Despite unhappiness among some on the right
in both political parties about aspects of the deal to extend the Bush-era tax cuts, two new polls show there is broad bipartisan support among the public for the agreement negotiated between President Obama and Senate Republicans.
A Pew Research Center survey
conducted Dec. 9-12 said 60 percent of Americans approve of the deal, which extends the tax cuts for all Americans including high-income earners as well as extending unemployment benefits. Twenty-two percent disapproved and 18 percent were undecided.
Republicans, Democrats, independents and self-described liberals and conservatives all approved of the agreement by 60 percent or more.
A Washington Post/ABC News poll
, also conducted Dec. 9-12, said 69 percent approved of the overall package while 29 percent opposed it, with 2 percent undecided.
When it came to the specific elements of the deal, the Post/ABC News poll said 54 percent approved of extending the tax cuts for all while 42 percent did not, with 3 percent undecided. Seventy-two percent supported the extension of unemployment benefits.
Fifty-two percent percent backed setting the exemption on inheritance taxes so that only estates worth more than $5 million are taxed when the levy kicks back in on Jan. 1. Forty-one percent opposed that action, while 7 percent were undecided. House Democrats wanted the exemption set at the former level of $3.5 million.
The only element in the deal that the public did not endorse was cutting Social Security payroll taxes by two percentage points for all workers for the next year. Fifty-seven percent opposed that provision while 39 percent approved with 3 percent undecided, according to the Post/ABC News poll.
The Post/ABC survey said 43 percent do not believe the package will make any difference to the economy, while 36 percent say it will help and 17 percent say it will hurt. The Pew survey had a different result: 48 percent said it would help the economy, 29 percent said it would hurt and 23 percent said it would make no difference or were undecided.
Forty-seven percent told Pew they believed the package would help people like themselves, while 25 percent said it would hurt and 27 percent said it would make no difference or were undecided. Forty-six percent believed it would hurt when it came to the budget deficit, while 26 percent said it would help and 28 percent said it would make no difference or were undecided.
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