CBS poll shows tax hikes favored by … 9%

posted at 12:45 pm on January 15, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

The best part of this poll?  The sampling follies at CBS don’t even really matter, although this poll’s sample is closer to reality than most.  When given a choice between tax hikes or spending cuts, it turns out that 77% of Americans are Tea Partiers, as Jammie Wearing Fool says:

[A CBS] News poll finds that Americans strongly prefer cutting spending to raising taxes to reduce the federal deficit. While 77 percent prefer to cut spending, just nine percent call for raising taxes. Another nine percent want to do both.

Yet most Americans could not volunteer a program they’d be willing to see cut in order to reduce the deficit – only 38 percent could name a program they would support cutting. The top responses were military/defense (six percent), Social Security/Medicare (four percent) and welfare/food stamps (four percent).

However, Americans are more willing to consider cuts when presented with specific ideas, as the chart above illustrates. The most popular ideas for reducing the deficit are to reduce Social Security benefits for the wealthy, reduce the money allocated to projects in their own community, reduce farm subsidies and reduce defense spending. More than 50 percent supported reductions in each of those programs.

In this case, the partisan split in the sample favored Democrats by four points after the weighting, with a D/R/I of 31/27/42.  That overrepresents independents and underrepresents Republicans, but in this case, it hardly matters.  The overwhelming results show that a very clear consensus exists on spending cuts rather than tax hikes.

This means that we can explain the bump Barack Obama got in polling after the lame-duck session.  The deal to keep tax rates at current levels turns out to be very popular indeed, but that may be a problem for Obama in 2012.  He told his base that he plans to fight for tax hikes that will occur at the end of 2012 and make that a major issue in the upcoming election cycle.  If so, I hope Obama has his post-presidential career planning in hyperdrive at the moment.

No one is buying the arguments from some liberal economists that deficits don’t matter, either.  Only 7% of respondents thought that governments should run any kind of deficit it needs to meet its policy goals.  Almost three-quarters believe that deficits should only be run in emergencies or “if manageable,” a rather expansive qualifier to be sure.  Eighteen percent said deficits are “never acceptable” — a small minority, but two and a half times larger than those who don’t care about deficits at all.

While respondents had trouble choosing cuts on their own, the suggested cuts from the survey seem mostly popular.  For instance, although some have argued that a mandate doesn’t exist to tackle entitlement reform, over 60% of all three party affiliations support the idea of reforming Social Security — although only Republicans have a majority for raising the retirement age.  Majorities of Republicans (73%) and independents (55%) would cut federal funding for local projects, which a plurality of Democrats (48%) also support.  Majorities in all three classes want an end to farm subsidies, and majorities of Democrats and independents support cuts to defense spending, while only 39% of Republicans support it.

Those are clear areas of considerable consensus for this Congress to pursue.  We have approached a crisis point in this nation’s finances that has awakened the electorate to the dangers of the current federal spending spree.  If Congress fails to act, the midterm wave of 2010 will look like a ripple compared to what comes in 2012.


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Wow, this is a surprise. Maybe Americans are listening to talk radio, watching Fox, and reading the right blogs!
L

letget on January 15, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Bill Maher’s head explodes.

CWforFreedom on January 15, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Shock poll: 91% are teabaggers.

Inanemergencydial on January 15, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Common sense wins again.

SouthernGent on January 15, 2011 at 12:53 PM

This is clearest evidence that the only people who want tax hikes, are the President’s cheering section that is the media. Let Obama campaign on tax hikes. That was the same strategy as Mondale. And we all remember how that turned out. : )

marktarheel on January 15, 2011 at 12:53 PM

We don’t want “programs” cut, we want the budget cut.
Americans don’t know what “programs” are being budgeted, we don’t have time to read through a trillion dollar budget…heck even the gov. doesn’t know how much money it is giving to NPR.
We elect officials to cut the budget…most of us don’t want the details, that is what elections are for.
Does the general tell his men before battle how many bullets to use before that battle? Just go out with a plan and win the battle, and improvise if you have to but win the battle.

right2bright on January 15, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Then hike THEIR taxes and be done with it.

The rest of us don’t mind a bit, and I for one want LOWER taxes.

