Skip to comments.WaPo/ABC poll: Six in ten favor raising taxes on $250K+ households for fiscal-cliff solution
Posted on 11/28/2012 10:25:41 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Well, that $80 billion a year will come in handy, no? That's the impression that six in ten Americans have as a solution to the trillion-dollar deficits in the latest Washington Post/ABC poll — and 39% of Republicans, too. The result demonstrates the political leverage of Democrats in the fiscal-cliff fight, and perhaps the leeway for the House GOP to compromise as well:
Sixty percent in this ABC News/Washington Post poll support raising taxes on incomes more than $250,000 a year, long a popular option overall, but also a divisive one: While 73 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of independents are in favor, far fewer Republicans, 39 percent, agree.
Interestingly, the move to limit deductions doesn't get nearly as much support:
Americans divide on another item on the table, reducing income-tax deductions. In a question testing the concept generally that is, without suggesting that wealthier Americans would be harder hit 49 percent oppose limiting deductions, while 44 percent are in favor. On this option, strong opposition exceeds strong support, although intensity isnt high on either side, 28 vs. 20 percent.
Partisan divisions on this question are less pronounced than they are on a tax hike for the better-off: Support ranges from 45 percent of Democrats and independents to 39 percent of Republicans; opposition, 48 to 51 percent across these groups. Strong opposition, likewise, is similar across partisan groups, 26 to 30 percent.
Does that make any sense at all? Part of the problem with the tax rates, from the populist point of view, is that the wealthy are perceived to have too many ways around them. That’s why Mitt Romney belatedly took up the cause of limiting deductions to a capped amount. That way one can limit the ability to shield income without having unpleasant conversations about the distortions provided by certain types of deductions.
Peter Orszag writes today at Bloomberg that these unpleasant conversations are the reason we won’t see deduction reform, even with a cap:
Lets take a closer look at the effects of such a limit, though. In 2009, according to data from the Internal Revenue Service, taxpayers who itemized their deductions and had incomes of more than $200,000 had average deductions of $50,000 or more. For those with $200,000 to $500,000 in income, average deductions amounted to more than $51,000; from $500,000 to $1 million in income, the average was more than $100,000. At higher incomes, the averages rose further.
That households with incomes of more than $200,000 would be disproportionately affected by the deduction limit is neither surprising nor necessarily troublesome. Here comes the problem. In 2009, those taxpayers deducted more than $300 billion, 90 percent of which came from just three categories: taxes paid (mostly state and local taxes), home-mortgage interest and charitable contributions.
Of the big three, charitable giving is the most discretionary (unless a family moves to a smaller house with a smaller mortgage, or a city or state with lower taxes). The charitable sector thus has the most to lose from a limitation on itemized deductions.
How much money is involved? In 2009, households with incomes of more than $200,000 claimed almost $60 billion in charitable deductions — or about 20 percent of total charitable giving in the U.S. that year. Households with incomes of more than $10 million claimed an average of $1.75 million each in charitable donations in 2009, and they accounted for roughly 5 percent of all giving.
Charitable giving reacts to tax incentives, and in response to any limits on deductions it could even fall by about the same amount as the increase in the tax bill, according to John List of theUniversity of Chicago, who recently reviewed the literature on this subject. Other studies have suggested an effect about half as large. Even that smaller estimate, though, suggests that limiting deductions to $50,000 a year could easily reduce giving by tens of billions of dollars.
How long do you think it will take the charitable sector to figure this out?
Well, how about some simple entitlement reform — like raising the retirement eligibility age? That’s the most unpopular option of all, opposed by two-thirds of Democrats and Republicans:
Sixty-seven percent in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, oppose another suggestion, raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67. And on this idea, strong opposition surpasses strong support by more than 3-1, 49 to 14 percent.
Opposition to increasing the Medicare eligibility age crosses partisan and ideological lines; its 68 percent or more among Democrats and Republicans and liberals and conservatives alike. Instead views relate to age; opposition peaks at 78 percent among adults age 50-64. Its also higher among women and people with less than $100,000 incomes, compared with men and the better-off.
