All those Democrats who think their class warfare arguments are carrying the day as far as the ongoing battle on Capitol Hill is concerned are barking up the wrong tree.
First, their premise is all wrong. This isn’t a fight over cutting taxes. It’s a fight over keeping the tax rates as they currently are for everyone or, by doing nothing, allowing them to go up in economically damaging ways. [Check out a roundup of political cartoons on Democrats.]
Since these are the same folks who came up with the idea that you could quantify the number of jobs “saved” as well as the number of jobs created by the stimulus spending, it is perhaps excusable as a matter of political rhetoric. Excusable, except that it’s not working.
A survey of 1000 Americans who voted in the 2010 elections found that 65 percent support extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts while 29 percent said they would prefer to let the tax cuts expire.
Support was even strong when the question was phrased correctly. Calling the potential change in the current tax rates “a tax increase,” 83 percent said they supported keeping the rates where they are, while only 14 percent said they would like to see a tax increase. “Even when isolating the tax increase to those making $250,000 and above, the issue is still a wash with voters, with 48 percent approving, and 46 percent disapproving,” the polling analysis said.
Additionally, Crossroads GPS said, strong majorities of voters said they preferred spending cuts over tax increases as the right way “to deal with the deficit.”
“Voters favor going back to 2008 spending levels to help decrease the deficit—including a repeal of Obamacare and remaining stimulus outlays—by an overwhelming 65-23 percent,” Crossroads GOP said in a release.
Other key findings in the POS survey include:
- Voters overwhelmingly dislike the uncertainty of the tax cuts expiring—80 percent say uncertainty about tax rates hurts the business climate in the country
- Only 4 percent of voters say raising taxes is the best way to cut the deficit, with 53 percent preferring cutting government spending
- Voters by wide margins (56-34 or 64-29, depending on how phrased) support a budget that extends the tax cuts and brings spending back to 2008 levels—including repealing stimulus and Obamacare.
- Voters by a 51-42 percent margin specifically favor repealing Obamacare and putting the savings toward the deficit.
None of this is good news for the Democrats. As Crossroads GPS’ Stephen Law put it, “What should be most alarming for the Obama-Pelosi-Schumer-Reid economic team is that voters are clearly smarter than the average Washington politician in understanding that tax increases kill jobs and that the most effective way to cut the deficit is to cut government spending and grow the economy, not raise taxes.”
- Read 10 Things You Didn't Know About the Bush Tax Cuts.
- Read more about the deficit and national debt.
- Check out a roundup of political cartoons on Democrats.