RealMc on January 15, 2011 at 12:54 PM

If Congress fails to act, the midterm wave of 2010 will look like a ripple compared to what comes in 2012.

Congress can act all it wants, I fear Democrats in the senate will throw wrenches in the gears constantly out of spite.

Then we have Obama’s veto to fear. Democrats are going to line up to die on the hill that is Obamacare. They are shamelessly using the Tuscon shooting as an excuse to delay repeal for pete’s sake.

Mord on January 15, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Those 9% are all residents of Illinois who voted for Pat Quinn, who campaigned on raising taxes.

Blago was right, he was railroaded.

Knucklehead on January 15, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Why don’t these polls ask about Obamacare? I don’t get it. It is about to be one of the biggest entitlements ever!

New Patriot on January 15, 2011 at 12:59 PM

So those people will be sending back the check from the U.S. Government for what they overpaid paid in taxes throughout the year I guess. Sure they will.

lowandslow on January 15, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Mord@12:56,
I fear you are right on bhocare. I believe it was Rush yesterday saying they are going to drag out any repeal as long as possible to get all the agencies in place for this crud. The tentacles on bhocare are everywhere and may never all be found.
L

letget on January 15, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Nine percent ? I guess that means Katie “ratings killer” Couric and little Bobby Schieffer-brains raised their hands.

viking01 on January 15, 2011 at 1:03 PM

New Patriot on January 15, 2011 at 12:59 PM

If they don’t point out how unpopular it is, democrat politicians can continue to extol it’s virtues.

It allows democrats to frame the debate and continue saying that repeal will “add to the deficit”.

If someone did a poll asking wether or not repeal would add to the deficit, we’d probably see similar numbers.

Socialized medicine is the Holy Grail for liberals.

Mord on January 15, 2011 at 1:05 PM

It’s comforting to know that most Americans are a sensible and fairly well informed people. But, I really would be interested to meet the 9% who favor raising taxes? who on earth are these aberrations? lol

jeanie on January 15, 2011 at 1:06 PM

jeanie@1:06,
These people who want taxes raised are the ones who do not pay taxes so they get more of bho stash!
L

letget on January 15, 2011 at 1:09 PM

letget on January 15, 2011 at 1:02 PM

I think I read that the bill created something like 170 panels, agencies and commissions. They will probably never be removed before the bureaucratic concrete has a chance to fully set. Not to mention the thousands of regulations.

Great now I’m depressing myself.

Mord on January 15, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Start out with zero budgets each and every year. Name the exact agency being funded — if Congress can’t remember all 1100 names, we have too many agencies. Don’t expect citizens to be able to catalog every wasteful and unnecessary government expenditure — it should be defined as every government expenditure except those that are cost-effective and necessary.

cthulhu on January 15, 2011 at 1:17 PM

I think I read that the bill created something like 170 panels, agencies and commissions.

Mord on January 15, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Nobody in the world can name all of the programs, agencies, commissions, panels, studies, etc., that exist in the government. Every bill passed, has some type of “program” attached, and taxpayer money spent.
The first line of business should be, no bill passed for six months…none. There is not one thing we are doing now without, that we can’t continue without.

right2bright on January 15, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Start out with zero budgets each and every year.

cthulhu on January 15, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Many departments are like that and it is a nightmare…if they have money left over, then their budget is cut, so they spend like crazy towards the end of the year. Their are huge marketing firms that live on the final 90 days of an agencies budget.

right2bright on January 15, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Programs I’d be willing to cut? All subsidies to alternative energy and agriculture, 99% of what the EPA does (abolish it and put its remaining, narrowly-defined original functions in Interior), the federal Department of Education, the Department of Labor, the Department of HHS (break it up, get rid of the health services regulators), the Department of HUD (break it up, get rid of, among others, the urban redevelopment gigs and the punitive, lawsuit-oriented “fair housing” gig — since it has nothing to do with “fair housing” anyway), the Orwellian EEOC, 80%+ of what the FCC does, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, 99% of federal grants to research and 100% of federal grants to the arts, federally guaranteed student loans (these last three categories contribute massively to the spiraling cost and increasing intellectual sclerosis of American academia), Obamacare, and every federal agency and every office in a federal agency that spends more than 1% of its time looking for things to sue the states and the people over.

That’s just for starters. I’m sure others can think of more.

