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More say tax hikes on $250K+ would help economy, fairness
Senate Democrats are standing strong on letting the Bush tax cuts expire, and coming back in the new year to extend the tax cuts on income under $250,000. According to the Pew Research Center, they've got a leg up on the political argument.

The American people see higher taxes on the wealthy as important for both helping the economy, and helping create fairness.

By two-to-one (44% to 22%), the public says that raising taxes on incomes above $250,00o would help the economy rather than hurt it, while 24% say this would not make a difference. Moreover, an identical percentage (44%) says a tax increase on higher incomes would make the tax system more fair, while just 21% say it would make the system less fair.
A majority of Democrats, of course, support the tax increase, but a healthy plurality of independents agree that it would make the economy stronger and make the tax system more fair. Only hard-core Republicans who are millionaires or think they're going to be someday are resisting the idea.

Standing tough on letting the tax cuts expire is just a no-brainer for Democrats. It takes a potential hostage in the end-of-the-year "fiscal cliff" negotiations away from Republicans, preventing a potentially disastrous grand bargain. It allows Congress to do what it does best—nothing. And they've got the public squarely behind them. Win-win.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 09:17 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (27+ / 0-)

    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

    by Joan McCarter on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 09:17:54 AM PDT

  •  The Republicans have been brainwashed (9+ / 0-)

    It is very encouraging that the independents have not.

    Still, the fact that 35% of Dems think that it will hurt the economy or not make a difference or they don't know makes me wonder about the mental faculties of 1 in 3 Dems.

    This with the fact that 27% of Republicans does think it will help (1 in 4) confuses the heck out of me.  These people are for real?

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 09:40:54 AM PDT

    •  This: (7+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave, mcd12, Matt Z, lgmcp, ferg, Hedwig, judyms9
      Still, the fact that 35% of Dems think that it will hurt the economy or not make a difference or they don't know makes me wonder about the mental faculties of 1 in 3 Dems.
      I'd say is more a problem with Dem messaging than with the mental faculties of their constituents.  And probably also easily attributable to the existence of "business journalism".

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 10:05:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not sure this poll (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    penguins4peace, Matt Z, lgmcp, Bailey2001

    paints that great of a picture.  You could just as easily point out that the poll says a majority of Americans, including independents, do not believe raising taxes on the rich will help the economy or contribute to a more fair economic system.

    •  That's right. (0+ / 0-)

      46% think raising taxes on the rich would either make no difference, or actually hurt the economy, while 44% think it would help.  

      Not good.

      Scisne me e terra ea naso tolere posse?

      by penguins4peace on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 12:49:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  With nearly universal media coverage (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TofG, penguins4peace, judyms9

        saying that tax hikes would hurt the economy, I just heard it again on NPR the other day,  I think it is fabulous that half the country hasn't bought the bullshit.
        Really, where and when are they getting any contradictory media?

        These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert to fleece the people, and now that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people's money to settle the quarrel. Abraham Lincoln

        by Nailbanger on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 12:57:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My right-wing neighbor says (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nailbanger

          Obama wants to raise taxes on the rich just so he can spend more money.  He's convinced the deficit (his word) is going to bankrupt the country, and Obama has run up the deficit to the highest level in  history.

          I tried to talk to him once about three months ago about the trade deficit and how that was a bigger problem than the budget deficit.  He said that the trade deficit wasn't paid with tax dollars so it wouldn't bankrupt the country.  I knew then that getting through the ignorance of these people was hopeless.  His mind is made up.

          "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

          by SueDe on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 01:58:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Are you suggesting... (0+ / 0-)

          ...that raising taxes will help the economy?  How so?

          It may be fair or help balance the budget, but I don't see how a tax increase is an economic stimulant.

          •  Low taxes encourage profit taking, offshoring, (0+ / 0-)

            speculation and cost cutting, higher taxes in investments encourage investment, expansion, r&D and hiring.

            These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert to fleece the people, and now that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people's money to settle the quarrel. Abraham Lincoln

            by Nailbanger on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 12:33:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  is that why all the growth... (0+ / 0-)

              In the US is in low tax states like TX and moving out of high tax states like CA and NY and IL?  It is the same for countries. Owners move capital to where it generates the best after tax returns.

              Profit taking is good. It either gets reinvested or spent. It fuels growth.

              How can low taxes encourage cost cutting and high taxes encourage investment?  Investment requires a cost.

