Extending Bush’s tax cuts for families making over $250,000 a year may be popular with Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, but it isn’t with most Americans:
Only a third of all Americans think Bush-era tax cuts should be extended for families regardless of how much money they make, according to a new national poll.
Forty-nine percent of people questioned in the poll say the tax cuts should be extended for families making less than $250,000 a year, with another 15 percent saying the cuts should not be extended for anyone. That leaves 35 percent who favor an extension of the tax cuts for all Americans regardless of how much money they make.
Republicans in Congress have not gotten the message. Apparently, they don’t know as much as they claim to know about what Americans told them in the midterms:
Republicans will block any Democratic deal on extending Bush-era tax cuts if rates for the middle class and wealthy are not extended in tandem and on the same terms, a top Republican in the U.S. Senate said on Wednesday.
“Are you kidding, of course we would,” said Senator Orrin Hatch, who sits on the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee and is expected to be the panel’s top Republican in January.
That kind of tone-deafness is not limited to tax cuts for the wealthy:
McConnell is not one of the politicians who pretends not to read the polls. When he argued that Obama and Democrats were out of touch, he used polls to back up his argument. Using the McConnell standard—that is, reading the polls—the views of the people who gave the GOP such a resounding victory Tuesday do not match up with his priorities of cutting taxes, repealing health care, and reducing spending.
Tax cuts: According to exit polls, only 17 percent of the country thinks tax cuts should be a priority for the new Congress. And those that do want tax cuts oppose the way McConnell wants to do it. More than half the country, 52 percent, either wants the Bush tax cuts extended for those making under $250,000 a year or doesn’t want them extended at all. Only 39 percent support the McConnell position of extending the Bush tax cuts for everyone. That 52-39 split is identical to the one McConnell cited at the White House health care summit in February as proof that the American people opposed Obama’s health care plan.
Spending cuts: McConnell is opposed to federal spending to create jobs, but nearly as many voters want lawmakers to spend money to create jobs (37 percent) as want them to cut the deficit (39 percent). Voters in McConnell’s home state of Kentucky are even more bullish on spending: They say Congress’s first priority should be spending to create jobs (39 percent), reducing the deficit (35 percent), and applying tax cuts (21 percent).
Health care: Voters do not list repeal of the health care as a top priority. When asked their opinion, 48 percent support McConnell’s plan to repeal the law. This is hardly a mandate. Forty-seven percent want either to keep the law or to expand it.
These are opinions of Tuesday’s voters—the people McConnell cited in his speech today. Voter sentiment among the broader population is even more against him. In a recent USAToday/Gallup poll, a new stimulus bill is supported by 38 percent of the country. Cutting spending gets 24 percent support; repealing health care, 23 percent; and extending all income tax cuts, 8 percent.
Republicans, as usual, are doing what THEY want to do, not what the American public wants them to do.