More Americans place importance on a Republican-backed approach to a tax deal that would avert the looming fiscal cliff, according to a new Gallup poll. The poll finds that 70 per cent of Americans say that “simplifying the tax code to lower rates and eliminate deductions and loopholes” is either an extremely or very important task for President Barack Obama in his second term. Another 23 per cent say it’s somewhat important.
By contrast, only 47 per cent say it’s an extremely or very important priority for Obama to raise taxes on households incomes of more than $250,000.
Obama has signaled that he is willing to compromise with Congressional Republicans on a tax deal, but a central part of his plan involves the increase on top earners.
This is a different measure from other recent polls that have shown that the public favours increasing taxes on $250,000-plus incomes. Those polls did not provide a point of comparison on loopholes.
Gallup’s Lydia Saad writes that public opinion could be a boon for Obama:
A key proposal from Obama’s first term — and one he brought up again in his acceptance speech last week — is raising taxes on Americans earning more than $250,000 a year. While less than half of Americans consider this a highly important goal, another 24% call it somewhat important, indicating the public may not resist it. However, a much larger proportion is in favour of tax reform that lowers tax rates and eliminates deductions and loopholes — more along the lines of what Romney was proposing. The partisan lines are deeply drawn on these issues, possibly foreshadowing another epic budget battle in Washington.
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