          •  Here is how: (0+ / 0-)

            Raise taxes on the wealthy.

            Use the revenue to fund infrastructure, broadly defined. Hire workers to fix roads and bridges. Hire teachers to educate our children. Fund basic research. (This is why the space race fueled prosperity.)

            This accomplishes two things. It puts money in the hands of citizens who will spend it (thus creating demand) and it accomplishes vital work that will make the nation richer in the future.

            It's not the tax increase itself that leads to prosperity, it's what we do with that revenue.

            Money in the hands of the wealthy is "dead money". They don't buy things like you and I do.

            Occupy is the symptom. Fundamental reform is the cure.

            by Tim DeLaney on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 03:13:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But doesn't that assume... (0+ / 0-)

              That the govt can spend it better than businesses and consumers?  If you take it from the rich, that's money they won't spend or invest. This only works if gov't can spend it more efficiently than the private sector. We've had record spending over the past five years and job creation has been terrible. What will happen when we raise taxes to pay for the debt we've already incurred "creating jobs"

    •  I agree. It appears that 66% feel it does not (0+ / 0-)

      not help or that it would make no difference or they don't know.

      Wow, that is scary...it really is.  

  •  One of the key things (4+ / 0-)

    is getting the "better for the economy" point accepted as easily as the "fairness" point is accepted.

    The GOP has tried for two long to put those two arguments at odds with each other and forcing the electorate to choose. Even when that choice is a false one. Together they make the strongest case possible.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 10:02:03 AM PDT

  •  Stop the Presses! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Uncle Milty

    Lots of people believe it is a good idea to raise taxes on those making way more money then themselves. Shocking!

  •  The wealthy have it so much easier than they (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, lgmcp

    did in the 50-60's, it's not funny.

    Obama wants your guns = Romney wants your Medicare Stop choosing your guns over your health You're shooting yourself

    by blueoregon on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 12:33:36 PM PDT

  •  Wealth Redistribution (0+ / 0-)

    An idea for a new era.

    "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

    by US Blues on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 12:48:50 PM PDT

  •  Get rid of the SS cut as well. (0+ / 0-)

    It undermines Social Security.

    You can't take the sky from me!

    by wrights on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 12:48:57 PM PDT

  •  It's hard not to have a sinking feeling about this (0+ / 0-)

    If lawmakers followed public opinion, a LOT of things would be different by now.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 12:49:11 PM PDT

    •  You're just comming to realize the vast difference (0+ / 0-)

      between the 'public' or the 'people' and the citizens of the United States. The people of the United States have tilted liberal for a while now, but the show up voters, the 'citizens' of the United States (at leas those who are willing to play the two party game mandated by the constitution) lean to the right.

      •  Two and only two parties (0+ / 0-)

        isn't mandated ... but yeah, I take your point.

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 01:21:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Look at that rightmost column (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hohenzollern

    I's tracking with D's, not R's on the issue of tax fairness.  That's a nightmare scenario for the GOP.

    Barack Obama is not a secret socialist class warrior who wants to redistribute wealth in America. But I'll still vote for him, anyway.

    by looty on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 12:49:27 PM PDT

  •  Fiscal Cliffs and Taxmeggedon-phooey! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9

    1993 all over again.

    http://thinkprogress.org/...

    Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-GA), February 2, 1993: We have all too many people in the Democratic administration who are talking about bigger Government, bigger bureaucracy, more programs, and higher taxes. I believe that that will in fact kill the current recovery and put us back in a recession. It might take 1 1/2 or 2 years, but it will happen. (Congressional Record, 1993, Thomas)

        Rep. Bill Archer (R-TX), May 24, 1993: I would much rather be here today supporting the President and I would do so if his proposals could expect to increase jobs and the standard of living for Americans, but I believe his massive tax increases will do just the opposite. (Congressional Record, 1993, Thomas)

        Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-GA), July 13, 1993: Small businesses generate the bulk of this Nation’s new jobs . And they will be the hardest hit by the Clinton tax-and-spend budget. Because, when you raise taxes, you kill jobs. (Congressional Record, 1993, Thomas)

        Rep. Thomas Ewing (R-IL), February 21, 1993: The Clinton plan will hurt the economy and kill new job creation…By crippling small- and medium-sized businesses, the plan will kill jobs. (Congressional Record, 1993, Thomas)