J.E. Dyer on January 15, 2011 at 1:24 PM

It was just announced that officially the U.S. National Debt is at an all time high and has surpassed $14 Trillion. Reportedly, that debt level represents a $45,300 share for every man, woman, and child in the country. Unborn children in the U.S. will be born into a debt share that is higher than what most working American’s earn in a year. With a $1.7 trillion deficit in budget year 2010 alone, and the Barack Hussein Obama administration on track to spend $1.3 trillion more this year than it takes in, annual budget deficits are adding roughly $4 billion a day to the national debt.

Put another way, the Barack Hussein Obama administration is borrowing 41 cents for every dollar it spends.

The not-so-funny part is that back in 2006, in a blast against a Bush request to raise the debt limit to $8.96 trillion, then Senator Barack Hussein Obama blithely opined on the Senate floor: “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance the government’s reckless fiscal policies.”

The National Debt has increased more in Barack Hussein Obama’s first two years in office than during George W. Bushes entire second 4-year term. The current statutory debt ceiling of $14.3 trillion, set just last year, may be reached by the end of March — and hit no later than May 16. The debt ceiling will have to be raised. There is no other way to go.

With that… major tax hikes are inevitable.

FlatFoot on January 15, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Wow, this is a surprise. Maybe Americans are listening to talk radio, watching Fox, and reading the right blogs!

Not in Rhode Island, Governor Lincoln-poop will not allow it.

Wade on January 15, 2011 at 1:33 PM

I am up on Mt Soledad right now surrounded by about 3,000 patriots.

We are trying to save a single Memorial Cross that voters have overwhelimingly approved THREE separate times. But the lefty 9th circuit in SF had intervened to go against the will of the voters yet again.

It’s a cloudless sky, about 78 degrees with a mild ocean breeze overlooking the pacific ocean.

Geochelone on January 15, 2011 at 1:35 PM

That’s just for starters. I’m sure others can think of more.

J.E. Dyer on January 15, 2011 at 1:24 PM

The Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Inanemergencydial on January 15, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Those 9% are all residents of Illinois who voted for Pat Quinn, who campaigned on raising taxes.

Blago was right, he was railroaded.

Knucklehead on January 15, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Here is the thing that is something of a mystery here in Illinois.

We have people in power like Illinois House speaker Mike Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, not to mention Governor Jell-O himself, Pat Quinn. Plus you have to include the majority of both the Illinois House and Senate, which is predominantly Democratic.

These folks practically had it tattooed on their foreheads during the last election that they were planning on raising taxes through the proverbial roof on its way to the Ionosphere, BUT PEOPLE IN THIS STATE STILL VOTED FOR THEM ANYWAY!!!!!
And now that they have indeed followed through and given the state its largest tax increase in history, you have people running around the web with petitions demanding that these same people, Quinn especially, be recalled from office and investigations launched, and people arrested and on and on!

Yet the last election, we had viable, reasonable, honest alternatives running against all these folk, all promising they would do all that they could NOT to raise taxes, BUT PEOPLE IN THIS STATE STILL VOTED FOR THE DEMOCRATS ANYWAY!
Now we have people writing the Tribune informing the masses that they are pulling up stakes and moving to Indiana and Wisconsin to escape the high taxes that they themselves most likely voted for BECAUSE THEY VOTED FOR THE DEMOCRATS ANYWAY!

What the heck were these people thinking back in November?!!!!

I mean, it is like that classic story of the guy walking on the railroad track with the train bearing down on him from the other direction, and the guy has two choices: 1) Hope the engineer stops the train before the guy is hit and killed, or 2) the guy just gets off the track and lets the train go by.

Here in Illinois, there is an unwritten third choice the guy has: he asks himself “I wonder where that train whistle is coming from?”

pilamaye on January 15, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Cut all welfare and housing benefits for illegal aliens. Enforce the use of E-Verify by employers to open up jobs for Americans. Audit the case files of the entitlement class to figure out how many dead people are receiving their monthly ObamaStash.

/It’s a start.

Key West Reader on January 15, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Mt Soledad is a War Memorial in San Diego overlooking the pacific.

Absolutely gorgeous venue for a War Memorial. US flag is flying high and all religions are welcome here. It’s War Memorial not a religious shrine.