Terrific. The only broad consensus for action is the populist tax-hike option which will solve less than 10% of the problem, and two-thirds won’t even take a basic step like mildly indexing retirement eligibility to life expectancy in order to reduce costs in the biggest fiscal train wreck of the federal budget.
If we could trade marginal tax-rate increases for real cuts in spending and actual entitlement reform that would end the long-term problems in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, I’d take that trade, if somewhat reluctantly. This poll shows that Americans still have not come to grips with the scope and size of the problem … or even basic math.
Obama is right on track for the destruction of Capitalism in America - see tagline.
Let’s just remove all the inflation adjustments on the tax brackets and then inflate everyone out of poverty and into the higher brackets.
How do the folks in New York and The Left Coast feel about this? Both feature a high cost of living and lots and lots of Libs.
9 out of 10 Germans approved of gassing Jews.
8 out of 10 Hells Angels approveof rape.
Democracy and morality do not go hand in hand.
RE: YOUR TAGLINE
The following quote was attributed to an unidentified Czechoslovakian Republic leader, a country that suffered generations under the evil of Socialist / Marxist corruption. The writer clearly and succinctly described what may be a troubling reality for America.
The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president.
The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.
6 out of 10 are economically illiterate.
Wait till all the Obamabots making 250K in NYC, Boston,DC, SF, and LA discover that according to their savior they are now rich. Even Chuckie Cheese Schumer has recognzed that 250 K in such places is not rich. Though the cheese man’s solution violates the Constitutional requirement that taxes be uniform throughout the several states. Anyway I’m for going off the cliff and letting ALL the Obamabots discover just how much money Bush’s tax cuts saved everyone.
These fools are going to be shocked to find out that “taxing the rich” won’t put a dent in the fiscal disaster we are facing. In fact, the projected additional revenues will fund our government for a whopping EIGHT DAYS!!!
So when they say tax the rich and the revenues from the rich are not sufficient, the middle class will be next to fund the gap.
That means 2 out of 10 Americans are complete idiots.
Six in ten are economic nitwits.
Picking one piece out of this article for comment, the author assumes that a big reduction in charitable giving would be viewed as a bad thing. To the contrary, for Obama and much of the left, private charitable giving is viewed as somehow illegitimate and they don’t give near as much as conservatives anyway. They view all assistance as the proper province of government, not the private sector which might give and assist in an unapproved manner.
CBO projections dont show much change in the annual deficit over the next decade. So even if the additional income taxes amounted to the $829 billion figure, the extra revenue would not eliminate the annual deficit, and it would do nothing to pay down the accumulated national debt of $16 trillion.
I’d love to see the cites for those poll results. And it looks like you are equating a partial return to pre-2001 tax rates to genocide and rape. Such a move might not be economically wise or useful, but not immoral.
How many of the 47% (who don’t pay federal income taxes) would agree to pay some money - even just a little - if it will help get the US out of recession?
I bet the number is pretty close to 0.
Yet they would still demand that others pay...
That was the backdrop of my “nitwit” judgment. No matter how much they take, and from whom they take it, there will never be enough to pay for the “benefits” our government is currently promising. As Mark Steyn says, there’s not enough money in the whole world to pay the U.S.’s bills.
In my opinion, there is no reasonable outcome other than a complete crash. The author’s closing line about matching higher taxes with spending reform is just the same old dream sequence. It will never happen. If the political will to reform spending existed, the reform would happen without any increases in tax rates ... and then revenues would increase, anyway, as the economy crawled out from under a rock and began laying eggs (so to speak).
“6 out of 10 are economically illiterate.”
You’re being very generous.
Idiots it’s not about raising taxes on incomes it’s about more gov spending,it’s where the money will go to.
This is why Obama was reelected. It is what he believes.
Only answer - go off the cliff, everybody pays - and don't increase the federal debt ceiling. When checks stop coming, maybe the takers will realize WE'RE OUT OF MONEY!
The people have made their choice - now let them suffer!