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NBC/WSJ Poll: Americans Want to Keep Bush Tax Cuts

Thursday, 12 Aug 2010 12:30 PM

Most Americans want to at least temporarily extend the Bush tax cuts for all taxpayers, including the wealthy, until the economy recovers, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey has found.

That finding backs up the contention of Republicans who are preparing for a battle over tax cuts in advance of mid-term elections.

Democrats have proposed extending the Bush tax cuts for families earning less than $250,000 a year, but eliminating the cuts for higher earners as a means of reducing the budget deficit.

But the new poll shows that Americans are more concerned with revving up the economy.

Nearly half say they could accept a permanent extension of all the tax cuts; at the same time, two-thirds say they could accept the Obama administration’s proposal.

But the highest proportion, 71%, called it an acceptable outcome for all the cuts to be extended until the economy strengthens, CNBC reported.

The poll also reports that Americans give an edge to Republicans over Democrats on handling the economy, the budget deficit, taxes, and immigration.

Overall, the poll showed a continued sour mood among voters toward the direction of the country (58 percent called the nation “on the wrong track”), the state of the economy (64 percent predicted the economy hasn’t hit bottom yet and will continue to decline), and the performance of Congress (72 percent disapprove).

All those point toward substantial gains for the Republican minority in November.

Yet the survey showed a slight uptick in ratings for Obama and Democratic Congressional candidates since the previous NBC/WSJ poll in June.

The president’s job approval rating inched up to 47% from 45%, though the increase fell within the poll’s 3.1 percentage point margin for error. That small improvement was repeated when respondents were asked which party they want to control Congress.

Democrats held a one percentage point advantage on the question, compared to a two percentage point lead for Republicans in June.

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