Geochelone on January 15, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Geochelone on January 15, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Thank you for your vigilance in an important fight.

Inanemergencydial on January 15, 2011 at 1:44 PM

I favor tax increases. On the 40 per cent who don’t pay one thin dime in Fed taxes. C’mon, get some skin in the game as your dear socialist president once promised for those of us who already have more than enough in his little scheme.

chickasaw42 on January 15, 2011 at 1:45 PM

It’s War Memorial not a religious shrine.

Geochelone on January 15, 2011 at 1:43 PM

It doesn’t have to be a religious shrine to have a cross displayed on it.

J.E. Dyer on January 15, 2011 at 1:51 PM

Geochelone on January 15, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Thank you so much, your efforts are appreciated.

Cindy Munford on January 15, 2011 at 2:08 PM

77% want spending cuts and the likelihood of actual spending cuts is zero. Ain’t democracy grand?

Bugler on January 15, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Many departments are like that and it is a nightmare…if they have money left over, then their budget is cut, so they spend like crazy towards the end of the year. Their are huge marketing firms that live on the final 90 days of an agencies budget.

right2bright on January 15, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Note that this is the fault of lawmakers who tell agencies if they don’t spend it they get cut the following year. It would be just as easy to say that a few percent off is good enough, send the money back to the Treasury and refund it to the taxpayers… or apply it against the debt.

I went through a number of those end of year fiascos, and it is a PITA to do because of the attitude lawmakers take. A change in attitude and accounting without penalizing agencies for not being able to estimate programs and expenditures due to volatility in pricing and performance is necessary to end this. If we want a better run government, then it is up to the legislative branch to make it that way. They did that with contracts to move away from sole sourcing (save for the earmarks that had those attached which are their own CFs) and it only took about 5 years for that to begin to sink in.

The problem of carry-over programs can be addressed separately, but there is no reason for the spending spree at the end of the FY. That is our money being used unwisely and the fault for the rules system is not the agencies but Congress. Plus if we had only a few, small agencies they could be much, much better run….

ajacksonian on January 15, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Hmmmmm…..9% want tax hikes….9% unemployment….coincidence? I don’t think so…

right2bright on January 15, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Let me guess, the 9% are public labor unions

Kini on January 15, 2011 at 2:25 PM

pilamaye on January 15, 2011 at 1:39 PM

And now we find out he bought votes just to get it passed.

Knucklehead on January 15, 2011 at 2:31 PM

I was a tea partier before the tea party was cool.

Kissmygrits on January 15, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Knucklehead on January 15, 2011 at 2:31 PM

This quote cracked me up…

“In the seven years and couple weeks I was in the legislature, my vote was never for sale,” Gordon said. “Sometimes, there’s just no conspiracy.”

Sometimes, not often, not seldom, but just “sometimes”…

right2bright on January 15, 2011 at 2:42 PM

right2bright on January 15, 2011 at 2:42 PM

Funny huh? This is the mentality I’m surrounded with every single day. This was all done in a lame duck session in the dark of night.

Knucklehead on January 15, 2011 at 2:54 PM

9% of the public wants higher taxes.

Yet 99% of Democrat politicians want higher taxes.

A bit of a disconnect.

angryed on January 15, 2011 at 2:59 PM

pilamaye on January 15, 2011 at 1:39 PM
And now we find out he bought votes just to get it passed.

Knucklehead on January 15, 2011 at 2:31 PM

And the thing is that people in Illinois could have held off or even derailed this whole tax increase thing by voting for Brady instead of Quinn, as well as giving the more-than-well-deserved boot to Mike Madigan, but like the good little Democrat lemmings that the majority of them are, they all fell neatly in line and went over the cliff.

pilamaye on January 15, 2011 at 3:21 PM

I’m surprised you didn’t mention that “Americans favor taxing the rich more” poll that came out just after the holidays recently, Ed. That’s all they could talk about on Morning Joe for a couple of days. It wasn’t long after the tax deal and made them wonder why the Prez went along with it. I think it was from Vanity Fair, which made me regard it with a grain of salt, the fact that this is from CBS is fairly impressive.

lizzie beth on January 15, 2011 at 3:31 PM

If Congress fails to act, the midterm wave of 2010 will look like a ripple compared to what comes in 2012.