        Rep. John Kasich (R-OH), August 5, 1993: Do you know what? This is now your package. We will come back here next year and try to help you when this puts the economy in the gutter. And virtually every major economic estimating firm in this country says your bill is going to kill jobs. (Congressional Record 1993, Page: H6249)

        Rep. Robert Dornan (R-CA), August 5, 1993: The problem with our economy is that there is too little employment and too little growth. This plan will do nothing to improve that condition and will actually make it worse. (Congressional Record, 1993, Page: H6148)

        Rep. Christopher Cox (R-CA), May, 27, 1993: This is really the Dr. Kevorkian plan for our economy. It will kill jobs, kill businesses, and yes, kill even the higher tax revenues that these suicidal tax increasers hope to gain. (Congressional Record, 1993, Page: H2949)

        Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-MN), March 17, 1993: These new taxes will stifle economic growth, destroy jobs, reduce revenues, and increase the deficit. Economists across the ideological spectrum are convinced that the Clinton tax increases will lead to widespread job loss. (Congressional Record, 1993, Page: H1355)

        Rep. Phil Crane (R-IL), March 18, 1993: The budget proposal offered by the Democrats is a recipe for economic and fiscal disaster…It proposes to increase taxes at a time when we have a fragile economy–higher taxes will only stifle job creation and economic growth.(Congressional Record, 1993, Page: H1454)

        Rep. Dick Armey (R-TX), August 2, 1993: The impact on job creation is going to be devastating, and the American young people in particular will suffer a fairly substantial deferment of their lives because there simply won’t be jobs for the next two to three years to go around to our young graduates across the country. (CNN)

        Rep. Joel Hefley (R-CO), August 4, 1993: However Clinton wants to spin his tax plan, the bottom line is this: It will raise your taxes, increase the deficit, and kill over 1 million jobs. (Congressional Record, 1993, Page: H5745)

    Not blaming Bush for the mess we're in, is like not blaming a train engineer for a fatal train wreck because he's no longer driving the train.

    by JML9999 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 12:49:34 PM PDT

    •  true, but the sequester is different (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JML9999

      The problem of the fiscal cliff is mostly about the sequester.

      •  but just like the GOP they're conflating them (0+ / 0-)

        Divide and conquer.

        Discredit the GOP on tax hikes.

        Sanity check the defense cuts

        $50 billion each year adding up to $500 Billion over 10 or am I missing something

        Not blaming Bush for the mess we're in, is like not blaming a train engineer for a fatal train wreck because he's no longer driving the train.

        by JML9999 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 12:56:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  They need to stand strong. (0+ / 0-)

    They're right, and the politics is on their side.

  •  36% think (0+ / 0-)

    it would make the tax system unfair? The one where Romney pays less than someone who works for him?

    Amazing.

  •  The 'public' is notoriously socialist on this. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    Maybe the communist/socialist infiltration has progressed far farther than the right fears?

  •  Let them all expire for everyone (0+ / 0-)

    And do not adjust the AMT for the upteenth time

  •  Congress says, "shut up, public". (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9

    We only listen to people (including corporations) that bring large amounts of money.

    Private health insurance: a protection racket without the protection.

    by rustypatina on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 12:53:22 PM PDT

  •  "A no-brainer for Democrats" (0+ / 0-)

    Why does that sound so ominous.

    "There were questions that Governor Romney wanted to address to make sure people understood that he's not a felon" - Ed Gillespie (Romney supporter)

    by itswhatson on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 01:06:33 PM PDT

  •  Pew pew pew!! (0+ / 0-)

    sorry, bubbanomics, but I just need a real Pew diary right about now.

  •  HIGH Tax rates encourage investment, job growth (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9, Icicle68, SueDe, Calamity Jean

    Here is the explanation:

    Low tax rates do not cause anyone to invest, because just holding the profits costs the low tax percentage, and there is NO RISK. at 10% tax rate, $1.00 profits pays $0.10 tax, and owner keeps $0.90.

    HIGH tax rates, (say 50% or above) would force a business owner to make the following decision:

    A. Hold $1.00 in profits and pay $0.50 in tax, keep $0.50; or

    B. Invest some of the profits in growing the business (new equipment, additional wages, additional advertising, whatever additional business expense), deduct the expenses from profits, and pay taxes only on the remaining profits.

    Example: $1.00 in profits, less business expense of N percent of profits (say N = 30%) leave $0.70 taxable. Tax at 50% = $0.35. That leaves $0.30 invested (tax free) plus $0.35 cash profits remaining.

