Poll: Public supports raising taxes on rich

  • Tue Jul 17th, 2012 8:08am
  • News

By Mark Z. Barabak Los Angeles Times

It’s a long way from becoming policy, but President Obama’s proposal to raise taxes on households making at least $250,000 a year seems to be a winning political position for now, at least.

A new survey by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center found that 44 percent said the tax increase would help the economy, 22 percent said it would be harmful, and 24 percent said the tax hike would not make a difference.

An identical percentage, 44 percent, said a tax hike on better-off Americans would make the tax system fairer, while 21 percent said it would make the system less fair.

Not surprisingly, there is a deep partisan divide over the proposal. By overwhelming margins, Democrats said the tax hike would boost the economy and make the tax system fairer. Republicans believed the opposite, though by smaller margins.

Obama has proposed extending George W. Bush-era tax cuts on annual incomes of $250,000 and more, but would eliminate the cuts beyond that level. Mitt Romney, his probable Republican opponent, has said raising taxes on the well-to-do would hurt the economy and cost sorely needed jobs.

The tax cuts are scheduled to expire at the end of the year, unless Congress acts. Neither White House officials nor congressional leaders expect a tax bill to pass before the Nov. 6 election.

The poll was conducted July 12-15 among 1,015 adults and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

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