Do Americans support the tax cut plan negotiated between Presidnet Obama nd Congressional Republicans? Apparently they do, according to a new poll, especially those paying close attention to the tax cut debate in Congress, who are “substantially more likely to say Congress should pass the new tax agreement reached by President Obama and Republican congressional leaders than to think Congress should not do so,” according to results from a new USA Today/Gallup Poll.
A main survey question asked Americans about “the agreement on taxes reached by President Obama and Republican leaders in Congress last Monday,” and did not specify or list the details of what is in the agreement. The findings from the recent USA Today/Gallup poll taken on December 10-12 say that “among all Americans”:
- 49% support passage, while 32% do not
- Support rises to 60% among Americans following the news about the agreement “very or somewhat closely.”
- Two-thirds (66%) of Americans are following news of the agreement “very or somewhat closely according to the survey.”
These new findings that show a majority of Americans supporting the tax deal negotiated between Obama and the Republicans “follow a previous Gallup measure of public support for two elements included in the agreement”, according to USA Today/Gallup as follows:
- Extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for all Americans for two years
- Extending unemployment benefits for the long- term uninsured.
- Sixty-six percent of Americans favored each
As an analysis of the survey results by USA Today/Gallup states, “Some lawmakers who oppose the agreement reached by President Obama and Republican leaders object specifically to the extension of the tax cuts to include the wealthy.” The analysis of the new USA Today/Gallup Poll “confirms previous Gallup research, suggesting that Americans tilt toward agreement with this argument,” according to USA Today/Gallup.
When asked “if it were up to you”:
- 47% of Americans would favor extending the tax cuts but setting limits for the wealthy,
- 41% would retain the tax cuts for everyone.
- Few would want them to expire for everyone.
American public “tilts toward Obama position” according to poll
The USA Today/Gallup analysis of the survey results claims that “The American public thus appears to be subject to some of the same cross-pressures on this issue as President Obama and other Democratic leaders.” In other words, as the USAToday/Gallup says, “The public tilts toward the Obama position that the wealthy should be excluded from the tax-cut extension. But given the choice between extending the tax cuts for all versus letting them expire for all — which may be the only practical choice if Republican leaders maintain their pledge to hold firm on the issue — Americans opt for the full extension.”
The majority of those who believe the tax cuts should be extended for all support the agreement between Obama and the Republican leaders. However, what is most of interest in these survey results is that “those who say they would not extend the tax cuts for the wealthy also favor rather than oppose the proposed agreement — by a 13-percentage-point margin, 49% to 36%.
Implications of the USA Today/Gallup Poll results
On the whole, according to USA Today/Gallup, the new Gallup data “confirm previous findings that overall, the American people support the tax agreement proposed by President Obama and Republican leaders, especially those who are paying attention to the debate. While the question wording used in this USA Today/Gallup poll did not specify what was in the proposed Obama-Republican tax deal, those following it closely are strongly in favor, by a 25-point margin.”
Among the roughly one in three Americans who say they are not following news about the agreement closely, about half expressed an opinion, “breaking roughly even on whether Congress should or should not pass the agreement.” The Gallup findings also confirm that Americans tend to mirror the position on the agreement taken by President Obama and other Democrats who support it — that it is not optimal, but acceptable if the choice is the agreement or nothing. Even those who say tax cuts should be limited for the wealthy tilt toward support of the Obama-Republican agreement.
SOURCE: USA Today/Gallup Poll data
For more information: Visit the website of the USA Today/Gallup Poll