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Public Divided On What to Do About Expiring Bush Tax Cuts

4 years ago
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Congress is headed for a battle over whether to let tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003 under former President Bush expire at the end of the year. When it comes to public opinion on the issue, 30 percent of Americans want to keep all the cuts, 27 percent want to repeal cuts for the wealthy while keeping the others, and 31 percent favor letting all the cuts expire, according to a Pew Research Center/National Journal poll conducted July 22-25. Twelve percent are undecided.

The Obama administration and Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill want to let the tax cuts for the wealthy expire while continuing lower rates for families earning under $250,000 a year and individuals earning less than $200,000. However, there are some Democratic dissenters in the Senate who want to keep the cuts for everyone, at least until the economy improves more.

Bush tax cutsRepublicans are pushing to retain all the cuts.

The biggest change in public opinion is on tax cuts for the wealthy. In 2008, 37 percent favored letting them expire compared to the 27 percent in the new poll. The number of those who favor keeping all the cuts or who want to get rid of them entirely increased, but by lesser amounts of 5 and 6 points respectively.

Fifty-two percent of Republicans want to keep all the cuts compared to 19 percent who would end them for the wealthy and 21 percent who prefer to see them all go away.

In contrast, 42 percent of Democrats want to see all the cuts expire, while 36 percent prefer just ending them for the wealthy and just 11 percent would keep them all.

Independents are more evenly divided over the three options.

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Filed Under: Taxes, Polls, Poll Watch

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