Yep, we’re still listening to Rush Limbaugh and gettin’ stuff done around here homeboy.

ted c on January 15, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Let Obama campaign on tax hikes. That was the same strategy as Mondale. And we all remember how that turned out. : )

marktarheel on January 15, 2011 at 12:53 PM

As I recall, it turned our really well. At least for people who love liberty and the United States of America.

oldleprechaun on January 15, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Shock poll: 91% are teabaggers.

Inanemergencydial on January 15, 2011 at 12:53 PM

WRONG! They are anti-government anarchists who advocate violence against government officials!

I think I left out a couple of the talking points, though. Maybe The New York Times can help me out?

JannyMae on January 15, 2011 at 4:05 PM

CBS poll shows tax hikes favored by … 9%

This house rejects the offer to raise taxes and favors spending reductions.

The 9% favoring tax hikes may freely donate more than what is taken by law.

rukiddingme on January 15, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Shock poll: 91% are teabaggers.

Inanemergencydial on January 15, 2011 at 12:53 PM

+1

cmsinaz on January 15, 2011 at 5:17 PM

Thus 91% don’t want tax hikes and favor cutting government.

And 71% don’t want the debt ceiling raised.

Federal income via taxes every month will cover paying for the interest with our current debt with lots left over.

Apparently the American people can add 1 + 1 and come up with 2. Our politicians, however, are still struggling with this concept.

ajacksonian on January 15, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Yet the last election, we had viable, reasonable, honest alternatives running against all these folk, all promising they would do all that they could NOT to raise taxes, BUT PEOPLE IN THIS STATE STILL VOTED FOR THE DEMOCRATS ANYWAY!

It came down to puppies and kittens.

I kid you not. Making phone calls for the Republican party to “Republican households”, I would ask, will you vote for the Republican representative, senator and governor? And, people would often reply, “Well, two out of the three or one of the three.”

If I asked further, which I wasn’t supposed to do, they would say I’m a dog lover and Brady introduced (and then rescinded) a bill to allow up to 10 dogs or cats at a time to be euthanized with gas.

I am at a loss for the logic (the only other real choices on the ballot were Tax and Spend Democrats).

I am a dog lover. The dogs would be euthanized anyway, but one at a time is somehow less cruel than in mass?

Quinn used this in ads over and over again and it was effective (see linked article).

If they said one out of three it was Brady kills dogs and Kirk is a RINO.

Fallon on January 15, 2011 at 5:36 PM

I am up on Mt Soledad right now surrounded by about 3,000 patriots.

We are trying to save a single Memorial Cross that voters have overwhelimingly approved THREE separate times. But the lefty 9th circuit in SF had intervened to go against the will of the voters yet again.

Geochelone on January 15, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Perhaps it is time for 3,000 patriots to pay a visit to the 9th circuit in SF, all at the same time.

Yoop on January 15, 2011 at 5:47 PM

77% want spending cuts and the likelihood of actual spending cuts is zero. Ain’t democracy grand?

Bugler on January 15, 2011 at 2:11 PM

You mean kakatocracy. We lost democracy some time ago.

rrpjr on January 15, 2011 at 7:07 PM

WHO comprise the 9%?

People who pay NO taxes at all?

GarandFan on January 15, 2011 at 9:47 PM

I am one of the few who want to see entire government departments and/or agencies eliminated, and the federal workforce reduced by 5 percent per year for 10 years running.

Dasher on January 15, 2011 at 11:58 PM

Who are the 9%?

The Core Privileged — the public unions, greens, some attorneys, the PRESSSSSident and their hired politicians.

Just shows how easy it is to leverage/corrupt the system…

drfredc on January 16, 2011 at 2:22 AM

This isn’t that hard. Start with any department created by the stroke of a Presidential pen since 1974, and make it go away. That would amount to about a 4% reduction on the federal budget. Next reduce everything else OTHER THAN DEFENSE by 5% across the board. Finally, assemble and pass a viable Fair Tax strategy that has no graduated rates, and watch the revenue soar.

Freelancer on January 16, 2011 at 7:08 AM

How can that be true?

Obama just told us, over and over on TV that an overwhelming 80% of Americans favor tax increases.

marybel on July 15, 2011 at 1:09 PM