Support for Higher Taxes on the "Rich"


Although only 3% of Americans are considered "rich" by President Obama's $200,000 a year salary definition, those polled by CNN thought higher taxes on the rich was a good start toward reducing the deficit.

More than half of the Americans agree with President Obama and Democrats that there should be higher taxes on the wealthy, according to a CNN/ORC International Poll released Wednesday.

Following the debt ceiling deal that included the creation of a new bipartisan committee, CNN polled 1,000 people on their opinions of taxes and government spending cuts. Of those polled, 62% thought that taxes should be kept high on the wealthy, which Obama has defined as those making $200,000 or more a year.

According to CNNMoney, raising the taxes on Obama’s definition of wealthy would “boost revenue by $750 billion over a decade.” However, the U.S. needs a couple trillion to pay off its deficit. Only 3% of Americans earn a gross adjusted income of $200,000 or more, which accounts for 4 million Americans.

When broken down by age, there wasn’t much difference between opinions; however, then the responses were broken down further, differences became more apparent. Non-white respondents were more strongly in favor of high taxes on wealthy — 75% — as were those who made under $50,000 a year — 71%.

Politics also played a large factor. Democrats were in favor of high taxes with 84%, but only 33% of Republicans were in favor. The biggest differences may have been amongst those who identified themselves Tea Party supporters, compared to those who were neutral about the Tea Party neutral and those who opposed the Tea Party.

The only time Tea Party supporters and those neutral or opposed to the Tea Party had similar opinions was when it came to increasing taxes on the middle class and lower-income Americans. All three groups opposed such a measure — Tea Party supporters with 88%; those neutral to and opposed to the Tea Party both with 88%.

Tea Party supporters were strongly agreed —80% — that there should be major cuts in spending on domestic government programs, whereas those neutral to and opposed to the Tea Party were more split. Those neutral were 54% in favor of cuts and 44% against (with 2% having no opinion), while Tea Party opponents were 45% for cuts and 52% against (with 4% having no opinion).

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