    Investing all the profits (assuming the owner takes a salary which is already subtracted from profits) runs the business tax bill to ZERO.

    Pass through entities (S Corps, partnerships, LLCs) already pay no business tax.  All the profits flow through untaxed to the owners.  Investing some of the profits cuts the owner's personal tax bill in such an instance.

    The Republicans have their argument UPSIDE DOWN. Under their argument, the owner wins, and does not have to invest ANYTHING to keep his profits (which generates NO JOBS). And THEY want to run the business tax rate to ZERO.

    "The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave." -- Patrick Henry

    by BornDuringWWII on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 01:10:58 PM PDT

    •  Taxes are tricky... (0+ / 0-)

      Investments are made to achieve a return. Taxes are a cost and therefore reduce that return. An investor must balance the risk of loss vs the potential gain. High taxes make some projects not feasible. You also must consider that companies and people choose to locate businesses in states or countries based on investment return. High taxes are part of the equation, just like wages or raw materials.

      A successful business is not one that shows zero profits forever.

      Based on your argument, a 90 percent tax rate would lead to an economic bonanza. Really?

  •  They had the chance to let them expire before (0+ / 0-)

    They didn't have the guts to let the Bush tax cuts expire the last time they had the chance... and that was when they actually had a majority.  Personally, I'll believe it when I see it.

    Some folks trust to reason. Others trust to might. I don't trust to nothing. But I know it come out right.

    by dalemac on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 01:14:20 PM PDT

  •  The wealthy and our government via the (0+ / 0-)

    military have sent way too much money out of the US.  Let all the tax cuts lapse.  (1) It drives home the message that taxes have been very low indeed, which people seem not to have believed.  (2) It shows Dem earnestness about deficit reduction.  (3) It provides leverage for serious, serious changes in the tax code that will insure fairness in tax rates.  All additional revenues raised in taxes will go toward deficit reduction.  The existing rate of revenues will continue to be used to run the government.  The dollars saved in cuts to the military will be applied to a jobs program to refurbish our infrastructure, which is, after all, part of our national security.  (Remember on 9/11 when first responders couldn't communicate with one another because there was no system in place?  Those things must be fixed rather than forcing defective fighter jets on the military and overpaying for most hand tools used to rebuild other nations.)

    Romney went to France instead of serving in our military, got rich chop-shopping US businesses and eliminating US jobs, off-shored his money in the Cayman Islands, and now tells us to "Believe in America."

    by judyms9 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 01:33:31 PM PDT

  •  remind me again what the Dems did the LAST time (0+ / 0-)

    the tax cuts were up for renewal . . . . . . . .  .

    Talk is cheap.

  •  More evidence on taxing the rich & new book (0+ / 0-)

    This is a key thing I documented in my new book, with an unparalleled set of opinion findings. That opinion material is coordinated with issues and political developments like nowhere else. (I have expertise in polling, as well as election process and issues. More: www.deanalger.com.)

    Also in the book: Polls repeatedly found strong majorities of Americans want restored higher taxes on the very wealthy and elimination of loopholes. And people grasp that the extreme inequality plus Wall Street gambling and big corporation practices are economically dysfunctional. Interestingly, last year the Pew Poll found that 58% of even “Main Street” Republicans thought big business “makes too much profit,” while they send jobs overseas and pocket huge salaries & bonuses.

    The book, THE BANKERS’ GREED BLUES, is in the form of a political novel (unlike my previous 4 books) to be more engaging for a broad set of readers. It’s about much more than the Wall Street disaster. The book also shows how, in election 2012, we can achieve real change. As Obama and others have lamented, Democrats & progressives haven’t adequately “told a story” about what’s gone on in recent years and effectively offered new directions. This book does so in compelling manner. It’s available from national book distributors for local bookstores, and from Amazon.com.

    "Progressive readers are fortunate to have this prophetic novel. I can't imagine a novel better capturing the current political-economic scene. Alger brings the deep insights of his years as a political scientist and political consultant to take us inside the campaign of Paul Brooks, a genuinely populist candidate for the US Senate who won't sell us out. If only we could vote for him!"   –Clay Steinman, Professor of Media & Cultural Studies, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN.

    Dean Alger

  •  Joan, Joan, Joan. When have these Dems (0+ / 0-)

    ever actually achieved the "win" in all of our "win-win" scenarios?

    "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

    by bryduck on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 04:12:53 PM PDT

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