America Favors The Buffet Rule: Raising Taxes On The Rich

America Favors The Buffet Rule: Raising Taxes On The Rich

According to two political polls, majorities of Americans on both sides of the aisle seem to favor raising tax on the upper income bracket.

According to a new Daily Kos poll, nearly three fourths of Americans prefer raising taxes on the highest earners in the U.S., those making $1 million or more. Those tax rates, say respondents, would need to be at least what the average middle-class taxpayer forks over, if not more. This seems to reflect a growing feeling of (dare I say it) class warfare between the upper-income earners and "the rest of us". It may be a convenient dismissal by Republican leadership in Washington, and although Obama denies it (it's just math, after all), more and more people are feeling like they're getting screwed while all they here in the upper echelons is lower taxes, higher profits, and bigger bonuses. Let's be honest, it's absolutely class warfare, and these polls suggest that it's not just a Democratic battlefield. Warren Buffet, ever savvy of the winds of change, admonished a "billionaire friendly congress" for allowing him and his friends to pay lower taxes than their proverbial secretaries. Thus the Buffet Rule was born, and Obama's hoping to ride that particular picket line directly into his second term.

According to the Daily Kos, 73% of Americans polled said they would support a tax reform that made millionaires pay as much or more than one making less than a million. Not surprisingly, respondents self-identified as liberal and Democratic were in the upper 70's (78% and 79%, respectively), but more surprising were conservatives and Republicans. Conservatives and Republicans responded with 61% and 66% support, respectively, revealing a distinct divergence from the rhetoric of Republican leaders in Washington, and GOP hopefuls in the Republican primary race. These results seem to align with a recent Gallup Poll as well, which asked respondents to show support or opposition to aspects of Obama's American Jobs Act; to raise taxes on people making $250,000 or more a year, and to raise corporate tax revenue by closing loopholes. Among respondents, 70% favored closing corporate loopholes (compared to 26% who opposed) and 66% favored raising taxes on earners of of a quarter million or more (compared to 32% opposed).

What does all this statistical wonkiness mean? The majority of the American public, regardless of party or ideology, supports two of the most contentious aspects of the Obama jobs plan; putting Republican leaders squarely on the wrong side of popular opinion. How this will shake out in 2012 is anyone's guess, but further intransigence and politicking on the part of the Republican Party is likely to be met with some serious public backlash. We saw the specter of this over the August recess, as Republican Congresspeople all over the country were forced to cancel town halls, or have people removed because of angry constituents. Democratic leadership in Washington is by no means popular, and even Obama's polls suggest that his approval isn't increasing, but where his jobs plan is concerned, they're on the right side of American sentiment at the moment.