is, households earning $250,000 or more.”
“In the first statement, survey respondents can’t tell whether ‘earning $250,000 or more’ is defining the ‘middle class’ who receive the tax cuts or ‘the top 2%’ who do not, so it sounds to many people like the tax cuts are being extended only for the rich,” said Guy Molyneux, a partner and senior vice president with Hart Research Associates, which recently conducted polling for Americans for Tax Fairness and has done extensive polling on the Bush tax cuts issue.
“That ambiguity explains McClatchy’s shocking, and implausible, finding that low-income and minority voters are most supportive of extending tax cuts for the richest 2 percent,” concluded Molyneux.
Other recent polls show the majority of Americans oppose extending the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2 percent. They include:
- 60 percent of voters think it is “very important” to extend the cuts for families making less than $250,000, while just 40 percent think it is “very important” to extend those rates for all taxpayers. (United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, July 5-8)
- Only 26 percent of the public wants to see all of the Bush-era tax breaks extended for at least another year and only 18 percent want the tax breaks across all income levels made permanent. 47 percent of respondents said they wanted to see the tax breaks extended only for those earning less than $250,000, and another 18 percent want all the tax breaks to expire. (United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, June 14-17)
- 68 percent of Americans believe that it is acceptable to phase out the Bush tax cuts for families making over $250,000 per year. (Bipartisan NBC News/Wall Street Journal Survey conducted by Peter Hart of Hart Research Associates & Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies, February 24-28, 2011)
Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) is a diverse campaign of national, state and local organizations united in support of a tax system that works for all Americans. It has come together based on the belief that the country needs comprehensive, progressive tax reform that results in greater revenue to meet our growing needs. This starts by ending the Bush-era tax cuts for the richest 2 percent and by making critical investments that create and sustain jobs while taking a balanced approach to addressing America’s fiscal challenges.