Poll: most Americans support taxing rich to close budget deficit

According to a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll released last week, a majority of Americans support raising taxes on wealthy as a first step towards reducing the budget deficit:

Sixty-one percent of Americans polled would rather see taxes for the wealthy increased as a first step to tackling the deficit, the poll showed.

The next most popular way — chosen by 20 percent — was to cut defense spending.


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11 thoughts on “Poll: most Americans support taxing rich to close budget deficit

  1. WHile we need to tax the uppper two percent a fair share of their income, thats not going to solve the whole problem.

    As economist Dean Baker notes, “If the United States paid the same amount per person for health care as any of the 35 countries with longer life expectancies, we would be looking at huge budget surpluses for the indefinite future.”


    Tax reporter David Cay Johnston points to hundreds of billions in potential tax revenues being sheltered, legally and otherwise, in offshore havens and through various loopholes — and tax subsidies — worked by corporate America and the country’s highest earners.


    1. Those links are extremely interesting, although it makes me sad that it did not mention auditing federal reserve. The Fed has never had a real audit in its history and little is known of what it does with the trillions of dollars at its disposal.

      In my opinion there is nothing “wingnut” about wanting to bring this secretive organizati­on into the light, especially after it threw so much of our money down a rat hole.

      1. How about an audit of the entire federal government using the same standards that are required for corporations? No more budget gimmicks (ie. taking funds from social security and counting as revenue that’s an IOU not income). Then require all of the Senators to sign off on the accuracy, (just as Corporate executives must do) and impose personal penalties for misrepresentations.

        1. Personally, I’m all for that. Corporations have to go by certain standards and rules, so I find unfair that the Federal Reserve is an exception to the said rules.

          I believe conservatives and liberals alike should agree on this issue. If only because it is something where their views actually meet.

    2. PP,

      I found the links interesting, and disturbing. The first one contains this quote.

      “It is utterly loony to be focused on the projected deficit in 2030, when we have tens of millions of people who are seeing their lives ruined today by the downturn.”

      I couldn’t disagree more. As it is, we have a $64.2 trillion debt including our obligations for ss and medicare. The GDP of the ENTIRE WORLD is $61.9. In other words, even if every country on earth donated all of their income we couldn’t pay off our debt. To worry about tens of millions today risks the lives of billions of people in 2030 when we are forced to default on our obligations. Today there are safety nets for those effected by the downturn. In 2030, the safety nets will be unable to support any downturn. All of our revenue coming in would be spent by several hundred percent just to service the debt and to meet entitlement obligations.

      But hey, in the long run we’re all dead so let’s spend our children’s and grandchildren’s future now right?

  2. Super I love your idea about having the Senators actually sign off. One of the things that drives me insane is the blatant and pure hypocrisy of politicians. When they ramp up the rhetoric against say the stimulus then rush home and hold up the check and take pictures and credit that drives me crazy. Would love to do anything that would end that.

    As for the other story. Baker is my favorite economist. What he is saying is why worry about something with so many variables, and if we dont get people working again, the deficit in 2030 just wont matter. He points out numerous times that if everyone is working then everyone is paying taxes and the economy is running smoothly. He also says that its all about our healthcare problem, if we dont fix it the deficit cant be fixed and if we do fix it it will also fix the deficit.

  3. Um…

    It would also be worth pointing out to readers and participants in the NYT game that the long-term deficit is 100 percent a health care story.

    I guess I don’t have a problem telling NYT readers that. But as to making that claim to the general public – that most certainly is simply not true.

    I tend to disengage from something and usually just don’t bother wasting my time when a blatantly false statement is said as fact.

  4. Super ID: you really slay me.

    Subject the federal government to the same rigorous accounting standards used in corporate America? Now that is funny!

    I love comedy. Thanks, man.

  5. Well no kidding. Quite a news flash. Ask me if I want someone else to pay my mortgage, car, and all the rest of my bills while I get to continue to use them and reap their benefits, and what do you think I would say?!

    1. Similarly, poll Americans if they want tax dollars spent on other countries. Our foreign aid would be cut to next to nothing if we did what the majority of Americans wanted.

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