Only 18 percent of Americans are willing to pay higher taxes to lower the federal budget deficit, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.
Sixty-nine percent (69 percent) are not willing to have their taxes raised to deal with deficits that are projected to rise to historic levels over the next decade. Thirteen percent (13 percent) more are not sure.
But most voters think President Barack Obama’s new bipartisan deficit reduction commission is more likely to recommend tax increases than spending cuts to meet the growing deficit, and 78 percent expect Congress to raise taxes if the commission recommends it.
Men are nearly twice as willing as women to pay more in taxes to lower the budget deficit.
Twenty-three percent (23 percent) of investors are willing to pay higher taxes, compared to 14 percent of non-investors.
Yet while 83 percent of Republicans and 69 percent of voters not affiliated with either of the major political parties oppose higher taxes to lower the deficit, just 56 percent of Democrats agree. Twenty-six percent (26 percent) of those in the president’s party say they’re willing to pay more in taxes to help bring down the deficit.
Eighty-three percent (83 percent) of Americans say the size of the federal budget deficit is due more to the unwillingness of politicians to cut government spending than to the reluctance of taxpayers to pay more in taxes.
Sixty-six percent (66 percent) of Americans already believe the country is overtaxed, but 46 percent expect their taxes to go up under the Obama administration. Just 12 percent think they will go down.
Democrats from the start have viewed health care reform as the most important of the budget priorities cited by the president in a speech to Congress last February.
Republicans and unaffiliated voters consistently have said the president’s priority should be cutting the federal budget deficit in half by the end of his first term.
Most voters believe the new national healthcare plan will raise the deficit, which is one reason why 58 percent support its repeal.
Forty-one percent (41 percent) prefer a budget deficit with tax cuts over a balanced budget that requires higher taxes. Nearly as many (36 percent) would rather see a balanced budget with higher taxes.
Even if the president and Congress raise taxes to reduce the federal deficit, 58 percent of voters think they are more likely to spend the money on new government programs.
The survey of 1,000 adults was conducted on April 27-28, 2010, by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.
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