Vast majority of Americans disagree with Kyl and Republicans on Bush tax cuts
At Talking Points Memo, Brian Beutler highlights the continued defense of the Bush administration tax cuts by ranking Republican senators like Jon Kyl, Mitch McConnell, Judd Greg, and John Cornyn. Speaking to the tax cuts, set to expire in 2011, Cornyn had this to say,
The problem is, you know, when you raise taxes, which is what that will be if no action is taken, taxes will go up on dividends and on capital gains on a whole lot of people who aren’t rich. And the problem with that in a recession is it further contracts capital formation and investment which means it has a negative impact on jobs. I really can’t think — if you really set out to try to come up with ways to discourage people from investing and creating new jobs and growing their business, I can’t think of a more comprehensive agenda for doing that than what we’ve seen over the last year and a half.
However, the public is much less sanguine about the cuts than Cornyn, at least when it comes to deficit reduction. According to a poll conducted for Bloomberg Businessweek, “[t]he only deficit-reduction measure that gets strong support in the poll is higher taxes on upper-income Americans.”
J. Ann Selzer from the public opinion research firm Selzer and Company, who conducted the poll for Bloomberg, was able to shed some additional light on the claim. According to documents provided by Selzer, when respondents were asked,
I’m going to mention some general approaches that could be considered to help decrease the deficit—some of which may mean a sacrifice for you and your household. For each, please tell me if you think this approach should be strongly considered, just considered, or taken off the table.
Allow the income tax rate for the highest income earners to go back up to where it was 10 years ago.
41% of respondents said they would “strongly consider” the option and 31% said they would “consider” letting tax rates on highest earner to go back up to pre-Bush levels. Also scoring highly was, “[o]n Social Security, remove the cap so that wages over $107,000 a year are subject to the tax” (39% strongly considered, 40% considered).
Average Americans have had to tighten their belts in order to weather the country’s worst economic storm in recent history, but haven’t seen the same from their wealthier counterparts. Unlike ranking Republicans, apparently they strongly believe that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.