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Public Opinion Snapshot: Tax Cuts for the Middle Class Are Good; Tax Cuts for the Rich Are Bad

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The Obama administration has proposed letting the Bush tax cuts expire for those making over $250,000 but extending them for those making under that amount. Conservatives in Congress are up in arms about this since keeping the tax cuts for the rich is practically a sacred cause in their eyes.

A sacred cause it may be, but a popular cause it is not. New data from a CBS News/New York Times poll clearly show that the public views tax cuts for the rich and tax cuts for the middle class very differently and no one should be fooled by conservatives’ attempts to conflate them.

Start with letting the tax cuts expire for the rich. The poll simply asked whether such a move is a good idea or a bad idea. By 53-38, the public said this is a good idea.

In vivid contrast the public said letting the tax cuts expire for the middle class was a bad idea by an overwhelming 74-19 margin.

The public’s view is therefore clear, simple, and diametrically opposed to the conservatives. Tax cuts for the rich are bad. Tax cuts for the middle class are good. Time for our policymakers to listen up and move forward.

Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. To learn more about his public opinion analysis go to the Media and Progressive Values page and the Progressive Studies program page of our website.

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Katie Peters (economy, education, poverty, Half in Ten Education Fund, women's issues)
202.741.6285 or kpeters@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention, the National Security Agency)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (energy and environment, Legal Progress, higher education)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

 

This is part of a regular column: Public Opinion Snapshot

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