Tax the rich! Polls show a majority want to tax millionaires, leave Medicare, Medicaid alone

The Club for Growth isn’t gonna like this, but when you ask Americans how they’d balance the budget, they’re answer is clear: raise taxes on rich people.

From McClatchy:

On tackling the deficit, voters by a margin of 2-to-1 support raising taxes on incomes above $250,000, with 64 percent in favor and 33 percent opposed.

Independents supported higher taxes on the wealthy by 63-34 percent; Democrats by 83-15 percent; and Republicans opposed by 43-54 percent.

Support for higher taxes rose by 5 percentage points after Obama called for that as one element of his deficit-reduction strategy last week. Opposition dropped by 6 points. The poll was conducted before and after the speech.

The poll found Americans similarly definitive when it comes to “entitlement” programs like Medicare and Medicaid:

Americans clearly don’t want the government to cut Medicare, the government health program for the elderly, or Medicaid, the program for the poor. Republicans in the House of Representatives voted last week to drastically restructure and reduce those programs, while Obama calls for trimming their costs but leaving them essentially intact.

Voters oppose cuts to those programs by 80-18 percent. Even among conservatives, only 29 percent supported cuts, and 68 percent opposed them.

Cutting defense spending gets a more mixed review, with 44 percent saying “do” and 54 saying “don’t.”

And whether people want defense spending cut turns out to depends on the education level o the person being asked:

College graduates want to cut defense spending by 63-36 percent. Non-college graduates oppose cutting the Pentagon by 61-36 percent.

One unsurprising piece of news, which shows why smart public policy and public opinion don’t always coincide involves the debt ceiling:

No matter how the government tackles its deficits and debt, Americans don’t want it to borrow any more. By 69-24 percent, voters oppose raising the legal ceiling for debt. That includes Democrats, who oppose it by 53-36 percent, independents, who oppose it by 74-22 percent, and Republicans, who oppose it by 79-16 percent.

And President Obama’s approval rating is upside down in the poll (44/48), as is the right track/wrong track number (31/64) although Obama is in considerably better shape than Congressional Republicans, who draw an approval/disapproval rating of 30/63.

The poll was taken April 10-14 and queried 1,274 respondents.

Read more here.

This isn’t the first poll to show a strong majority of Americans favor raising taxes on the rich and strongly oppose touching entitlements. Polls have been showing that since before the 2010 election. Here’s one from September, 2010.

Here’s one from December.

Here’s one from January. And here’s another.

And here’s one from last week, which also shows that Americans aren’t particularly keen on cutting domestic spending, despite what the TV people keep saying, often in contravention to their own polls.

With all the squawking over the S&P’s sudden awakening from its Bushian slumber to threaten the credit rating of the U.S. (as much over Republican threats over the debt ceiling as due to worries over the deficits themselves) it would seem that Washington has a sure and easy course toward correcting our debt picture while being responsive to the American people: raise the top marginal tax rates.

So let’s get to it, people.

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7 Responses to Tax the rich! Polls show a majority want to tax millionaires, leave Medicare, Medicaid alone

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  3. Jim Scott says:

    If the rich tax cuts produced jobs as the Republican philosophy implies, then yes, give them a break. However, the BIG Republican lie is that these tax cuts and bank bailouts have NOT produced jobs in quite some time now. Instead, the banks and corporations are “sitting on their profits and capital” and not lending of creating jobs in THIS COUNTRY. Our jobs are going overseas and in Mexico and our tax system encourages it. The trickle down economic theory of Republicans has been disproven time and time again and yet their philosophy and agenda doesn’t change. We can’t afford to re-elect these corporate loving, anti middle class thugs again because this country needs jobs and industry. Above all, we need someone who will stand up to the giant corporate monopoly of government and vote for what’s best for THIS country and that is NOT the Republicans. We’re going to be lucky to avoid another depression as they seek to destroy this Presidency, our economy, and our world standing by their stubborn, heartless, and politically motivated agenda. They’re not fit to govern.

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  7. susa says:

    why shouldnt the rich pay the same as we have to , it is about damn time this gets passed.i realise that people who are voting agaisnt this are people who will have to pay taxes,,you put your clohes on the same way we do . the pay scale is a mess ,backwards you might say , who are the ones who make your clothes , supply your food , make your homes an cars an on an on we can go , point is . we work an still have to count our pennies , when we are the people who make everything you use an look at what we get paid , does not make much sense does it? we dont care about you rich sucklings, we do care that you should have to pay the same as we do , some of you people think you are so high an mighty ,, what a joke, maybe you should watch yourselves an listen , you act an sound idiots you are not better than anyone else humans are humans . boo hoo for you suck up an learn how to join the human race , your tax shelters , an all your other money activites will be coming to an end ,so how will you fit in then

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