Most Republicans continue to resist allowing tax rates to rise on the richest taxpayers as part of a deal to avert the so-called coming “fiscal cliff,” even though Americans strongly back such a tax hike, according to polling presented as part of the memo released by famed Democratic strategist James Carville and pollster Stan Greenberg through their Democracy Corps organization.
Almost two-thirds of voters want tax increases as part of any big bipartisan deal, and 40 percent believe that at least half of any deficit reduction should come from increased revenue, the memo says. Just a third of those who voted for a Republican candidate for Congress believe the package should depend only on spending cuts, as the GOP prefers, the memo adds.
“President Obama won an Electoral College landslide and a 4-point national victory – against the great odds posed by prolonged high unemployment, lack of income gains, a barely perceptible recovery and political gridlock that kept his job approval at just 50 percent at best. Just as important as his victory is the mandate he won on taxes, according to the major national surveys conducted by Democracy Corps immediately after the election,” Carville and Greenberg say.
The memo says that Greenberg’s polling organization asked voters what they would find acceptable and unacceptable in a $4 trillion deficit reduction deal.
“Overwhelmingly, voters favor raising taxes on the rich as part of an overall package of deficit reduction. Three in four found acceptable a plan that would create ‘a higher tax rate on those earning over one million dollars a year’ (including a majority of Republicans),” the memo says. “Seventy percent agreed with the president’s call to raise taxes on the top 2 percent, while keeping them low for the middle and working class. More than two-thirds found acceptable shutting down corporate tax havens abroad by imposing a minimum tax on overseas profits (including 71 percent of Republicans). Indeed, more than two-thirds would find an agreement unacceptable if it did not raise taxes on the rich, or if it lowered top rates on the rich and the corporations.
“Voters also want cuts in waste and subsidies to special interests — much of which comes in the form of tax breaks to large corporations and the rich. For example, 89 percent found acceptable savings from negotiating lower drug prices from drug companies. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) favored cuts in subsidies to oil companies, agribusiness and multinational corporations,” the memo adds.
Carville and Greenberg say their reading of public opinion is partly based on a national post-election survey of 811 2012 presidential voters, conducted November 6-7, by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Democracy Corps and the Economic Media Project, with a general margin of error= +/- 3.46. The memo is also based on a data from a combined set of surveys partnering with several other progressive groups, including Campaign for America’s Future, Women’s Voices. Women Vote Action Fund and Human Rights Campaign.